It is almost impossible to talk about daredevil action film stars without mentioning Tom Cruise; he is the blueprint of success in the field. However, his personal life and career haven’t been straightforward; he has had his fair share of ups and downs. Here, we discuss some fascinating Tom Cruise facts that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

1. He Is One of the Highest Paid Actors

The current range for the highest-paid actors is between $30 million and $40 million. In other cases, the professionals can defer a part or all of their salaries for a percentage of the film’s gross. Either way, Tom Cruise ranks among the costliest actors, thanks to his hit movies such as Mission Impossible Series, War of the Worlds, and Top Gun: Maverick.

2. Tom Cruise’s Role in Risky Business Was His Breakthrough

Born in 1962, Tom Cruise showed signs of being in the entertainment industry as early as four years. He would mimic prominent figures and be perfect at it. However, he started professional acting in 1981 and got his breakthrough in 1983. His role in Risky Business, an American teen sex comedy film, made him famous. He only needed to build from there – which he did.

3. He Is a Member of the Church of Scientology

Over time, Scientology has had different definitions, including being a business, a cult, and a new religious movement. The church of Scientology, therefore, refers to members of interconnected corporate entities devoted to practicing Scientology. Tom Cruise has been among the most popular members of this church since 1986; he continues to be its outspoken advocate.

4. Tom Cruise Is an Aerobatic Pilot

It’s not a secret that Tom Cruise prefers handling his stunts alone, which often include jumping off high altitudes and riding bikes fast. However, his daredevil mindset doesn’t end there; he is an aerobatic pilot and was even inducted as part of the Living Legends of Aviation in 2010. He also owns a P-51 Mustang.

5. Tom Cruise Suffered from Dyslexia during Early Childhood

Tom Cruise once revealed in an interview that he struggled with dyslexia (previously called word blindness), a learning disability affecting writing and reading when he was young. He attended 15 schools in 14 years. The actor said he overcame it with the help of Scientology, specifically the L. Ron Hubbard Study Tech.

6. Tom Cruise Left a Graffiti on Top of the Burj Khalifa

At the time of writing, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, measuring close to a kilometer high. Amazingly, when filming a scene for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise left graffiti on the building’s spire. According to the film’s stunt coordinator, Gregg Smrz, the only person who can read Cruise’s message is the painter painting the building one day.

7. He Split With All His Wives When They Were 33

Regarding Tom Cruise’s personal life, the actor has been married and divorced three times before. Interestingly, he divorced all of them when they were 33 (even though the process was completed when two were 34).

Usually, this would not raise eyebrows and would be described simply as a coincidence. However, because Tom Cruise is a member of the church of Scientology, it is rumored number 33 has special significance in the movement. And by the way, each of his subsequent wives was 11 years younger than the previous one.

8. Tom Cruise Is Highly Decorated

From Academy Awards to British Academy Film Awards and Golden Globe Awards nominations, a whole catalog of flowers decorates Tom Cruise’s illustrious career. The daredevil’s longevity, discipline, and dedication to his craft haven’t gone unnoticed, even by his critics. The majority of his films have grossed over $4 billion in the United States of America and over $11.5 billion globally.

9. He Was Born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV

Even though it’s normal for celebrities to change their formal names, Tom Cruise, born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, did so for personal reasons. According to reports, he dropped his family name because he didn’t want to honor his father, who he thought gave him and his siblings a rough childhood.

10. He Is Not Short of Controversies

Considering the nature of his job and the influence he commands, it’s easy for Tom Cruise to attract criticism on all fronts. This was the case in 2004 when he said he thought psychiatry should be outlawed. A year later, he criticized Brooke Shields, a renowned actress, for taking Paxil, an antidepressant prescribed to patients with mental health issues. Most critics thought he should “concentrate on saving the world from aliens” and leave medical matters to the experts.

11. There Is a Tom Cruise Day in Japan

While Tom Cruise is a force globally, he is more loved in Japan. Apart from his movie, “The Last Samurai,” grossing $117 million more in Japan than it did in the United States, the country has a Tom Cruise Day. The Japan Memorial Day Association explains it awarded the star with his own day because of the love and close association he has with the country.

12. Tom Cruise Has Constantly Denied Claims of Being Gay

When the Daily Express, a famous British tabloid, accused Tom Cruise of being gay and that his marriage to Kidman was a sham to hide his homosexuality in 1998, the actor successfully sued them. In 2001, Tom Cruise took gay p*rn actor Chad Slater to court for claiming they had had an affair. Slater was told to pay the actor $10 million for damages.

13. The Church of Scientology Once Hand-Picked a Girl Friend for Tom Cruise

Even though Tom Cruise was once named the sexiest man alive and commanded huge influence, his church– the church of Scientology– once hand-picked and groomed a girlfriend for him. This resulted in mixed reactions from the public.

14. He Is in the Habit of Sending Cakes to His Co-Stars

During an interview with James Corden on the Late Late Show in 2018, Tom Cruise mentioned that he doesn’t take sugar during his routines. Instead, he sends sweets and cakes to his crew and cast members, expecting feedback on how they taste. Corden jokingly commented that Tom Cruise looks so good because he makes everyone around him fat.

15. He Was the First Actor to Star in Five Consecutive Films Grossing $100 Million

When most actors struggle to produce just one movie with a gross of over $100 million, Tom Cruise starred in five consecutive ones, making him the first filmmaker to do so. He achieved this feat with A Few Good Men (1992), The Firm (1993), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Mission Impossible (1996), and Jerry Maguire (1996). Since his first $100 million grosser, only six of his six films have failed to attain this mark.

16. Grease 2 Executives Thought Tom Cruise Was Too Short to Make It in Hollywood

When Tom Cruise auditioned for Grease 2, a film featuring John Travolta, in 1982, the executives thought he was too short and wouldn’t make it in Hollywood.

17. He Was the Only Actor to Read the Entire “Interview with the Vampire” Novel

The 1994 Tom Cruise film “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” is an adaptation of Ann Rice’s novels. During the making of the movie, his colleagues, including Brad Pitt, didn’t read the original story. The director claimed he couldn’t read through the book, while Pitt claimed it was stupid after reading a chapter.

18. Tom Cruise Was Denied an Honorary Citizenship of Paris, France

Regardless of his influence and how sought-after he is, the Paris, France authorities explicitly banned Tom Cruise from becoming the city’s honorary citizen. This was so because he is a Scientologist, which is classified as a cult in the region.

19. Ray-Ban Is Probably One of the Biggest Beneficiaries of Tom Cruise’s Career

Today, Ray-Ban is one of the largest sunglasses distributors worldwide. However, the brand would probably not have survived to date were it not for Tom Cruise and his successful career. In the 70s, the business was dwindling until it signed a placement deal with the star. After only wearing the brand’s sunglasses in Top Gun, Risky Business, and Rain Man, the products’ sales went through the roof.

Featured image: By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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Last Update: November 8, 2023