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11 Fascinating Facts About Tom Cruise

Read on to discover 11 facts you never knew about the star of Mission: Impossible.

Beyond his dazzling on-screen presence, Tom Cruise's life has been one wild ride. Unbeknownst to many, his birth name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, but he opted to drop his last name when he entered showbiz. Alongside his stellar career, Cruise earned an Honorary Palme d'Or for Achievement in Film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. Acting talent runs in the family, with his cousin William Mapother also carving a path in the industry. Surprisingly, Cruise once contemplated becoming a priest! Read on to discover 11 facts you never knew about the star of Mission: Impossible.


Cruise Is His Middle Name

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Cruise is one of many actors who changed his name for Hollywood. However, he decided to drop his actual last name. Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. He was named after his father.


He Has An Honorary Palme d'Or

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Cruise has been nominated for and won many awards. Last year, he received an Honorary Palme d'Or for Achievement in Film. Cruise was given the award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, when his film Top Gun: Maverick was debuted. Cruise received the award along with Forest Whitaker.


His Cousin Is Also An Actor

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Acting runs in Cruise's family. His cousin is actor, William Mapother, who is best known for his role on the TV show Lost. Mapother also worked alongside Cruise in the films Mission: Impossible 2, Magnolia, and Minority Report. 


He Wanted To Be A Priest

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After his mother and stepfather married, Cruise attended the St. Francis Seminary School on a scholarship. Cruise wanted to become a priest, but decided to leave after a year. However, a classmate said he was kicked out after being caught with alcohol.


He Inspired Aladdin

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Cruise was used as an inspiration for the Disney character Aladdin. They decided to use Cruise as an inspiration as it would make the character look more likeable. 


He Saved Ray-Ban

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In the early '80s, the Ray-Ban sunglasses company was in trouble. However, Cruise managed to save the company. After wearing the glasses in his iconic role in Risky Business, sales shot up. Cruise would then wear the brand in Top Gun, further improving sales.  


He Loves Underwater Scenes

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Cruise is known for doing his own stunts. He is particularly good at underwater stunts. In Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Cruise was able to be underwater for six minutes. "I have done a lot of underwater sequences," he told USA Today. "But we wanted to create a suspense underwater sequence without cuts. So doing that sequence was really interesting."


He Has Dyslexia

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Cruise has dyslexia. In 2003, he opened up about growing up with it to People. "All through school and well into my career, I felt like I had a secret. When I'd go to a new school, I wouldn't want the other kids to know about my learning disability, but then I'd be sent off to remedial reading."


His First Wife Was Mimi Rogers

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Cruise has had a lot of high-profile relationships. He dated people like Cher, Rebecca DeMornay, and Penelope Cruz. He notably was married to both Nicole Kidman from 1990 to 2001, and Katie Holmes from 2006 and 2012. However, Cruise was also previously married to actress Mimi Rogers from 1987 to 1990. 


He's Won Three Golden Globes

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Cruise has been nominated for several different awards. He has won a Golden Globe three times. In 1990, he won Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for Born On The First Of July. In 1997, he won Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in Jerry Maguire. Lastly, he won Best Supporting Picture – Motion Picture for Magnolia in 2000. 


He's Never Won An Oscar

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While Cruise has won several awards, he hasn't yet captured the elusive Oscar. Cruise has been nominated four times. Coincidentally, three of his nominations were for the roles he won Golden Globes for. He was nominated for Best Actor for his roles in Born On The First Of July and Jerry Maguire, and Best Supporting Actor for Magnolia. Cruise's film, Top Gun: Maverick was also a Best Picture nominee.

Anna Bechtel
Anna Bechtel is a freelance writer currently based in Hamden, CT. Read more
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