Tom Cruise - early life [EN]Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV on July 3, 1962) is a three-time Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and film producer. Counted as one of the most successful movie stars in Hollywood, he is the only actor to have six consecutive $100 million plus blockbusters on his resume. His first leading role in a blockbuster movie was 1983's Risky Business. From then on, he starred in many top films, becoming an iconic celebrity of Hollywood. Despite the recent scrutinizing media coverage of his personal life, mainly regarding his support of Scientology and his related criticism of psychiatry, he remains a star of worldwide renown.
Cruise was born to Thomas Mapother III and Mary Lee Pfeiffer in Syracuse, New York. Cruise has German ancestry from his paternal great-grandparents, William Reibert Gay and Charlotta Louise Voelker; and Welsh ancestry from his paternal great-great-grandfather, Dylan Henry Mapother, who emigrated from Flint, Wales to Louisville, Kentucky in 1850.  His maternal ancestry is half Irish and half German (including Alsatian). Cruise's family resided in near-poverty, because Cruise's father would not pay child support after his estrangement from the family when his son was eleven. Cities in which Tom lived included Ottawa, Ontario (where he attended Colonel By Secondary School), Louisville, Kentucky, Winnetka, Illinois and Wayne, New Jersey. In all, Cruise attended eight elementary schools and three high schools. He briefly attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati and aspired to become a Catholic priest. He eventually graduated from Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey in 1980. It was recently discovered that Cruise had suffered from child abuse when he was younger. He stated that when something went wrong, his father came down hard on him. He told Parade Magazine that his father was "a bully" and "a merchant of chaos." Cruise said he learned early on that his father was - and, by extension, some people were - not to be trusted: "I knew from being around my father that not everyone means me well." Having gone through fifteen schools in twelve years, Cruise, who dropped his father's name at age twelve, was also subject to bullying at school. Cruise started acting after being sidelined from his high school's wrestling team due to a knee injury. While injured, he successfully auditioned for a lead role in his high school's production of Guys and Dolls and decided to become an actor after his success in the role.
In 1990, 1991 and 1997, People magazine rated him among the 50 most beautiful people in the world. In 1995, Empire magazine ranked him among the 100 sexiest stars in film history. Two years later, it ranked him among the top 5 movie stars of all time. In 2002 and 2003, he was rated by Premiere among the top 20 in its annual Power 100 list. In 2006, Premiere magazine established Cruise as Hollywood's most powerful actor, as Cruise came in at number 13 on the magazines 2006 Power List, being the highest ranked actor. On 16 June 2006, Forbes magazine published 'The Celebrity 100', a list of the most powerful celebrities, in which Cruise came top. The list was generated using a combination of income (between June 2005 and June 2006), web references by Google, press clips compiled by LexisNexis, television and radio mentions (by Factiva), and the number of times a celebrity appeared on the cover of 26 major consumer magazines. As of August 2006, "a USA Today/Gallup poll in which half of those surveyed registered an "unfavorable" opinion of the actor" was cited as a reason in addition to "unacceptable behavior" for Paramount's non-renewal of their production contract with Cruise.