Tom Cruise. The movie star we love, hate for his Oddball tendencies and batshit crazy religion. Like jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch because Katie’s love gave him so much “energy”. Or confessing that Scientology has cured his dyslexia and refuses to have an action figure made in his image (he doesn’t seem to have a problem, though, since Disney’s Aladdin was re-modelled).
But as much as we would like to cast a shadow, Cruise is one of the most popular actors in the world. Japan loves him so much that they gave him his own vacation on October 10th. And it’s hard to argue with his very successful career. In 1996, Cruise was the first actor to appear in five consecutive films in the United States with a turnover of over 100 million US dollars.
His many successes range from the invention of the “movie star run” to obtaining his pilot’s license in 1994 to saving lives in real life. On this list are 10 other things you may or may not know about this larger-than-life mega-movie star.
10. A Cruise Christmas
Cruise sends its co-stars and friends a “Cruise Cake” every year at Christmas. The confection of coconut and white chocolate is appreciated and turned upside down by celebrities all over the world. Among the award winners are Barbara Walters, Jimmy Kimmel and Kirsten Dunst, who appeared in 1994 together with Cruise in Interview with the Vampire. Henry Cavill also received a cake a few years ago and finally devoured the whole thing himself.
Maybe this sweet note reminds you of his childhood. As many know, Cruise was always open to growing up poor. The first Christmas after his parents separated, his family could not afford Christmas presents. Instead, they chose each other’s names out of a hat and did favors for that person. In true Secret Santa style, the giver was not revealed until Christmas Day. 
9. Camera-shy Cruise
It’s hard to imagine the benevolent cruise without his millionaire movie star smile. But these pearly white goods were not always there. When you look at his earlier films, his teeth look like all the others: slightly yellowed, misaligned and chipped from a hockey incident as a child.
According to the late Patrick Swayze, who played with Cruise in The Outsiders, Cruise was rather camera-shy. In his memoirs The Time of My Life, Swayze recalled how Cruise wanted to avoid commercial photo shoots and had a deep-seated embarrassment about his grin. Fortunately for the mega-movie star, money, or rather braces and veneers, can indeed buy happiness. 
8. Cruise’s crazy childhood
Considering Cruise’s troubled and sometimes traumatic childhood, it is sometimes not hard to understand why he could not make his marriages work. Cruise grew up with an abusive father and even told reporters that his old man was “a bully and a coward. He was the kind of person who would kick you if anything went wrong.”
Couple this with the fact that he was bullied at school and had trouble making friends because his family is so often moved and a lot of things about the man behind the movie star are starting to make more sense. During his 12-year school career, Cruise attended 15 different schools and understandably has very few lasting relationships from back then. 
7. Cruise, crash and burn
The above might also explain why he had a soft spot for Zac Efron, who was in teen star hell after the success of High School Musical. One day Cruise asked the heartthrob if he wanted to ride a motorcycle, offered to teach him and invited him back to his house. According to Efron, Cruise showed him how a motorcycle engine works and showed him his own flawless collection. “It was just so nice that he took care of him at all. No one else did.”
Cruise’s love affair with motorcycles started way back when he bought a Yamaha motorcycle as a teenager, before he even knew how to ride it. This led to a crash that was not so surprising. But that didn’t stop him, and over the next few years he slowly put the bike back together again. 
6. Cruise the committed comedian
Although Cruise is mainly known for his action movies, he has also enjoyed success in comedic roles. He is credited with meeting Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder and even suggested that his character should be bald and have enormous hands.
In Rock of Ages Cruise Die Stacee plays Jaxx, a scene-robbing, washed-up rocker whose over-the-top antics include keeping a baboon sidekick nearby at all times (also Cruise’s idea). The film not only portrays his funny and charming side, but is also proof of his commitment. Cruise rehearsed 5 hours a day to perfect his rocker personality and technique. 
5. Need for speed
But Cruise is probably best known for his involvement in action movies and for doing all his own stunts. He has danced on airplanes, skyscrapers, and canyon walls in the name of art and can even hold his breath for about 6 minutes (a lifetime if you’ve ever tried it yourself). While shooting Days of Thunder, the daredevil rode around the track at an average of 205 mph at the Daytona International Speedway. Really impressive when you consider that the land speed record is 223mph!
But the people at Bugatti were not impressed by his performance. Not on the track, but on the red carpet. In 2006 Cruise came to the premiere of the third mission: Impossible in his 2005 Bugatti Veyron, and everything went smoothly until he tried to open the passenger door to help Katie Holmes leave the car. The door would not budge. Whether this was the fault of the car or the actor, we will never know. However, the manufacturer felt that the episode reflected badly on their craftsmanship and forbade Cruise to buy anything from Bugatti again. 
4. Aaaaand cut!
His 30-second fumble with the Bugatti car door handle pales in comparison to the time it took Cruise 95 to “go through a door” during the shooting of Eyes Wide Shut. Again, it is not clear whether the blame lay with Cruise or director Stanley Kubrick. All we know is that after seeing the playback, Kubrick apparently told Cruise, “Hey, Tom, stick with me and I’ll make you a star.”
Eyes Wide Shut is also in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest constant 400-day movie shoot. 
3. 33 is not his lucky number
Nicole Kidman was not only Cruise’s co-star in Eyes Wide Shut, she also married him in real life. Cruise was even married three times: first to Mimi Rogers, who supposedly introduced him to Scientology; then to Kidman, with whom he adopted two children; his last marriage was to Katie Holmes, with whom he has a daughter named Suri. A big movie star with 3 marriages is nothing new. I mean, celebrities do this all the time. But there’s something strange about Cruise’s three leading ladies.
Rogers was born on 27 January 1956, while Kidman and Holmes were born on 20 June 1967 and 18 December 1978 respectively. Not only were his wives born every 11 years apart, he also let them whey were each 33 years old. 
2. For better and for worse
Although Cruise has starred in several Oscar-winning films and has himself been nominated three times for Born on the Fourth Of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia, the A-lister has never won an Oscar. His penchant for action-packed flicks that don’t tend to deserve nodding will probably keep him out of the winner’s circle for the foreseeable future.
Cruise is the first actor to appear in a “Best Picture and Worst Picture” candidate in the same year. Although it is not so rare for an actor to win an Oscar as well as a Razzie Award, Cruise was the first actor to appear in the best movie (Rain Man) and the worst (Cocktail) in the same year in 1988. 
1. Queen Cruise
A raid is bad enough, but showing up in tow to collect his “Man of the Year” award from the Hasty Pudding Theatricals of Harvard University was not his finest moment either.
In 1994 Cruise, who had played a Harvard graduate in both The Firm and A Few Good Men, took to the stage in bright pink heels and a huge white bra with the red Harvard emblem on each breast. “That’s how you make people purple,” Cruise said, referring to the official school color.
Hasty pudding producer Catherine Zipf said she bought the heels for Cruise because she “read somewhere where Tom doesn’t like to share the spotlight with someone taller than him.” That’s pretty ironic, considering that each of his three wives was an inch or two taller than the little cruise.