Thomas Cruise Mapother IV better known by his screen name Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Forbes magazine ranked him as the world's most powerful celebrity in 2006.
He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won three Golden Globe Awards. His first leading role was the 1983 film Risky Business, which has been described as "A Generation-X classic, and a career-maker" for the actor.
After playing the role of a heroic naval pilot in the popular and financially successful 1986 film Top Gun, Cruise continued in this vein, playing a secret agent in a series of Mission: Impossible action films in the 1990s and 2000s.
In addition to these heroic roles, he also played other roles, such as the misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999) and a cool and calculating sociopathic hitman in the Michael Mann crime-thriller film Collateral (2004).
In 2005, Economist Edward Jay Epstein argued that Cruise is one of the few producers (the others being George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer) who are able to guarantee the success of a billion-dollar movie franchise.
Since 2005, Cruise and Paula Wagner have been in charge of the United Artists film studio, with Cruise as producer and star and Wagner as the chief executive.