One of the world's highest-grossing box office film stars of all time.
Winner of a string of awards including an Honorary Palme d'Or, three Golden Globe Awards plus nominations for three Academy Awards and a British Academy Film Award.
Blame the Franciscans. They threw him out when he was studying to become a priest
Before he wanted to become a Hollywood super star, Tom Cruise wanted to be a priest. A Franciscan.
When he was a teenager, Cruise, then known as Tommy Mapother, spent two-years at St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio in the early 1980s.
He decided to join after he had read an article by the famous American Franciscan priest, Father Ric Schneider, in the New York Daily News.
Father Ric Schneider
“Tom was instantly hooked,” Father Schneider recalled.
One of his friends in the seminary, Shane Dempler, said, “He had a very strong Catholic faith. We went to Mass, spent time in the chapel and enjoyed hearing stories from the priests. We thought the priests had a great lifestyle and we were really interested in priesthood.
"In sport and acting, Tom really came out of his shell. They were competitions, you see, and if it were competitive, he'd be on it. Otherwise he'd just survey the scene.
Father Aubert Grieser
"We had a great drama teacher in Father Aubert Grieser. He taught us how to speak in public. We used to get into trouble, as Aubert would tell us not to spit when we were speaking and we'd spit on purpose. It'd cost us 50 cents."
Priests at the seminary said Cruise chose to leave of his own accord when his family moved from Louisville, Ky., to New Jersey.
But Dempler says, Not so.
They were asked to leave because they were caught stealing alcohol from the seminary kitchens. He threw bottles out of an upstairs window to Cruise, who was waiting below.
"Most broke, but we managed to get a couple and hide them in the nearby woods," Dempler said. "The priests didn’t realize until some of the other boys found out about our plan and snuck into the woods and got drunk. They were caught staggering down the road and forced to confess. The school wrote a letter to our parents saying they liked us but would prefer if we didn’t return. So we weren’t kicked out — just preferred not to go."
A few years after Tommy Mapother, now Tom Cruise, left the seminary, he appeared in the movie, Taps, which kick-started his successful Hollywood career.
While Cruise was a devout Catholic when he was young, these days he is more known for being a member of the Church of Scientology.
He has even campaigned for Scientology to be recognized as a religion in Europe.
Maybe we should blame that on the Franciscans as well.