Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , widely known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won three Golden Globe Awards for the same movies: Born on the Fourth of July , Jerry Maguire , Magnolia . He started his career with the movie Endless Love. Cruise's first appearance in a major film was in 1981's Taps. His first leading role was in the film Risky Business, released in August 1983. Cruise played the role of a heroic naval pilot in the popular and successful 1986 film Top Gun, and also secret agent Ethan Hunt in the series of Mission: Impossible action films.