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Tom Cruise is an American actor and producer who made his film debut with a minor role in the 1981 romantic drama Endless Love. His breakthrough role was in the coming-of-age comedy Risky Business (1983), which garnered Cruise his first nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. In 1986, Cruise played a fighter pilot in the Tony Scott-directed action drama Top Gun (the highest-grossing film that year), and also appeared with Paul Newman in the Martin Scorsese-directed drama The Color of Money. Two years later he starred with Dustin Hoffman in the Academy Award for Best Picture-winning drama Rain Man (1988), and also appeared in the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture-winning romantic drama Cocktail (1988). In doing so Cruise became the first and only person as of 2014 to star in a Best Picture Oscar winner and a Worst Picture Razzie winner in the same year. His next role was as anti-war activist Ron Kovic in the film adaptation of Kovic's memoir of the same name, Born on the Fourth of July (1989), for which he received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. In 1992, he starred opposite Jack Nicholson in the legal drama A Few Good Men, an adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name also written by Aaron Sorkin. Cruise next appeared in The Firm (1993), a film adaptation of the John Grisham legal thriller of the same name, and in the same year also made his directorial debut by directing an episode of the anthology television series Fallen Angels. Cruise starred as spy Ethan Hunt in the action film Mission: Impossible (1996), the first project of his production company Cruise/Wagner Productions, which he had co-founded with Paula Wagner in 1993. As of 2018, Cruise has appeared in five more films in the Mission: Impossible franchise: Mission: Impossible 2 (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), and Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).

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