- 11:40 AM, Feb 20
If only Tom Cruise had never experienced a knee injury, he would probably have become a professional wrestler instead of being a Hollywood actor. Whether it was a blessing in disguise or not, the incident surely has served as a major turning point in his life. It made him chose to undergo a different path, thus emerged as one of the most celebrated artists in the world. Born on July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York, he is the third child as well as the only son of Thomas Cruise Maphoter III and Mary Lee Pfeiffer. Together with his three sisters, Lee Anne, Marian, and Cass Mapother, Tom spent his early life residing in various locations, partly due to his father's occupation as an electrical engineer. The family had wandered through Ottawa; Louisville, Kentucky; and Wayne, New Jersey before they finally settled in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. By this time, his parents had already divorced and Mary Lee remarried a man named Joseph South.
Having attended a dozen of different schools, Tom often encountered difficulties in reading text, thus came to a realization that he had a learning disorder called dyslexia. He then focused his attention on sports during his study at Glen Ridge High School. It was in this period that he got the injury which forced him to leave the school's wrestling team. Furthermore, it prevented him to pursue any career in sports. Knowing this, he started to look for another field which he could fit in. It appeared that acting was a decent choice, so he decided to take a further look by joining the school's stage production. Acting apparently turned out to satisfy his need to compete and gain attention while also helped him to cope with his dyslexia as its memorization aspect improved his concentration and motivational skills. Having enjoyed his performance in the student's musical project of "Guys and Dolls," he decided to establish a professional acting career.
Being determined to accomplish his dream, Tom went to New York after his high school graduation in 1980. This was the time when he shortened his given name, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, to a more stylish name of Tom Cruise. In order to support his life, he worked intensely as a bus boy, a porter and a table-cleaner. He afterwards used some of the money to learn drama at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse, being taught by