On this day in 1983, the comedy Risky Business, starring Tom Cruise in a breakout performance, opens in U.S. theaters. In the film, Cruise played Joel Goodsen, a suburban Chicago teen who has a series of misadventures when his parents go out of town and leave him home alone. Written and directed by Paul Brickman, Risky Business featured a now-famous scene in which Cruise’s character dances around his house in a dress shirt and underwear to the accompaniment of Bob Seeger’s hit song “Old Time Rock and Roll.” The movie poster for Risky Business, which showed Cruise looking over a pair of black Ray-Ban sunglasses and a woman reclining on the hood of a Porsche, also became iconic. Following the success of Risky Business, Cruise went on to appear in a long list of hit films and emerge as one of Hollywood’s A-list actors.
Thomas Mapother Cruise IV was born July 3, 1962, in Syracuse, New York, and made his feature film debut at age 18 in Endless Love (1981). After first earning notice for Risky Business, Cruise achieved international fame with his role as fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in 1986’s Top Gun. He received Oscar nominations for his performances in Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Jerry Maguire (1996) and Magnolia (1999). Other notable credits include The Color of Money (1986) with Paul Newman, Rain Man (1988) with Dustin Hoffman, A Few Good Men (1992) with Jack Nicholson, The Firm (1993) and Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994). Cruise starred as the superspy Ethan Hunt in 1996’s blockbuster hit Mission: Impossible, as well as its sequels in 2000 and 2006. He acted in three films with the Australian actress Nicole Kidman, to whom he was married from 1990 to 2001: Days of Thunder (1990), Far and Away (1992) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999), the final film of the legendary director Stanley Kubrick. Other Cruise movies include Minority Report (2002) and War of the Worlds (2005), both of which were directed by Steven Spielberg.
Throughout Cruise’s career, his personal life, including his 2006 marriage to the actress Katie Holmes and his impassioned advocacy of Scientology, has been the subject of intense media scrutiny. In May 2008, Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show for a retrospective of his 25 years in film, starting with his breakout in Risky Business.