It may be hard to believe that one of the world's most famous actors was once just as average as everyone else, but such was the case with Tom Cruise. Tom was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, on July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York. He was the third of four children, and the only son of Mary Lee and Thomas Mapother. Tom's father, an electrical engineer, was constantly looking for work during Tom's childhood. As a result, Tom and the rest of his family never had the opportunity to settle down in one place. Their constant moving around was hard on the family, and especially hard on Tom.
Not long after settling into Glen Ridge, NJ, Tom's parents divorced. Tom's mother was given custody of the children, and the tight economic situation became even tighter for the family. With no older brothers, Tom was now the oldest man in the house, although still only a 12-year-old boy. In addition to problems at home, being dyslexic was yet another obstacle standing in the way of Tom's education. Not excelling in school, Tom entered a seminary for the priesthood at the age of 14. Tom left not long afterwards, and enrolled in Glen Ridge High School.
Tom continued to struggle academically during his high school years. Before ever seriously considering acting in high school, Tom joined the wrestling team there. However, after suffering a serious injury he decided to do something else. That something else was acting. Tom would act in two high school musicals before graduating from high school in 1980.
For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_cruise