The last real movie star: How Tom Cruise has endured despite gaffe-prone lapses

The Hollywood legend, who turns 60 next month, has come blasting back with a sequel to the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun – but remains an enigma even after four decades in the business

Tom Cruise, who turns 60 next month, remains probably the world’s most bankable actor. Illustration: Peter Hanan

In brief

Name and role: Tom Cruise, actor

Age: 59

Appearance: tiny, toothy, trim

Newsworthiness: Top Gun: Maverick, the belated sequel to the 1986 action film that made his name, has been hailed as the cross-demographic saviour of the beleaguered film industry

In depth:

A month from now, to everyone’s amazement, Tom Cruise will turn 60. His famous face might have acquired a discrete crease or two and his still-thick hair appears artificially obsidian but ...