Cruise wasn't the star of Taps — Timothy Hutton and George C. Scott were the headliners. But moviegoers couldn't keep their eyes off the newcomer as the hotheaded young military school cadet whose itchy trigger finger ignites the final shootout. It would be one of the few times Cruise died before the end credits. — Twentieth Century Fox/Photofest
En Español | As he turns 50 on July 3, Tom Cruise may be facing a third divorce, but remains squarely at the top of an unparalleled career. Time and again Cruise has challenged himself with ambitious new parts. His screen roles have often corresponded to personal landmarks in one of the world’s most publicly perused lives. Click through the images above to see him in his most memorable moments.