The planes were supposed to be the stars of Top Gun; the U.S. Navy loaned Paramount several F-14 fighter jets, and director Tony Scott got to bring his cameras on board the USS Enterprise. But even weighed down with a cheesy plot, it was Cruise — cooler than ever in his Ray-Ban 3025 sunglasses and green jump suit — who packed in audiences. Well, him and his steamy love scene with costar Kelly McGillis, tussling to the tune of “Take My Breath Away” by the group Berlin (whatever happened to them?) — Courtesy Everett Collection
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.