1. We Could Be Watching The Latest ‘Tom Mapother’ Film
‘Cruise’ is actually Tom’s middle name, with his real last name being ‘Mapother’.
2. He Had An Abusive Father…
Cruise has described his father as an abusive one, “a bully coward”. He left his mum when he was young, so Tom took up local jobs (like mowing neighbours’ lawns) to help his mom with the bills.
3…And Was Bullied At School
Cruise was regularly bullied, and had to attend 15 different schools in 10 years.
4. He Could Have Been A Priest
Cruise didn’t always want to be an actor, in fact aged 14 he planned on becoming a Catholic Priest, attending a Seminary (basically a college where you study theology). It didn’t work out however as he got kicked out for stealing alcohol.
5. He Could Also Have Been A Wrestler
Cruise was a wrestler in high school and originally planned on going professional. However, a knee injury meant that he had to quit the wrestling team, and that’s when he took up drama classes and his interest in acting begun.
6. He Held A Number Of Regular Jobs…
Before he got his big break, Tom worked as a bus boy, porter and table cleaner.
7…And Claims Scientology Cured His Dyslexia
Yes, Cruise used to suffer from dyslexia, but says he was cured by Scientology.
8. He Dressed Up In A Bra And Heels To Accept An Award
In 1994, he was awarded man of the year by ‘Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club’, known for its productions that feature Harvard men in drag. Rising to the occasion, he accepted the award wearing a bra and heels.
9. He Auditioned For A New Wife
Cruise split up with Penelope Cruz in 2004 because she was unwilling to fully embrace Scientology. It is understood that he then allowed the organization to audition actresses to be his future spouse, all under the guise of ‘casting’ for a Mission: Impossible film.
10. He Doesn’t Like Psychologists
It has been reported that when Cruise was filming War of the Worlds he overheard Steven Spielberg praising a psychiatrist who had helped a family member, causing him to send a Scientology group to picket the psychiatrist’s office. He has also publicly criticized Brooke Shields for her documented use of antidepressants. This is all because Scientology states that psychologists are ‘antisocial enemies of the people’.
11. He Was A Box Office First
Cruise is the first actor to appear in five consecutive films that grossed more than $100 million in the US. These were A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire.
12. He Could End Scientology If He Wanted To
Tom Cruise is the main face of Scientology in the world today, and in early 2017, Leah Remini in an interview with Bill Maher stated that because of his high standing, he “has the power to end Scientology if he wanted to”.
13. He Could Have Been Iron Man…
Cruise was in talks to play the popular iron-clad Avenger, but can you imagine anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. in the role?
14…And He Has A Day Named After Him In Japan
Yes, in Japan the 10th of October is’ Tom Cruise Day’. This is mainly down to the large number of times he has visited the country.
1. His first role was in a West End musical
2. He went to the same college as Adele
3. He’s part Irish
4. He loves Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”
5. His first film generated serious Oscar buzz
6. Tom is the youngest actor to ever play Spider-Man
7. He found out he got the role from an Instagram post
8. He loves his dog Tess
9. His favorite Spider-Man prop was super expensive
10. His comedian dad wrote a book about him
11. Spider-Man: Homecomingwasn’t the first time Tom played Spider-Man
12. He’s been bullied before
13. He runs a charity
14. Tom and Zendaya had an epic lip sync battle
15. His favorite part of playing Spider-Man is too cute
David Bowie was born in London on January 8, 1947 as David Robert Jones. But as he readied to embark on his musical career as a teen, there was a problem: Davy Jones, the lead singer of The Monkees, was already a known quantity in the music industry, and the aspiring artist was afraid they might be confused. So David Jones changed his name to David Bowie.
In 1967, 14-year-old Sandra Dodd sent Bowie what would be his first fan letter from America, in which she asked him about his name. Bowie quipped: “In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I don’t have to tell you why I changed it. ‘Nobody’s going to make a monkey out of you’ said my manager.”
2. NO, HIS EYES WERE NOT TWO DIFFERENT COLORS.
While people often claim that Bowie had heterochromia, a genetic condition that results in having two different colored eyes, that is incorrect. Both of his eyes are blue; the ocular oddity that you do notice is what is known as aniscoria, or a permanently dilated pupil—which happened when Bowie was 15 years old and got into a fight with his friend, George Underwood, over a girl. “I was so aggrieved I walked over to him, basically, turned him around and went ‘whack’ without even thinking,” Underwood explained. (His fingernail sliced into Bowie’s eye.)
Fortunately, there were no hard feelings; the two later collaborated on an album as The King Bees and Underwood went on to design the album covers for some of Bowie’s most famous records, including The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
3. THAT WASN’T THE ONLY TIME BOWIE’S EYE TOOK A BEATING.
In 2004, while performing in Oslo, Norway, a “fan” threw a lollipop onto the stage, which somehow managed to strike Bowie in the eye—and get stuck. A member of his crew was able to remove it, and Bowie went on with the concert. Rebel rebel indeed.
4. HE WAS BOYHOOD FRIENDS WITH PETER FRAMPTON.
Despite Bowie being more than three years older than Peter Frampton, the two struck up a friendship as youngsters. Both attended Bromley Technical High School, where Frampton’s dad was Bowie’s art teacher. The two shared a unique bond over music, and remained close friends until Bowie’s death. “He really introduced me, along with George Underwood, to Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, people I wasn’t aware of at that age,” Frampton once said of his childhood friend. The two would collaborate a number of times over the years.
5. BOWIE AND ELTON JOHN WERE PALS AS TEENS, TOO.
Back in their teens—when Bowie was still known as David Jones and Elton John went by Reginald Kenneth Dwight—the two future rock icons became fast friends and would frequently get together to talk about music. But shortly after Bowie’s death, John admitted that they had a falling out and hadn’t talked much in about 40 years.
“David and I were not the best of friends towards the end,” John said. “We started out being really good friends. We used to hang out together with Marc Bolan, going to gay clubs, but I think we just drifted apart. He once called me ‘rock ’n’ roll’s token queen’ in an interview with Rolling Stone, which I thought was a bit snooty. He wasn’t my cup of tea. No; I wasn’t his cup of tea.”
6. AS A TEEN, BOWIE FOUNDED THE SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO LONG-HAIRED MEN.
In 1964, when he was just 17 years old, Bowie formed The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men, an organization aimed at protesting the treatment that he and other men with long hair received on the streets of London. He took the matter seriously, as you can see from the BBC interview above.
That BBC spot led to an interview with the London Evening News, where Bowie explained that the organization was “really for the protection of pop musicians and those who wear their hair long. Anyone who has the courage to wear their hair down to his shoulders has to go through hell. It’s time we were united and stood up for our curls.”
7. HIS FIRST HIT, “SPACE ODDITY,” WAS PERFECTLY TIMED.
On July 11, 1969, Bowie released the single “Space Oddity.” The timing could not have been more perfect. Nine days after its release, the BBC ran the song over its coverage of Apollo 11’s lunar landing. It would end up being his first big hit in the UK.
8. HIS BROTHER WAS A MAJOR INSPIRATION FOR HIS MUSIC.
In 1985, Bowie’s half-brother Terry Burns, who battled mental health issues throughout his life, escaped from the hospital where he had been admitted and killed himself. In Nicholas Pegg’s The Complete David Bowie, the writer revealed that Burns had quite an impact on Bowie’s writing. He was reportedly the inspiration for a number of his songs, including “Aladdin Sane,” “All the Madmen,” and “Jump They Say.”
9. BEING ZIGGY STARDUST LED HIM TO QUESTION HIS SANITY.
Though Bowie had many alter egos over the years, Ziggy Stardust was the most famous of them. From 1972 to 1973 he toured in character as the glam rock persona until he abruptly announced that he would be retiring Ziggy during a concert in 1973. “Not only is this the last show of the tour, but it’s the last show that we’ll ever do,” Bowie said of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
He later admitted that Ziggy “wouldn’t leave me alone for years. That was when it all started to go sour … My whole personality was affected. It became very dangerous. I really did have doubts about my sanity.”
10. FOR A TIME, HE FEARED A WIZARD MIGHT STEAL HIS URINE.
Four years after his Ziggy Stardust period, Bowie became the Thin White Duke. It was during this period that he struggled with both drug and emotional problems. In David Buckley’s book, Strange Fascination: David Bowie—The Definitive Story, the author wrote that by 1975, Bowie was “living a cocooned existence [in Los Angeles], disconnected from the real world.” He was apparently subsisting on a diet of peppers and milk, and exhibited some truly strange behaviors—like keeping his urine in his refrigerator so that “no other wizard could use it to enchant him.”
Ever since making his professional acting debut in the Australian drama Law of the Land nearly 25 years ago, and appearing as Wolverine for the first time in Bryan Singer’s X-Men (2000), Hugh Jackman has rightfully earned his title as “one of the nicest guys in Hollywood.”
Whether flexing his action muscles as Wolverine, getting emotional (and musical) in Les Misérables, or showing off his dance moves in The Greatest Showman, Jackman can seemingly do it all.
In celebration of the Oscar nominee’s 50th birthday, here are 10 things you might not have known about Hugh Jackman.
1. RUSSELL CROWE WAS THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY WOLVERINE.
After all these years, it’s hard to imagine Wolverine as anyone other than Hugh Jackman. However, it’s all thanks to Russell Crowe—who was actually the first choice for the role—that Jackman got the role.
Crowe instead suggested that his friend, a then-unknown Australian actor named Hugh Jackman, take his place. Despite the recommendation, Dougray Scott was selected to play Wolverine, but due to last-minute scheduling conflicts with his role in Mission: Impossible 2, Scott was forced to drop out. Finally, Jackman was given the role—and the rest is history. (Looks like the third time really is the charm.)
2. JACKMAN CREATED A FOUNDATION TO HELP FARMERS.
The Laughing Man Foundation“supports coffee farming communities by investing in programs that clear the way to health, growth, and success for coffee farmers and their families.” The Foundation was started by Jackman after he met an Ethiopian coffee farmer named Dukale his family. The meeting inspired Jackman to create Laughing Man Coffee and The Laughing Man Foundation to support families like Dukale’s.
3. HE MET HIS WIFE ON THE SET OF HIS FIRST MAJOR ACTING JOB.
Jackman’s first real TV break was in 1995 on a one-season, 10-episode prison drama called Correlli. In the series, Jackman played an inmate named Kevin Jones, who had an ongoing flirtation and romance with his psychologist, played by his now-wife, Deborra-Lee Furness. Jackman and Furness’s romance blossomed both on and off-screen, and the two tied the knot one year later. They have been married ever since, and have two children together.
4. JACKMAN’S MOTHER LEFT HIS FAMILY AT AN EARLY AGE.
Although Jackman was born in Australia, his parents are natives of England. Jackman is the youngest of five children, and when he was eight years old, his mother left his family and moved back to England, leaving his father to raise him and his siblings alone.
Five years later, Jackman’s father went to England in the hopes of reconciling with his wife. “”Dad went off to England to bring her back, but by this point she was married to someone else, with a kid,” Jackman told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was really complicated. So when Dad arrived back—not three weeks later, as planned, but five days later—I just knew. I was old enough to go, ‘This is not happening.'”
Jackman has admitted that he used the anger he felt about that abandonment, especially how strongly he felt it as a teenager, to help him play Wolverine.
5. HE DREAMED OF BEING A JOURNALIST.
Jackman attended the University of Technology in Sydney, where he studied communications in the hopes of becoming a journalist. Back then it was his goal to become an international freelance journalist. However, by the time Jackman’s senior year rolled around, he found he was a few credits short. He added a drama class to his schedule, and we think you can guess what happened next.
6. HE PLAYS SEVERAL INSTRUMENTS AND PRACTICES MEDITATION AND YOGA TO RELAX.
Though it’s probably not surprising given his obvious musical talent, Jackman plays three instruments: the piano, the guitar, and the violin. Additionally, given how stressful life in the spotlight can be, Jackman says he has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for nearly 30 years now. Jackman’s Kate and Leopold co-star, Meg Ryan, turned him on to yoga, another source of relaxation for the actor.
7. HE’D LOVE FOR TOM HARDY TO BE HIS WOLVERINE SUCCESSOR.
In 2015, MTV UK asked Jackman who he’d like to replace him for the role of Wolverine if there were to be a reimagined, younger version of the character. Though Jackman joked about not wanting to give the producers any ideas to replace him so easily, without skipping a beat, he said Tom Hardywould be his pick.
8. JACKMAN HOLDS A SUPERHERO WORLD RECORD.
As of 2016, Jackman has held the record for playing the same superhero the most times in a live-action film franchise, as he was the only character/actor to appear in all seven chapters of the X-Men series.
9. HE HAS BEEN A FAN OF MUSICALS SINCE HE WAS A KID.
Jackman’s love of musical theater started blossoming when he was just 10 years old. He saw a high school performance of Man of La Mancha, which started it all. Since then, he has had major roles in musical films including Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman.
10. HE HAS A MAN CRUSH ON GEORGE CLOONEY.
1. James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931.
2. He was only 24 years old when he died in a car accident in 1955.
3. James Dean’s parents were of mostly English ancestry, with smaller amounts of Scottish, German, Irish and Welsh.
4. His mother enrolled him in tap dance lessons at the age of three, and she also taught him to play the violin.
5. Dean was very close to his mother, and she was the only person capable of understanding him. She died of cancer when he was 9 years old.
6. After his mother died, he was sent to Indiana to live on his aunt and uncle’s farm.
7. He rarely talked to his father.
8. Dean’s performance in school was exceptional, and he was a popular student.
9. He played baseball and basketball in his early days.
10. Dean’s first television appearance was in a Pepsi Cola television commercial.
11. He quit college to act full-time.
12. In New York City, Dean worked as a stunt tester for the game show Beat The Clock, but was fired for performing the tasks too quickly.
13. For a time, Dean dated Liz Sheridan, an actor who later become well-known for her role as Helen Seinfeld, Jerry’s mother on “Seinfeld” .
15. One of Dean’s favorite instruments to play was the bongo drums.
16. He had a difficult time reading.
17. When he wasn’t acting or racing cars, Dean liked to practice magic tricks.
18. Dean was extremely near-sighted and could barely see without his glasses.
19. Dean died less than one month before the release of his most well-known and iconic film “Rebel Without a Cause”.
20. He got a speeding ticket two hours before his death.
21. He was the first actor to ever get a posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history. He was nominated for Best Actor for his role in “East of Eden”.
22. He later received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in “Giant”.
Although he never fired a bullet in combat or rescued a damsel in distress, John Wayne is remembered as a hero, the kind of guy your grandfather looked up to. Wayne had a vast filmography, appearing in nearly 250 movies. Some of his best roles were taken on when he was in his late sixties. Below are 10 facts about an American icon, from his brush with the KGB to rumors about his colon.
10Stalin Ordered His Death
Joseph Stalin was quite the film buff and found himself outraged at the anti-communist sentiments Wayne expressed in the late 1940s. Reportedly, he ordered a hit on the movie star, dispatching two KGB assassins in 1951. But the FBI were wise to the plot and intercepted the two hit men. The agency also allegedly foiled other plots to kill Wayne, including a sniper attack when he visited Vietnam in 1966.
As evidence that Stalin was responsible, we have, first, the word of an unnamed Soviet source. But we also have the word of Stalin’s successor, Premier Nikita Khrushchev. When Khrushchev met John Wayne in 1958, he apologized for the incident, telling him, “That was the decision of Stalin in his last mad years. I rescinded the order.”
Wayne’s greatest film successes came as a Wild West lawman. His most inappropriately cast role, on the other hand, was surely the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan in the 1956 film The Conqueror. The movie was excruciatingly unwatchable on its own, and its ugly legacy makes it even worse.
Much of the film was shot on location in Utah, downwind of Nevada’s nuclear test sites. In the years that followed, nearly half of the people on set were diagnosed with cancer, including two of Wayne’s own sons. John himself battled cancer in his later years (he coined the term “The Big C”). In 1964, pulmonary cancer cost him four ribs and his entire left lung. He died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, aged 72.
Wayne dismissed the “Curse of The Conqueror.” He believed his cancer was a consequence of smoking. This makes perfect sense; he had a six-packs-a day-habit.
In 1985, Wayne’s estate allowed the use of his name for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, which advocates various programs to fight the disease.
8Marion And The Duke
John was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907. His parents had a strange affinity for the name “Robert,” and they decided to squirrel it away for the next child, so Marion’s middle name was changed to Michael.
When Marion roamed the neighborhood, he never went anywhere without his Airedale terrier Duke at his side. The two were such constant companions that local firefighters began calling the boy “Little Duke.” The nickname stuck for life. He certainly preferred it to the feminine “Marion.” (Another famous Marion who hides behind a nickname is Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight).
When the man began working in film, studio bigwigs were no more impressed with his name than he was. He appeared as “Duke Morrison” in 1929’s Words and Music, and in 1930, director Raoul Walsh and Fox Studios executive Winfield Sheehan started billing him as “John Wayne.” The young actor had no say in the matter, and he was largely ambivalent about the name. He preferred to go by “Duke” with those in his inner circle.
John Wayne stood at 193 centimeters (6’4″). That’s tall today, and for a man born over 100 years ago, it was massive. Young Marion easily scored a football scholarship to the University of Southern California, playing as an offensive tackle. Then, as now, college athletes weren’t paid, and Coach Howard Jones found him a job working for Fox Studios as a laborer and prop man.
While out body surfing with a friend on Balboa Beach just before the start of his junior year, Marion got caught up in a huge wave and smashed against the sand, badly injuring his shoulder. He tried to continue football, but he was too hurt to play well. Coach Jones moved him down on the roster and denied him his meals. Hungry and strapped for cash, the young man quit football and devoted all his time to Fox Studios.
Many of John Wayne’s major roles showed him as a war hero, but he never actually served in the military. Born in 1907, he was too young to participate in World War I. By the time the US entered World War II, he was 34 years old and just beginning to become famous.
He also had health issues, including a bad back (from performing his own stunts), chronic ear infections, and the torn shoulder muscle that derailed his football career. Had he actually undergone a physical, he might have been classified as 4-F, or unacceptable for military service. Instead, his studio successfully applied for him to receive a 3-A deferment (“hardship to dependents”) because he had a family.
Given his fame, Wayne would likely have been granted a ceremonial role if he had enlisted. Yet he likely he did more for the war effort by appearing in films that glamorized the military. He also applied to work for the OSS during the war, and he spent months doing USO appearances for the troops.
One of Wayne’s favorite pastimes was playing chess. He was a skilled player but was not beyond using duplicitous means if he could get away with it.
While shooting 1970’s Chisum, he became friendly with Christopher Mitchum, the son of Hollywood legend Robert Mitchum. John invited Christopher to play chess, and the young man was flabbergasted to find Wayne was cheating, moving two pieces simultaneously while using his big hands to block Chris’s view.
At first, Christopher didn’t know what to do, and he complained to veteran actor Ed Faulkner, who’d worked with Wayne on several projects. Ed advised Christopher to call John out on it.
The next game, John was up to his old tricks, and Christopher told him, “Excuse me, Duke, but you’re cheating.” Wayne was unperturbed, responding, “Well, I was wondering when you were going to say something. Set ’em up. We’ll play again.”
4Wayne’s Boxer Relative
American boxer Tommy Morrison briefly held the WBO and ICB heavyweight championship titles. He portrayed mulleted Tommy “The Machine” Gunn, the main antagonist, in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky V. He also happened to be John Wayne’s grandnephew, and he went by the nickname “The Duke.”
While Morrison had some success in the ring, he seemed almost doomed from the start. His father was an abusive alcoholic, and his mother had gone on trial for murder. His older brother Tim did 15 years in prison on a rape conviction. In 1996, Morrison announced that he’d contracted HIV due to a “permissive, fast, and reckless lifestyle.”
In the years that followed, he dropped out of boxing and had frequent brushes with the law. He also went through a survivalist phase in which he slept in a cave, convinced the world would soon end. In 2006, he emerged to say that the original HIV tests had actually been false positives, and he was free of the disease. He tested negative in 2007, likely due to tampering with blood samples. In 2011, Quebec required him to take a supervised blood test if he wanted to box in the province, and he refused.
Morrison in fact still had HIV, and he did very little to fight his infection. HIV-positive Magic Johnson reached out to him, but he didn’t respond. He only spent a month taking the AZT antiviral drug. Morrison withered away and died of AIDS-related complications in 2013 at age 44 after spending over a year bedridden.
Many stuntmen in Western films were former rodeo workers. The most legendary of them all was no doubt Yakima Canutt, a rodeo world champion. Canutt worked closely with John Wayne over the years, and perhaps their greatest innovations were in creating methods to produce exciting, realistic fight scenes. Fights in early films had been noticeably lame, generally no more than stiff, one-punch knockouts.
But John Wayne owes an even deeper debt of gratitude to Canutt. Many of his signature mannerisms—the squinting, the towering saunter, the drawling, deliberate speech pattern—were copied directly from Yakima.
Canutt suffered innumerable injuries, including broken ribs and legs. A horse fell on top of him, severing his intestines, and a bull’s horn ripped his face open. Yet despite all that, he died of natural causes, aged 89.
John Wayne would seem the last person to adopt the typical Hollywood affectation over appearance. You would have never seen him at the plastic surgeon trying to preserve his youth with Botox. But after his hair began thinning in the 1940s, he did begin wearing a wig for movies and certain public appearances, probably at the request of the studio. Yet he made no secret that he was bald; when hanging out with family and friends, he would always go au naturel, and he was not shy about being filmed or photographed without his hairpiece.
In 1974, he appeared at Harvard University, where he unflinchingly stood up to a fusillade of questioning from the student body. Though pushing 70, he had a ball with the kids. One student asked, “Where did you get that phony toupee?” He replied, “It’s not phony. It’s real hair. Of course, it’s not mine, but it’s real.”
Perhaps the most laughably disturbing rumor about John Wayne was that, upon his death, an autopsy found several pounds (40, say some sources) of undigested red meat lodged in his digestive tract.
The story checks all the boxes of a tantalizing urban legend—a famous personality, death, dietary excess, bowel movements (or lack thereof). However, it can be immediately dismissed without even considering the biological impossibilities. John Wayne was 72 years old when he died and had been ravaged by cancer for a long time. There was little doubt that he’d succumbed to natural causes, so he didn’t receive an autopsy.
Unfortunately, this story could be applied to Elvis Presley, who died at the young age of 42. Elvis had a congenital twist in his colon and a history of drug and laxative abuse. When he died, he had a great deal of chalky feces lodged in his colon.