What All Of Tom Cruise's Exes Have Said About Him

One of the hottest actors of the '80s, audiences first discovered Tom Cruise in smaller roles for films like "Taps" and "Losing It." He portrayed a gang member in "The Outsiders" among other heartthrobs from the decade like Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez. Yet, it was his leading role in the 1983 film "Risky Business" that turned Cruise into a star. From that point on, there was no stopping Cruise who became an absolute legend in Hollywood, starring in films like "Rain Man," "Top Gun," and "Jerry Maguire," which earned him his second Oscar nomination. Though he appeared in other dramatic roles, Cruise switched to being a full-on action star like in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise.

His sustained popularity also means that Cruise can demand astronomical film deals. He earned $13 million upfront for his starring role in "Top Gun: Maverick," in addition to bonuses likely in the millions for the film's box office success (via Variety). Along with this status among the Hollywood elite for decades came a handful of relationships. The actor has been linked up with leading ladies, even tying the knot a few times. After becoming eligible, Cruise wasn't always looking for the next perfect match. He told Extra in 2014 that looking for love was a low priority compared to his busy work in movies. Still, after parting ways with Cruise, all of his exes had a thing or two to say about what it was like to date the star.

Melissa Gilbert was Tom Cruise's first celebrity girlfriend

Before he was Tom Cruise, the world famous movie star, he was a hopeful young actor from Syracuse named Thomas Mapother IV. Cruise was his middle name and his agent suggested that Tom Cruise had a better sound to it (via People). As a new arrival in New York, Cruise started dating fellow actor Melissa Gilbert, who was best known for her role as the narrator, little Laura Ingalls Wilder on the '70s TV series "Little House on the Prairie." The two linked up when Gilbert was 16 years old. She was born in 1964, which makes Cruise two years older than her. 

Reflecting back on the relationship, Gilbert said she was together with Cruise before he even changed his last name. At the time, Cruise "was a struggling, starving actor," Gilbert explained on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen." As the breadwinner in the relationship, Gilbert said, "I actually bought him his first set of dishes." While he may have endured difficulties landing parts, Cruise seemed to be competent in intimacy. "He was a good kisser," Gilbert recalled, while also clarifying, "I did not have sex with him." She explained about Cruise, "we made out but honestly there was no sex."

Heather Locklear thought Tom Cruise was a bit odd

Prior to his big breakout movies, Tom Cruise had few entertainment credits to his name, but he lived in New York with dreams of becoming a star. Similarly, young actor Heather Locklear was starting to make a name for herself in the TV series "Dynasty," which debuted in 1981. At least one time, Cruise and Locklear went on a date together, although Locklear claimed it wasn't really a date, in her opinion. 

As aspiring young actors, the two met while auditioning together for the same project. According to Locklear, Cruise was still relatively new to the city and didn't have many close friends. So, she and Cruise went out dancing together one night, she explained on "Chelsea Lately." While at the club, Locklear claimed that Cruise started imitating the dance moves from his iconic scene in "Risky Business," even doing splits. Locklear didn't know whether to join him in the dance moves or sit back and watch. She opted to sit down and let Cruise continue dancing on his own. When the host asked Locklear if the night at the club with Cruise was their last date together, the actor coyishly replied, "I think so."

Not long after, Locklear linked up with lead singer Tommy Lee from the '80s hair metal band Mötley Crüe. After six months of dating, the two married in 1986, People reported.

Tom Cruise was one of several guys into Rebecca De Mornay

Tom Cruise's breakout role in "Risky Business" included his iconic scene of dancing around the house in socks and his underwear while lip-syncing to Bob Seger's classic song "Old Time Rock & Roll." In the film, he becomes infatuated with a sex worker Lana, played by Rebecca De Mornay, per Roger Ebert. As a 19-year-old, it was De Mornay's very first acting role and helped kick start her career as well, the Los Angeles Times reported. Though audiences watched the strong chemistry between Cruise and De Mornay on screen, the real life relationship of the two actors was much trickier. "I thought he was very annoying when we first started. He was extremely annoying but he came to grow on me," De Mornay revealed to Celebrity Page.

Actor Curtis Armstrong recalled that De Mornay was actually dating Harry Dean Stanton during production, and he would often swing by the set. Armstrong claimed that Cruise was involved in various flings around this time but that he appeared to be infatuated with De Mornay. Eventually, the two connected. "It's no secret that Tom engaged in an intense affair during the shooting with De Mornay," Armstrong wrote in his memoir "Revenge of the Nerd" (via The Hollywood Reporter). This turned into more than just a short term fling and in the end, Cruise and De Mornay were together for about two and a half years, she told Celebrity Page.

Patti Scialfa hasn't always been with The Boss

In the early '80s, a romance was starting to bloom between two musicians, Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen. The two knew each other from several nights at the famous Jersey Shore music venue the Stone Pony. Scialfa tried out and then became a permanent member of Springsteen's backing group the E Street Band. In his personal life, Springsteen married actor Julianne Phillips in 1985, per The Oregonian. Meanwhile, Scialfa dated several other musicians on the East coast. "Patti was hardly a nun before she met Bruce," a source told People. That same friend said about Scialfa's taste in men, "she doesn't go out with accountants." Among her most famous boyfriends during these years was Tom Cruise. Reportedly, she and Cruise dated for a short time in 1985. That same year, Cruise starred in Ridley Scott's fantasy genre film "Legend," Den of Geek recapped.

Though the relationship didn't work out with Cruise, Scialfa found true love after all. Allegedly, she had her eye on Springsteen for a long time, and after Cruise, this dream started to become a reality. "I know Patti's said to a number of people that getting Bruce has been her goal," a source said. During Springsteen's 1988 tour in support of his album "Tunnel of Love," he and Scialfa began to fall in love and the couple wed in 1991. The musicians went on to have three children together and celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2021.

The political tie between Cher and Tom Cruise

Singing legend Cher first became a star in the '60s for her duet "I Got You Babe" with Sonny Bono. Rolling into the '70s, the husband and wife duo starred in the TV series "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" until Cher filed for divorce. Cher went on to become a Broadway star starting in 1982 and started acting, The Hollywood Reporter summarized. 

After Bono, Cher was linked with several guys throughout her career, including Tom Cruise. The two first met in 1985 thanks to Sean Penn, Cruise's co-star from the film "Taps." Cruise attended Penn's wedding to Madonna and met Cher, who is 22 years older than him. "Then a bunch of people who were dyslexic were invited to the White House, and Tom and I are both dyslexic," Cher recalled to the Daily Mail. "We didn't go out till way later, but there definitely was a connection there," Cher said about crossing paths with Cruise.

The two later dated and Cher revealed to Oprah that she once lived in Cruise's apartment, via The Cut. There were no hard feelings after the breakup and Cher said she remained friends with Cruise. "Though I don't get what he does, that whole Scientology thing. I can't understand it," she admitted to the Daily Mail. Looking back, she even claimed that Cruise was in the top five on her list of all-time best lovers during an interview with Andy Cohen.

Mimi Rogers changed Tom Cruise's mind

As a young actor in entertainment, Mimi Rogers had various roles throughout the '80s. By this time, Cruise was already a megastar and Rogers was about to be catapulted into the celebrity lifestyle. A few years before, a mutual friend introduced Cruise to Rogers at a dinner party after thinking the two single actors would be a perfect fit for each other. The friend was spot on. "You know how some people just come together, and that's it? That's how it was for us. I just sorta was serious," Rogers told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The two began dating when Cruise was filming "The Color of Money" and as Rogers recalled, Cruise was famous but not yet a megastar. After seeing "Top Gun," she had a feeling Cruise would soon become extremely famous. Cruise admitted to Rolling Stone that he was dating Rogers but said he wasn't sure about taking their relationship to the next level. "I don't know if I could get married. Right now, in my present state of mind, I don't believe so," he said.

His opinion quickly changed because Cruise and Rogers were married in 1987 during a ceremony held in upstate New York. According to Entertainment Weekly, actor Emilio Estevez was Cruise's best man. The wedding was so private that even Cruise's publicist had no idea. Prior to the nuptials both Cruise and Rogers referred to their wedding as "The Project."

Mimi Rogers had a mostly low key life with Tom Cruise

Mimi Rogers said that she loved the safety and security from her marriage to Tom Cruise. Even more, she said it was possible to live a mostly normal life despite their celebrity status. "We go to the movies, we go out to dinner, and we never, never have a problem," Rogers told the Chicago Tribune. ”We're not real provocative," she added. A few years after tying the knot, the two divorced in 1990.

Completely separating from the relationship, Rogers talked with Playboy and dished on what it was like to be with Cruise, especially in the bedroom. "Tom was seriously thinking of becoming a monk ... he thought he had to be celibate to maintain the purity of his instrument," she said, via Entertainment Weekly. She also hinted that she was sexually unsatisfied with Cruise. One of the hardest parts of the relationship with Cruise was her age difference with the actor — she is six years older. While this age gap is not even close to some more extreme examples in entertainment, Rogers said the tabloids were relentless in bringing up the difference, she told The Telegraph.

A lasting outcome from their marriage is Cruise's religion. Rogers had previously been married to Scientologist Jim Rogers, per Entertainment Weekly. When Cruise and Rogers began dating, she introduced him to Scientology, according to The Daily Beast. Ironically, Cruise continued with the religion after the divorce while Rogers stopped practicing.

Nicole Kidman's white hot connection with Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise showed after his divorce from Mimi Rogers that he had no issues in finding love again. During production of the 1990 film "Days of Thunder," Cruise first met Australian actor Nicole Kidman. The romantic connection was intense and the two held a wedding ceremony in Telluride, Colorado, on Christmas Eve later that year. Cruise and Kidman jumped right back to work and continued to appear in projects together, now as a real life husband and wife. Their first movie as newlyweds was "Far and Away" by childhood actor-turned-director Ron Howard. Reportedly, Howard was concerned at first that Kidman and Cruise wouldn't want to work together so soon after filming "Days of Thunder." The film's producer then informed Howard that Cruise and Kidman were already engaged, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Explaining why she fell so hard for Cruise, Kidman told Vanity Fair, "He basically swept me off my feet. I fell madly, passionately in love." Adding about the relationship, "I was consumed by it, willingly. And I was desperate to have a baby with him. I didn't care if we were married," she said. After getting married, Kidman and Cruise quickly started a family by adopting daughter Isabella in 1993 and their son Connor two years later. Kidman admitted it was difficult with the press attention, "but it's also deeply romantic, because it feels like there's only the two of you and you're in it together," she shared.

The surprising end of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise

Famous director Stanley Kubrick created his final film "Eyes Wide Shut" with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise as the leads. It would also turn out to be the last movie with Kidman and Cruise as husband and wife. After ten years of marriage, the couple divorced in 2001. Upon reflection, Kidman explained to Vanity Fair that their level of fame meant that they could often only rely on the other person. Kidman claimed she was completely caught by surprise when Cruise wanted to end the relationship. When asked if she knew the reason Cruise decided to split, Kidman revealed, "I'm starting to understand now. At the time I didn't." 

After she finished filming "Moulin Rouge," director Baz Luhrmann remembered getting a call with the news from Kidman who "was genuinely devastated and shocked." The actor later confirmed this in an interview with DuJour. "It took me a very long time to heal. It was a shock to the system," she said about the divorce (via E! News). Kidman also had some regrets about the start to her relationship with Cruise, calling herself "impulsive and naive."

Scientology also blacklisted Kidman after the separation and labeled her a Suppressive Person to the church, per Vanity Fair. She was 33 years old at the time of the divorce, strangely enough the exact same age that Cruise divorced Mimi Rogers, according to Today.

Penélope Cruz was grateful for the support from Tom Cruise

Following the success of "Jerry Maguire," Cameron Crowe's film starring Tom Cruise, the director and actor reunited for their next film "Vanilla Sky." In the story, Cruise's character is connected with two women played by Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz. While Cruz was the object of Cruise's desires on screen, this infatuation then continued off set. The two stars with the same last name (just spelled differently) began to date and made their first public appearance together at the premiere of her film "Captain Corelli's Mandolin." At the event, Cruz said of Cruise, "it was special for me that he wanted to share it with me that way," she told ABC.

Cruz and Cruise were together for three years until ending the relationship in 2004. Looking back on her relationship with Cruise, the Spanish actor admitted that it took a little while for her to transition from colleagues to lovers. "I've never fallen in love with someone I'm working with," she told The Telegraph. "If something becomes friendship, then maybe months later it becomes something else, but you can never know," she added. Later, Cruz dated another actor and married her co-star and fellow Spaniard Javier Bardem. An Australian newspaper published a story that claimed Cruz had an affair with a Spanish actor while together with Cruise. Cruz filed a defamation lawsuit and won after the newspaper admitted to making up the story, Variety reported.

Sofia Vergara keeps her Tom Cruise stories private

Following Tom Cruise's divorce from Nicole Kidman and his relationship with Penélope Cruz, the actor was back on the market. This time, he looked to the church of Scientology to find his next match. Allegedly, he was particularly interested in fellow actors Jennifer Garner and Sofia Vergara. Cruise and Vergara met for the first time before the Academy Awards one year thanks to Will Smith. The couple dated for a brief time but perhaps separated because Vergara would have been required to convert to the Scientology religion, according to the New York Post.

A reporter asked Vergara to divulge more about her relationship with Cruise because information was scarce on their time together. "Let's keep it that way," she told The Daily Beast. The actor quickly shut down the conversation about Cruise, adding, "I don't want to talk about that!"

Though the relationship didn't work out, it may have been a positive for Vergara's career. At the time, she was still a relatively unknown actor with small roles in films like "Lords of Dogtown" and "Four Brothers." Her breakout role in "Modern Family" didn't premiere until 2009. Thanks in part to Cruise's celebrity status, a paparazzi pic of the two together during his birthday celebration one year turned Vergara into a hot topic overnight. It also may have helped her land a talent contract in entertainment, Foreign Policy recapped.

Nazanin Boniadi changed her life for Tom Cruise

Fans might recognize actor Nazanin Boniadi from her role as Leyla Mir on the long-running soap opera "General Hospital." She also had recurring roles on "Scandal," "Homeland," and "How I Met Your Mother." Boniadi's biggest scandal of all may have been her real-life relationship with Tom Cruise. Reportedly, this involved an audition process and those close with Cruise selected Boniadi to be his girlfriend — not without some major changes and strict rules first. For example, Boniadi was already in a relationship at the time but apparently, she called it off after the church showed her dirt from his background check. "They gave her auditing to make her feel better, and they took her to Saks and Burberry in Beverly Hills to buy her an expensive wardrobe," a source told Vanity Fair. Boniadi was also asked to remove the red highlights from her hair and stop wearing braces. The church ultimately deemed Boniadi worthy of spending time with Cruise and the couple went on a group date for their first interaction. The moment went well because the pair began dating.

Then, during a skip trip in Telluride, Colorado, Boniadi reportedly annoyed the leader of the church of Scientology, David Miscavige. As a result, her relationship with Cruise suffered and the two separated. Boniadi decided to leave the church and tried to put that chapter of her life behind her. "I'd rather not talk about that," she told the New York Post.

Katie Holmes appeared madly in love with Tom Cruise

During a 2004 interview with Cosmopolitan, the publication asked Katie Holmes from "Dawson's Creek" about what her ideal wedding would look like. "I used to think that I was going to marry Tom Cruise," she responded, per HuffPost. In 2006, Cruise and Holmes held a private wedding ceremony in a castle in Italy. The event reportedly cost over $3 million and had an impressive number of celebrities in attendance, E! News recapped. 

The newlyweds then became affectionately known as TomKat. Holmes was completely smitten with Cruise and gushed about their relationship. "I've found the man of my dreams," she told W Magazine. "From the moment I met him it just felt like I'd known him forever. I was blown away," she said. As for the specific reasons Holmes fell in love with Cruise, she revealed, "He's the most incredible man. He's so generous and kind, and he helps so many people, and, um, he makes me laugh like I've never laughed, and he's a great friend."

Cruise meanwhile was over the moon with this infatuation with Holmes, literally jumping for joy on a couch, multiple times, during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He even went backstage and brought out Holmes in front of the live audience. While some thought the intense demonstrations of affection might fizzle out, Holmes explained that the couple would never change. "Tom and I will always be in our honeymoon phase," she told W Magazine.

Katie Holmes wants to move on from Tom Cruise

At first, it looked like Holmes would marry her long-time boyfriend Chris Klein until the couple called off their engagement. Then, in a whirlwind romance, Holmes linked up with Tom Cruise and planned their marriage shortly after. Some speculated that the quick nuptials were a financial decision between the two. Others claimed that Cruise may have been restricting her choices in roles that didn't align with Scientology doctrine, per W Magazine. Though she claimed to be madly in love at the time, Holmes ultimately decided to ask for divorce, and by 2012, the couple was separated. "I don't want that moment in my life to define me, to be who I am," she told People about her six year marriage to Cruise. 

Cruise explained on a TV show in Germany that he didn't see the divorce coming, per CBS. Continuing on from her ex, Holmes said, "that time was intense. It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it," Holmes told InStyle. The actor was referring to their daughter Suri. Holmes announced she was pregnant shortly after she began dating Cruise and seven months after Suri's birth, the couple wed. During a defamation lawsuit, Cruise revealed that one of the reasons that Holmes asked for a divorce was to keep either her or their daughter Suri away from the church of Scientology, via HuffPost. Holmes later linked up with musician Bobby Wooten III, People reported.