Tom Cruise Turns 61: Inside His $10 Billion Career and Being 'Hollywood's Last Real Movie Star'

The 'Top Gun' star has built a reputation for box office success -- and he's not slowing down anytime soon!

Tom Cruise turns 61 on Monday, marking more than four decades since he broke on to the Hollywood scene and started his ascension to the mega-famous movie star we know today.

Born on July 3, 1962, in Syracuse, New York, Cruise got his start in bit movie parts before a breakout year in 1983, in which he starred in All the Right Moves, The Outsiders, and his breakthrough hit, Risky Business.

But it was in the 1990s when Cruise began to hit his stride as box office magic. From 1992-96, he made history when he starred in five consecutive movies that grossed $100 million or more in the United States: A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview With the Vampire, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire.

His starring role as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible has also been a blockbuster boon. So far, the franchise's six films have grossed over $3 billion worldwide, with the seventh -- Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One -- coming to theaters July 12.

"It's unbelievable," Cruise told ET while premiering Dead Reckoning in Rome last month. "I do pinch myself every day.... It's something that I've never taken for granted ... I just feel very privileged."

And then, of course, there's Top Gun. The iconic original flyboy flick was the highest-grossing domestic film in 1986, and when Cruise returned to the role of Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell last year for Top Gun: Maverick, it was a triumph in more ways than one. The film became Cruise's first to earn over a billion dollars worldwide and was a major success for movie theaters just starting to dig their way out of COVID shutdown difficulties.

"I make movies for audiences," the actor told ET. "I work so hard and I think about them the whole time and when you see how excited they are and how much they appreciate it - it's just beautiful."

In total, the man often referred to as "the last true movie star" has made himself a $10 billion career so far -- and he doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

However, despite the money, and despite the moniker, for Cruise it's all about the craft.

"It's not about being a movie star," he insisted. "It's about being an actor and concentrating on that and finding roles that are going to be a challenge for me... Movie stardom can come and go, but your craft within, you can work forever if you keep working hard at that."