Tom Cruise At 50: Does The Action Man Make A Real Romantic Lead? (PICTURES)

So we all know Tom Cruise is an action man without equal.

He's demonstrated this a few times already - when he's not been hanging by strings from ceilings, or jousting with ancient warriors, samurai-stylee, he's been proving his superman status once and for all, with a devil-may-care dance around the top fo the world's tallest skyscraper, for the latest Impossible caper.

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Tom Cruise with Renee Zellwegger in Jerry Maguire

But we also all know that, to be a true leading man, it doesn't matter how many Harleys you ride off into the distance or cars you crash off the track, it's all about how many ladies you sweep off their feet with manly endeavours.

Obviously, off-screen, it's all been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for Mr Cruise in that regard - with his seemingly fairytale pairings with Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and now Katie Holmes - all ending in splits of varying amicability.

Nicole Kidman was photographed shrieking with joy when her divorce papers came through. Katie Holmes has been trumpeting her ringless hand on the streets of New York today. Mimi Rogers mentioned something about her "instrument needing tuning". Happily, Cruz and Cruise are still firm friends.

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Tom Cruise with Kelly McGillis in Top Gun

And more happily, his romantic screen outings have met with greater success and, in some instances, proved longer-lasting. Everyone can remember where they were when Tom Cruise first seduced Kelly McGillis in Top Gun, courtesy of a motor-bike and a Berlin soundtrack.

And his tearful monologue to Renee Zellwegger in Jerry Maguire, culminating in 'You Complete Me', sealed his status as a actor of as much passion as action. His words entered the romantic reach-for dictionary ever since, and his leading lady fell back into his arms after a few misunderstandings along the way.

If only real life could be just like the movies....

Here's Tom Cruise in romantic action through the years:

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

Risky Business with Rebecca De Mornay - whatever sizzled on screen, worked off too, with the pair living together for a while.
Risky Business with Rebecca De Mornay - whatever sizzled on screen, worked off too, with the pair living together for a while.

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

All The Right Moves  Lea Thompson seemed impressed
All The Right Moves Lea Thompson seemed impressed

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

Legend  Courtly courtship of Mia Sara
Legend Courtly courtship of Mia Sara
Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles  The fabled munching scene with Kelly McGillis in Top Gun
Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles The fabled munching scene with Kelly McGillis in Top Gun

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

Cocktail  Charmed Elisabeth Shue into a waterfall
Cocktail Charmed Elisabeth Shue into a waterfall

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

Far And Away brought together the newly-married Mr and Mrs Cruise into an Irish epic. Accents were dodgy, but the chemistry was dodgier.
Far And Away brought together the newly-married Mr and Mrs Cruise into an Irish epic. Accents were dodgy, but the chemistry was dodgier.

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

Jerry Maguire - Audiences lapped up Cruise's vulnerability, he got his Oscar nomination, and 'You Complete Me' made every would-be romantic lad feel inadequate.
Jerry Maguire - Audiences lapped up Cruise's vulnerability, he got his Oscar nomination, and 'You Complete Me' made every would-be romantic lad feel inadequate.

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

Eyes Wide Shut, the film that finished off the Cruise-Kidman marriage, after Stanley Kubrick managed to bash any romance out of the world's most fairytale pairing.
Eyes Wide Shut, the film that finished off the Cruise-Kidman marriage, after Stanley Kubrick managed to bash any romance out of the world's most fairytale pairing.

Tom Cruise's Romantic Roles

Vanilla Sky - Vulnerable again with Penelope Cruz. Director Cameron Crowe glowed afterwards about "watching them fall in love on screen".
Vanilla Sky - Vulnerable again with Penelope Cruz. Director Cameron Crowe glowed afterwards about "watching them fall in love on screen".
Rock of Ages  Not quite the same magic - although what he lacked in romance, Stacey Jaxx made up for in grinding enthusiasm. Ewww.
Rock of Ages Not quite the same magic - although what he lacked in romance, Stacey Jaxx made up for in grinding enthusiasm. Ewww.

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