updated 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
But now the grin is back, and there is a new bite to that pretty-boy flash of teeth and a dash more empathy in those hazel eyes. The actor once tagged Laserhead by the Days of Thunder' crew for his unflinching gaze, has turned 30 and, he has claimed, outgrown his joyless workaholism. The source of his mirth? Not money—though he'll be earning a reported $12 million for the screen version of The Firm—but domestic bliss with actress wife Nicole Kidman, 25, and their infant daughter, Isabella, adopted in January. "Until I met Nicole," Cruise has noted, "I always put my career ahead of everything. Now it's like a whole new life opened up." Still, he hasn't forgotten the days when romance was riskier business. On location in Memphis, Cruise spied a passel of prom-goers at a local restaurant and, "reminded of when I was taking my girl to the prom," footed the group's $200 tab and left the 10 teens floored. "I couldn't eat," said Mary Heather Hawkins, 19. "I just sat and stared at my food." Now, there's something to celebrate: a star who's gracious, far and away.