In an interview with Matt Lauer, Cruise addresses his criticism of Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants to treat her postpartum depression – but the interview only adds to the controversy surrounding his views. "I know that psychiatry is a pseudoscience," Cruise says before making such claims as "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do," and "There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance."
Cruise and Paramount Pictures sever their 14-year partnership after studio boss Sumner Redstone tells the Wall Street Journal that Cruise's offscreen behavior is "creative suicide," and "not . . . acceptable." Cruise rebounds quickly, making a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios to resurrect United Artists. In 2008, Cruise's production partner, Paula Wagner, exits as United Artists' CEO, but maintains her co-ownership.
With no photos of TomKat's new baby, conspiracy theorists begin to question her whereabouts. Celebrity pals of the couple speak out about seeing Suri, and criticize skeptics who wondered why the baby had yet to make her public debut. After 20 weeks out of the spotlight, baby Suri arrives on newsstands on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Cruise heads to Germany to begin filming his controversial project, Valkyrie. The 45-year-old actor plays Germany's Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg, who attempted to kill Adolf Hitler, in the historical thriller. "All I can say is, 'Save your comments until you see the movie,'" Cruise tells the German weekly Bunte, regarding the German politicians and media who have attacked his religious beliefs and his decision to play one of Germany's greatest heroes.
A video clip of Cruise (left) from a private Scientology event in 2004 hits the web, causing intense media scrutiny. In the clip, the star praises what he calls the "privilege" of being a Scientologist. It comes the same week that the controversial new book, Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, hits bookstores. Many of his friends, including fellow Scientologist John Travolta, come to his defense.
Cruise, who is almost unrecognizable beneath a fat suit, a bald cap and a beard in the film, earns raves for his role as a vulgar, venom-spewing studio executive with an array of impressive dance moves in Tropic Thunder. The film debuts at No. 1, dethroning The Dark Knight, which held the top spot for four straight weeks. EW asks, "Can 'Tropic Thunder' make Tom Cruise cool again?"
Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment of the action-packed spy series. During filming, the actor – who reportedly performed all his own stunts – is photographed dangling the world's tallest building in Dubai. And the risk pays off, with Cruise's film topping the worldwide box office, earning $69.5 million during its opening weekend.
Cruise channels his inner rock star as '80s glam rocker Stacee Jaxx in the big screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. In addition to learning how to sing and play the guitar, the actor undergoes a dramatic makeover for the role. "Stacee Jaxx had to be real," he tells W magazine. "I didn't want to imitate all these other rock stars. He had to be unique. If the audience doesn't immediately buy into his absolute greatness, there's no movie journey. Without that, you have nothing."
Cruise, 49, says he's "deeply saddened" after wife of five years Katie Holmes, 33, files for divorce. The pair, who tied the knot in November 2006 in Italy, have 6-year-old Suri together. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest," the actress's attorney tells PEOPLE before reaching a divorce settlement with Cruise's legal team in July.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Virginia Sherwood/REUTERS/NBC; ANNIE LEIBOVITZ/VANITY FAIR/AP; ARMANI/EPPA; Frank Connor/Studio Babelsberg/AFP/Getty; Kevin Winter/Getty; Paramount; Courtesy Adam Shankman; Billy Farrell/BFAnyc/Sipa