Tom Cruise Turns 55! Four Times He Was a Real-Life Action Hero

Actor Tom Cruise turns 55 on July 3, but shows no signs of slowing down. Throughout Cruise’s Hollywood career, he’s cemented his status as an action star in the Mission: Impossible franchise and other films like Knight and Day and Edge of Tomorrow.

The Oscar-nominated star performs the stunts on most of the Mission: Impossible films and is rumored not to sign on to a movie unless he’s permitted to do them himself. For example, he clung to an A400M Airbus for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, scaled the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and there’s that crazy time he rock-climbed with his bare hands in M:I 2. But did you know that his heroics extend offscreen too?

He once came to the aid of a woman, aspiring actress Heloisa Vinhas, after she was struck in a hit-and-run accident. Cruise asked someone to call 911, followed the ambulance to the hospital, and even paid the victim’s $7,000 medical bill.

While living in London in 1998, the Jack Reacher star came to the rescue of a woman being robbed of $153,000 worth of jewelry. According to eyewitnesses, Cruise rushed down the road with his bodyguards and chased the attackers away.

In 2014, Cruise stopped signing autographs and pulled two young boys from getting crushed when they were trapped against a barricade on the red carpet.

Most recently, he saved co-star Annabelle Wallis on the set of The Mummy when Wallis encountered trouble during filming of an anti-gravity scene in an airplane.

As the plane descended from weightlessness, Wallis became stuck and recalled the terrifying event. “I had to put a parachute pack on me and the pack got stuck. There was a thing wrapped tight around my neck and I was like, ‘Oh, my God! I’m stuck and the gravity is going to return and it’s going to choke me,’ ” Wallis says. “It was this amazing Tom moment where I looked and I couldn’t get myself unhooked and said, ‘Tom! I’m stuck, I’m stuck!’’

Wallis continues, “The plane was coming out of weightlessness, about to hit gravity, and I heard the countdown ‘5, 4, 3 …’ At three I said, ‘I’m stuck!’ and Tom was like, ‘Annabelle, don’t worry I got you,’ and he ran and freed me and we returned to earth and he’d saved my life. So I feel very indebted to him. It was literally around my neck choking me, then with two or three seconds left, there he was — the hero.”

It seems no mission is impossible for this real-life action hero.

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