A salute to the actor on his 50th birthday
9. "The Color of Money" (1986)
The role: Poolhall junkie Vincent Lauria
Nominated for: nothing
Thoughts: It's not too easy to go toe-to-toe with a legend this early in your career, but Cruise was riding a bit of a high after "Top Gun" and had confidence in spades. That charisma worked for the role and shined through, giving Cruise just the right edge as he began moving into more nuanced territory. Paul Newman won the accolades, but it should be noted that he had a great sparring partner.