Tom Cruise returns as Special Agent Ethan Hunt, who faces the mission of his life in 'Mission: Impossible III.' Director J.J. Abrams ('Lost,' 'Alias') brings his unique blend of action and drama to the billion-dollar franchise.

  • 2 hr 6 minNRHDSD
  • May 5, 2006
  • Action

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Cast & Crew

  • Tom CruiseActor

    In 1976, if you had told fourteen-year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be Tom Cruise, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to join the priesthood. Nonetheless, this sensitive, deeply religious youngster who was born in 1962 in Syracuse, New York, was destined to become one of the highest paid and most sought after actors in screen history. Tom is the only son (among four children) of nomadic parents, Mary Lee (Pfeiffer), a special education teacher, and Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electrical engineer. His parents were both from Louisville, Kentucky, and he has German, Irish, and English ancestry. Young Tom spent his boyhood always on the move, and by the time he was 14 he had attended 15 different schools in the U.S. and Canada. He finally settled in Glen Ridge, New Jersey with his mother and her new husband. While in high school, Tom wanted to become a priest but pretty soon he developed an interest in acting and abandoned his plans of becoming a priest, dropped out of school, and at age 18 headed for New York and a possible acting career. The next 15 years of his life are the stuff of legends. He made his film debut with a small part in Endless Love (1981) and from the outset exhibited an undeniable box office appeal to both male and female audiences. With handsome movie star looks and a charismatic smile, within 5 years Tom Cruise was starring in some of the top-grossing films of the 1980s including Top Gun (1986); The Color of Money (1986), Rain Man (1988) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). By the 1990s he was one of the highest-paid actors in the world earning an average 15 million dollars a picture in such blockbuster hits as Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Mission: Impossible (1996) and Jerry Maguire (1996), for which he received an Academy Award Nomination for best actor. Tom Cruise's biggest franchise, Mission Impossible, has also earned a total of 3 billion dollars worldwide. Tom Cruise has also shown lots of interest in producing, with his biggest producer credits being the Mission Impossible franchise. In 1990 he renounced his devout Catholic beliefs and embraced The Church of Scientology claiming that Scientology teachings had cured him of the dyslexia that had plagued him all of his life. A kind and thoughtful man well known for his compassion and generosity, Tom Cruise is one of the best liked members of the movie community. He was married to actress Nicole Kidman until 2001. Thomas Cruise Mapother IV has indeed come a long way from the lonely wanderings of his youth to become one of the biggest movie stars ever.
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  • Ving RhamesActor

    Strikingly featured and muscular American actor Ving Rhames was born Irving Rameses Rhames in Harlem, New York, to Reather, a homemaker, and Ernest Rhames, an auto mechanic. A good student, Ving entered the New York High School of Performing Arts, where he discovered his love of acting. He studied at the Juilliard School of Drama, and began his career in New York theater and in Shakespeare in the Park productions. He first appeared on Broadway in the play "The Winter Boys", in 1984. Also that year, he appeared in front of the cameras for the first time in the TV movie Go Tell It on the Mountain (1985), and was then quickly cast in minor roles in several popular TV shows, including Miami Vice (1984), Tour of Duty (1987) and Crime Story (1986). Ving continued his rise to fame through his work in soap operas. His big break came in 1994 when Quentin Tarantino cast him as the merciless drug dealer Marsellus Wallace in the mega hit Pulp Fiction (1994). Not long after, director Brian De Palma cast Rhames alongside Tom Cruise as the ace computer hacker Luther Stickell in Mission: Impossible (1996). With solid performances in both these highly popular productions, his face was now well known to moviegoers and the work offers began rolling in more frequently. His next career highlight was playing the lead role in the HBO production of Don King: Only in America (1997). Rhames' performance as the world's most infamous boxing promoter was nothing short of brilliant, and at the 1998 Golden Globe Awards he picked up the award for Best Actor in a Miniseries. However, in an incredible display of compassion, he handed over the award to fellow nominee Jack Lemmon, as he felt Lemmon was a more deserving winner. Rhames then made an attention-grabbing performance in Bringing Out the Dead (1999), reprised his role as Luther Stickell in Mission: Impossible II (2000), contributed his deep bass voice for the character of Cobra Bubbles in Lilo & Stitch (2002), and played a burly cop fighting cannibal zombie hordes in Dawn of the Dead (2004). A keen fitness and weightlifting enthusiast, Rhames is also well known for his strong spiritual beliefs and benevolent attitude towards other people. In a remarkable turn of events whilst filming The Saint of Fort Washington (1993) in New York, he was introduced to a homeless man who turned out to be his long-lost older brother, Junior, who had lost contact with the family after serving in Vietnam. The thrilled Rhames immediately assisted his disheveled brother in getting proper food and clothing and moved him into his own apartment.
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  • Jonathan Rhys MeyersActor

  • Laurence FishburneActor

    One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer. His mother transplanted her family to Brooklyn after his parents divorced. At the age of 10, he appeared in his first play, "In My Many Names and Days," at a cramped little theater space in Manhattan. He continued on but managed to avoid the trappings of a child star per se, considering himself more a working child actor at the time. Billing himself as Larry Fishburne during this early phase, he never studied or was trained in the technique of acting. In 1973, at the age of 12, Laurence won a recurring role on the daytime soap One Life to Live (1968) that lasted three seasons and subsequently made his film debut in the ghetto-themed Cornbread, Earl and Me (1975). At 14 Francis Ford Coppola cast him in Apocalypse Now (1979), which filmed for two years in the Philippines. Laurence didn't work for another year and a half after that long episode. A graduate of Lincoln Square Academy, Coppola was impressed enough with Laurence to hire him again down the line with featured roles in Rumble Fish (1983), The Cotton Club (1984), and Gardens of Stone (1987). Throughout the 1980s, he continued to build up his film and TV credit list with featured roles despite little fanfare. A recurring role as Cowboy Curtis on the kiddie show Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986) helped him through whatever lean patches there were at the time. With the new decade (1990s) came out-and-out stardom for Laurence. A choice lead in John Singleton's urban tale Boyz n the Hood (1991) catapulted him immediately into the front of the film ranks. Set in LA's turbulent South Central area, his potent role as a morally minded divorced father who strives to rise above the ignorance and violence of his surroundings, Laurence showed true command and the ability to hold up any film. On stage, he would become invariably linked to playwright August Wilson and his 20th Century epic African-American experience after starring for two years as the eruptive ex-con in "Two Training Running." For this powerful, mesmerizing performance, Laurence won nearly every prestigious theater award in the books (Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Theatre World). It was around the time of this career hallmark that he began billing himself as "Laurence" instead of "Larry." More awards and accolades came his way. In addition to an Emmy for the pilot episode of the series "Tribeca," he was nominated for his fine work in the quality mini-movies The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) and Miss Evers' Boys (1997). On the larger screen, both Laurence and Angela Bassett were given Oscar nominations for their raw, seething portrayals of rock stars Ike and Tina Turner in the film What's Love Got to Do with It (1993). To his credit, he managed to take an extremely repellent character and make it a sobering and captivating experience. A pulp box-office favorite as well, he originated the role of Morpheus, Keanu Reeves' mentor, in the exceedingly popular futuristic sci-fi The Matrix (1999), best known for its ground-breaking special effects. He wisely returned for its back-to-back sequels. Into the millennium, Laurence extended his talents by making his screenwriting and directorial debut in Once in the Life (2000), in which he also starred. The film is based on his own critically acclaimed play "Riff Raff," which he staged five years earlier. In 1999, he scored a major theater triumph with a multi-racial version of "The Lion in Winter" as Henry II opposite Stockard Channing's Eleanor of Acquitaine. On film, Fishburne has appeared in a variety of interesting roles in not-always-successful films. Never less than compelling, a few of his more notable parts include an urban speed chess player in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993); a military prisoner in Cadence (1990); a college professor in Singleton's Higher Learning (1995); a CIA operative in Bad Company (1995); the title role in Othello (1995) (he was the first black actor to play the part on film); a spaceship rescue team leader in the sci-fi horror Event Horizon (1997); a Depression-era gangster in Hoodlum (1997); a dogged police sergeant in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River (2003); a spelling bee coach in Akeelah and the Bee (2006); and prominent roles in the mainstream films Predators (2010) and Contagion (2011). He returned occasionally to the theatre. In April 2008, he played Thurgood Marshall in the one-man show "Thurgood" and won a Drama Desk Award. It was later transferred to the screen. In the fall of 2008, Fishburne replaced William Petersen as the male lead investigator on the popular CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), but left the show in 2011 to refocus on films and was in turn replaced by Ted Danson. Since then Fishburne has appeared in the Superman film Man of Steel (2013) as Daily Planet chief Perry White. Fishburne has two children, Langston and Montana, from his first marriage to actress Hajna O. Moss. In September 2002, Fishburne married Cuban-American actress Gina Torres.
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  • Keri RussellActor

    Keri Russell was born in Fountain Valley, California, to Stephanie (Stephens) and David Harold Russell, an executive at Nissan Motors. She began her career on the Mickey Mouse Club in 1991. She stayed with the show until 1993. After leaving The All New Mickey Mouse Club (1989) (where she, along with her castmates recorded an album, MMC), she moved to LA to pursue an acting career. She starred in Aaron Spelling's Malibu Shores (1996) on NBC. Keri's breakthrough role came in 1998 where she played "Felicity Porter" in the WB's popular series Felicity (1998). In 1999, Keri won her first Golden Globe award for her role in Felicity (1998) in which she continued until the show ended in 2002. Keri pursued a movie career starring alongside Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers (2002) and Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger (2005). In 2004, Keri made her Broadway debut in "Fat Pig" alongside Andrew McCarthy and Jeremy Piven.
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  • MAGGIE QActor

    Margaret Denise Quigley was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a father of Polish and Irish descent (originally based in New York) and a Vietnamese mother. Her parents met during the Vietnam War. Maggie has two older half-siblings from her mother's previous marriage, and two older sisters. The family moved to Hawaii and settled in Mililani. Maggie dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but modeled and found herself bursting onto the Hong Kong movie scene - eventually becoming a full-fledged superstar in Asia. She changed her name to the easily pronounceable "Maggie Q" (for the Chinese audience). She had a cameo in the Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker smash hit Rush Hour 2 (2001) and is part of the supporting cast in Mission: Impossible III (2006), starring Tom Cruise.
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  • Michelle MonaghanActor

    Michelle Lynn Monaghan was born on March 23, 1976, in Winthrop, Iowa. She is the youngest of three children and the only daughter of Sharon (Hamel), who ran a day care center, and Robert L. Monaghan, a factory worker and farmer. She is of mostly Irish and German descent. After graduating from high school in Iowa, she studied journalism for three years at Chicago's Columbia College. In order to pay for college, she took a job as a model. In 1999, she quit college and moved to New York to work full-time as a fashion model. She traveled the world doing stints on the runways in Milan, Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and also enjoyed appearances in a of number magazines and catalogs. In 2000, she made her TV debut in two episodes of Young Americans (2000), then appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999). She made her big screen debut with a small role of Henrietta in Perfume (2001). Monaghan shot to fame in 2002 when she co-starred as Kimberly Woods for one season on the TV series Boston Public (2000). After appearances in several supporting roles, she starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in the black comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). Later in 2005, Monaghan was filming in China, Italy, and the United States on Mission: Impossible III (2006), as the female lead opposite Tom Cruise. In August of 2005, in Sydney, Australia, Michelle Monaghan married her long-time sweetheart, Peter White, a New York based graphic designer, who she met at a Manhattan party five years earlier.
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  • Aaron PaulActor

    Aaron Paul was born Aaron Paul Sturtevant in Emmett, Idaho, to Darla (Haynes) and Robert Sturtevant, a retired Baptist minister. While growing up, Paul took part in church programs, and performed in plays. He attended Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho. It was there, in eighth grade, that Aaron decided he wanted to become an actor. He joined the theatre department and became obsessed with the idea of acting for a living. After finishing school, Aaron moved to Los Angeles. During the late '90's, he worked as an usher at the Universal Studios Movie Theatre in Hollywood. His television debut was in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990), which was followed by an appearance in another Aaron Spelling series, Melrose Place (1992). On the big screen, Aaron played the estranged son of Jeff Bridges in K-PAX (2001), and Tom Cruise's brother-in-law in Mission: Impossible III (2006). After appearing in several roles on American television, his breakthrough role came as "Jesse Pinkman" in the AMC series Breaking Bad (2008). The character was only supposed to last for one season, but series creator Vince Gilligan changed his mind, due to Aaron's chemistry with Bryan Cranston. He has won three Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" for this role (2010, 2012 and 2014).
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  • Billy CrudupActor

    Known as much for his rigorous career choices as for his talent and chiseled good looks, Billy Crudup has been straddling the line between serious actor and "it" leading man for several years. Crudup was born in 1968 in Manhasset, New York (a Long Island suburb), the middle child in a family of three boys. He is the son of Georgann (Gaither) and Thomas Henry Crudup III, and the grandson of prominent attorney William Cotter "Billy" Gaither, Jr. Crudup was raised in Florida and Texas. His family frequently moved and always being the new kid meant Billy had to develop some way of gaining acceptance. Being the class clown was his ticket in. He found roles in school pageants and developed funny impersonations to entertain family and friends. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina (where he confirmed his interest in acting). Upon graduation, Crudup headed to NYC to live with his brother Tommy (who was at that time a publicist) and study at New York University, where he joined a theatre troupe called "the lab!" and did little plays and musicals - he even played "Schroeder" in the famed children's musical "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown!". He then went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts from the Tisch School of the Arts at NY in 1994. A year later, he'd already made a name for himself on Broadway, earning the Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Newcomer Award for his performance in Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia". Crudup's first big-screen acting gig was in the indie film Grind (1997), which was shot in 1994, but ended up on the shelf for three years. In 1996, he landed another, more lucrative role, opposite Hollywood hotshots Brad Pitt and Jason Patric in the Barry Levinson drama, Sleepers (1996). He followed that up with a brief appearance in Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and a higher-profile turn as the rakish older brother in Inventing the Abbotts (1997). A self-described student of human nature, Crudup has said that he looks for characters wrestling with their mistakes. Rumor has it that he declined an audition for the lead in Titanic (1997) in order to seek out more challenging projects--like the "Steve Prefontaine" biopic Without Limits (1998). "Limits" showcased Crudup's ability to completely transform himself for a role (a quality that would help him skirt stardom while continuing to land substantive parts). In 2000, with three major films in release, Crudup's already bustling movie career reached a fever pitch. He first hit the festival circuit in Keith Gordon's Waking the Dead (2000), the tale of an up-and-coming politician who is haunted by the death of his young wife. Next came the art-house favorite Jesus' Son (1999). Finally, he starred as the semi-fictional '70s rocker "Russell Hammond" in Cameron Crowe's much-lauded Almost Famous (2000). In 2002, his production of "The Elephant Man" on Broadway closed after 65 performances, due to low ticket sales. Crudup lives in New York and returns regularly to the stage - in fact, it was during the 1996 Broadway run of "Bus Stop" that he began his romance with longtime girlfriend, Mary-Louise Parker. That romance ended in 2004, when Crudup left the then-pregnant Parker for his Stage Beauty (2004) co-star, Claire Danes. He seems to prefer quiet anonymity to the pomp and circumstance of the movie star lifestyle, but his ever-growing popularity guarantees that he won't be able to avoid the spotlight altogether.
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  • Philip Seymour HoffmanActor

    Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ancestry. After becoming involved in high school theatrics, he attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a B.F.A. degree in Drama in 1989. He made his feature film debut in the indie production Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (1991) as Phil Hoffman, and his first role in a major release came the next year in My New Gun (1992). While he had supporting roles in some other major productions like Scent of a Woman (1992) and Twister (1996), his breakthrough role came in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997). He quickly became an icon of indie cinema, establishing a reputation as one of the screen's finest actors, in a variety of supporting and second leads in indie and major features, including Todd Solondz's Happiness (1998), Flawless (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), Almost Famous (2000) and State and Main (2000). He also appeared in supporting roles in such mainstream, big-budget features as Red Dragon (2002), Cold Mountain (2003) and Mission: Impossible III (2006). Hoffman was also quite active on the stage. On Broadway, he has earned two Tony nominations, as Best Actor (Play) in 2000 for a revival of Sam Shepard's "True West" and as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) in 2003 for a revival of Eugene O'Neill (I)'s "Long Day's Journey into Night". His other acting credits in the New York theater include "The Seagull" (directed by Mike Nichols for The New York Shakespeare Festival), "Defying Gravity", "The Merchant of Venice" (directed by Peter Sellars), "Shopping and F*@%ing" and "The Author's Voice" (Drama Desk nomination). He is the Co-Artistic Director of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York, for which he directed "Our Lady of 121st Street" by Stephen Adly Guirgis. He also has directed "In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings" and "Jesus Hopped the A Train" by Guirgis for LAByrinth, and "The Glory of Living" by Rebecca Gilman at the Manhattan Class Company. Hoffman consolidated his reputation as one of the finest actors under the age of 40 with his turn in the title role of Capote (2005), for which he won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award as Best Actor. In 2006, he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for the same role. On February 2, 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in an apartment in Greenwich village, New York. Investigators found Hoffman with a syringe in his arm and two open envelopes of heroin next to him. Mr. Hoffman was long known to struggle with addiction. In 2006, he said in an interview with "60 Minutes" that he had given up drugs and alcohol many years earlier, when he was age 22. In 2013, he checked into a rehabilitation program for about 10 days after a reliance on prescription pills resulted in his briefly turning again to heroin.
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