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“I am now officially the highest paid first-time actor”: What Tom Cruise Did With His First Salary Might Be Lesser Than Conor McGregor But it’s a Story for the Yearbooks

Tom Cruise used his first paycheck to help his sibling with her education.


Growing up in a less-than-affluent household, it wasn’t until his 20s that Tom Cruise found his footing in Hollywood, thanks to 1983’s Risky Business. However, unlike Conor McGregor, who is said to have made history with his earnings from Doug Liman’s Road House remake, the Legend Star was paid considerably less for his debut role.

But while it was nowhere close to his later salaries, which saw the actor racking in millions, the Oscar-nominated actor used his first salary to perform an invaluable act for his sibling.

Tom Cruise Put His Earnings From Risky Business to His Sister’s College Fees

Tom Cruise with iconic Ray-Ban Wayfarer in Risky BusinessTom Cruise | Risky Business
While Tom Cruise would generally be paid hefty paychecks for starring in films, back in the ’80s, the actor earned a paycheck of $75K for his part in Risky Business (via Celebrity Networth) But instead of expending his first salary on extravagant gifts, the actor, who is currently worth $600 million, used it to pay one of his three sisters’ college fees. Cruise further used the remainder of his salary to buy his little sister, who aided him when he resorted to selling Newspapers to earn some extra cash when he was 13, a car.

Aceshowbiz quoted the Jack Reacher Star saying:
“I paid for one of my sisters’ college education. And my little sister worked for me when I had a paper route; I always told her I’d pay her back. I bought her a car after ‘Risky Business’,”

Not long after Risky Business, the Mission: Impossible Star would witness a notable spike in his earnings after starring in Ridley Scott’s Legend, which saw him making half a million. Since then, the actor hasn’t looked back, becoming one of the biggest names in the movie landscape.


Legend (1985)Legend (1985)

Conor McGregor Claimed to Have Beaten Dwayne Johnson’s Record With Road House

Unlike Tom Cruise, who made $75K for his first role, Conor McGregor seems to have enjoyed a hefty paycheck for his acting debut with the Road House remake, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Taking to X, in a now-deleted post, McGregor, whose Net Worth currently amounts to $200M, claimed he was officially the highest-paid actor on debut, surpassing Dwayne Johnson’s previous record.

Conor McGregorRoad House
“What did you think of my acting debut movie trailer? Hell of a ride! I am now officially the highest-paid first-time actor of all time, on record, pipping Dwayne Johnson for the top spot. Incredible!” 

If his words are to be believed, it’d mean the UFC fighter earned more than $5.5 million, the sum Dwayne Johnson earned for starring in 2001’s The Mummy Returns, starring Brendan Fraser.

Risky Business is available to stream on Paramount Plus.

Road House will hit Amazon Prime Video on 21 March 2024.


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