The movie star shows off photos from his family life and 25-year career

By People Staff
Updated December 10, 2008 08:30 AM

Tom Cruise has a lot to celebrate. This month his wife, Katie Holmes, turns 30; daughter Bella turns 16; son Connor, 13, is making his film debut with a small role opposite Dad’s pal Will Smith in the drama Seven Pounds; and Cruise’s new movie, Valkyrie, hits theaters. Also, this year daughter Suri turned 2. And Cruise himself marked his 25th year as a movie star.

At 46, Cruise is striking – handsome and fit. And yet, in recent years, he hasn’t always looked so good. He became surprisingly vocal about Scientology and psychiatry. He tussled with Matt Lauer and Brooke Shields. And, of course, he hopped on Oprah Winfrey‘s couch. “I think I could have handled things better,” admits Cruise, laughing at the understatement.

Off screen Cruise is charming but sincere; intense but cheerful; and funnier than you’d expect. In the new issue of PEOPLE, hitting newsstands Friday, the actor comments on his life and career through a series of pictures – including never before published personal snapshots.