It’s fitting that Tom Cruise received his first Oscar nomination for Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July. As a movie star, Cruise has always symbolized all-American wholesomeness and good looks, traits he’s put to good use in such patriotic films as Stone’s biopic, Taps, Top Gun, and A Few Good Men. Also, his birthday is July 3. Though he made his film debut nearly 40 years ago and officially became a global superstar with Risky Business in 1983, he has remained a box office rainmaker, responsible for driving even duds like The Mummy to brisk business overseas. Through the years, he’s taken on ever single genre, from coming of age stories to musical adaptations, and has tried on seemingly as many hair styles as he’s had romantic interests, from Nicole Kidman to Penelope Cruz. So, today, celebrate Cruise’s 54th and get an early start on Independence Day.