Cruise is the first actor to receive the honor, as the award has traditionally been bestowed to industry executives. Past Pioneer of the Year honorees include Dick Cook, Cecil B. DeMille, Michael D. Eisner, Jim Gianopulos, Alan Horn, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Donna Langley, Sherry Lansing, Frank G. Mancuso, Sumner Redstone, Terry Semel, Tom Sherak, Jack Valenti, Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck and last year’s honoree, Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
The Pioneer of the Year Award is given to a respected member of the motion picture community whose professional leadership, service, and commitment to philanthropy is exemplary. The $9 billion-grossing blockbuster star and three-time Oscar nominee will receive the Award at the Pioneer of the Year Dinner – the annual fundraiser benefiting the WRMPPF’s Pioneers Assistance Fund (PAF) which provides financial support and services to individuals in the theatrical entertainment community who are encountering an illness, injury or a life-changing event.
Cruise has a platinum reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty as a star, rolling up his sleeves and serving as a producer on the films he headlines in all aspects of production. Currently he is filming the sixth installment of Paramount’s Mission Impossible (July 27, 2018) which will be followed up by Top Gun: Maverick (July 12, 2019), the studio’s long-awaited sequel to the Cruise classic Top Gun.
“We are delighted that Tom will be receiving this well-deserved honor,” said Kyle Davies, In-coming President of WRMPPF and President of Domestic Distribution at Paramount Pictures. “His contributions to the film industry as both an actor and producer, including his tremendous support of the exhibition community, has made him a true pioneer in his field. He has starred in the most celebrated films of all time, inspiring audiences everywhere. We look forward to commemorating Tom’s philanthropic contributions and career achievements at the Pioneer of the Year Dinner, as well as raising much needed funds for the Pioneers Assistance Fund.”