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Tuesday, 6 February, 2001, 11:02 GMT
Cruise and Kidman: Broken dream
Cruise and Kidman
Cruise and Kidman were considered the perfect couple
The breakdown of the 10-year marriage of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise will send shockwaves around Hollywood - and the world of showbusiness in general.

As two of the movie industry's most glamorous and bankable stars, Kidman and Cruise seemed perfectly suited.

Their public face was one of unity, habitually appearing together at showbusiness functions both in the US and abroad.

Kidman and Cruise
Kidman and Cruise presented a united public front
Professionally too, the couple were happy to share the limelight on several films, including Stanley Kubrick's last film, the erotic Eyes Wide Shut.

And after a decade together, the "dream" team of Kidman and Cruise seemed to have also found what so many star couples can not - the secret of a stable and lasting marriage in the limelight.

Rain Man
Cruise won praise with films such as Rain Man
But the emotionally fraught, erotic Eyes Wide Shut also led Cruise, 38, to admit that their marriage had been put under a lot of strain.

Now, the couple who spent more than a year together on that project, say too much time spent apart on their own careers has caused their split.

Since they first met on the set of Days of Thunder in 1990, they have certainly seen their career status - and worth - go through the roof.

Together they are now reported to be worth 125m and have homes in California, Sydney and Monte Carlo.

Mission Impossible 2
Cruise proved himself an action hero in Mission Impossible
Cruise has gradually built himself into a huge international movie star with a strong range, from Jerry Maguire to Mission Impossbible.

He also has three Oscar nominations under his belt, for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia.

The New York-born actor, who originally wanted to be priest, starred in a series of top money-spinning movies during the 1980s, including Top Gun, Rain Man and Born on the Fourth of July.

More recently, Cruise has shown himself to be a strong action hero in the two Mission Impossible movies.

To Die For
Kidman won acclaim for To Die For
Last year's acclaimed psychological drama Magnolia also proved he had a talent for screen menace.

Kidman, 33, proved herself as an actress in the hit movie To Die For, and also wowed London and New York theatre critics in the play The Blue Room.

Her performance in the play, during which she appeared nude on stage, was described as "theatrical Viagra" by London theatre critics.

She was born in Hawaii and raised in Australia, where she became a TV star.

After Dead Calm in 1989 - her US film debut - she went on to star in hit fantasy feature Batman Forever in 1995 and the tearjerker My Life in 1993.

Eyes Wide Shut
Eyes Wide Shut put a strain on their marriage
In 1995, her role as a fame-crazed housewife in To Die for won her a Golden Globe.

Cruise, who had been married before to Mimi Rogers, 46, said his first reaction to meeting Kidman was "sheer lust".

Following a whirlwind courtship, they were married in a secret Christmas Eve ceremony in Telluride, Colorado, in 1990.

Cruise made headlines in the same year by joining the Church of Scientology, whose teachings he credited with helping him to overcome dyslexia.

Kidman said of Cruise in 1994: "He's just the most incredible, unusual man I've ever met."

He recently produced Kidman's next movie The Others.

The couple are devoted parents to their two adopted children Connor, five, and Isabella, eight.

And in a recent survey of 2,000 women in New Weddings magazine, the pair were named as the celebrity couple who set the best example of wedded bliss.

See also:

06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Cruise and Kidman to separate
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hollywood's hardest performances
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Cruise and Kidman: In pictures
20 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Eyes Wide Shut opens on top
14 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Blue fever hits New York
20 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Cruise and Kidman back theatre
27 May 00 | Entertainment
Cruise's impossible mission
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