When Tom Cruise and Cher secretly dated in the 1980s: 'There was a connection'

4 December 2023, 15:01

Tom Cruise and Cher in the 1980s
Tom Cruise and Cher in the 1980s. Picture: Rex Shutterstock

By Tom Eames

Tom Cruise and Cher are two of Hollywood's most iconic stars, but you might not know that they were once an item.

Back in the mid-to-late 1980s, Tom Cruise was making a name for himself as one of Hollywood's leading men, with roles in films like Top Gun, Legend and Risky Business.

Meanwhile, Cher had already been a massive star for two decades. She first found fame as part of the pop duo Sonny & Cher with ex-husband Sonny Bono, and then went on to become a successful solo artist, TV presenter and actress.

Cher - who is 16 years older than Tom - first met the actor in 1985 when Tom was 23 and she was 38. They met at Madonna and Sean Penn’s wedding (which is amazing in itself) and they apparently went on to have a short fling.

Tom Cruise and Cher attended a White House event in 1985
Tom Cruise and Cher attended a White House event in 1985. Picture: Getty

Speaking about when they next met, Cher told Event: "Then a bunch of people who were dyslexic were invited to the White House, and Tom and I are both dyslexic.

"We didn’t go out till way later, but there definitely was a connection there."

Cher had previously told TV host James Corden that Tom was among her "top five lovers", and had also told Oprah Winfrey that he could have been a "great big romance" if they hadn’t been forced to part ways due to their busy schedules.

When asked by Oprah about their date, Cher responded: "That was a long date — I lived in his apartment.”

Who is Cher's All-Time Best Lover? | WWHL

Cher also dated Tom Cruise's Top Gun co-star, Val Kilmer, from 1982 to 1984. She once said: “When we kissed, I thought my head would shoot right off my body."

When asked if she and Tom were still friends, she said: "Yeah! Though I don’t get what he does, that whole Scientology thing. I can’t understand it so I just… don’t."

Tom Cruise and Cher are still friends years after they dated
Tom Cruise and Cher are still friends years after they dated. Picture: Getty

Cher has been married twice. Her first marriage was with Sonny Bono from 1969 to 1975, followed by musician Gregg Allman from 1975 to 1979.

She is currently thought to be single, recently telling Event: "I’m still on the lookout. The problem I have with all the boyfriends lately is that I don’t want to go any place with them because you can’t keep a relationship going in this kind of goldfish bowl, where everything you do and every picture you have taken will be on Instagram. There’s no way to keep something special."

Meanwhile, Tom Cruise was previously in relationships with Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Katie Holmes.