top gun tom cruise 500 Happy 50th birthday, Tom Cruise: Here's some adviceTom Cruise is 50 years old on Tuesday (July 3). That’s right, the “Born on the 4th of July” actor was born on the 3rd of July. Unfortunately, his half-century achievement has been somewhat eclipsed by news that Katie Holmes, his wife of six years, filed for divorce on Friday. She’s also asked for sole custody of the couple’s child, Suri.

Since Tom’s likely going through a rough time, Zap2it is giving him the gift of wise counsel. Not that Tom’s in need of any more advisers, but we think we have a great 10-step plan that will not only redeem Tom in the eyes of the public, but make him the best dad he can be to his three children and, you know, not so unapproachably freaky.

PHOTO GALLERY: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Here we go:

1. Grant Katie the divorce, no contest. And give her custody of Suri. It’s over — let go and move on.

2. Re-hire Pat Kingsley.

3. Get out in front of the story. Since you chose Oprah Winfrey for your 2005 couch-jumping proclamation of love for Katie, why not close the loop by returning to Oprah to talk about what went wrong. You’ve got a preexisting relationship and, hey, OWN could really use the ratings.

4. You’re an actor, fake it. Not feeling remorse and/or the need to talk about the divorce? Well, too bad Mr. Celebrity, the public needs to hear from you now. Give us what we want.

5. Apologize — immediately — for “Rock of Ages” and pledge to never
again play a role that requires you to
wear a jewel-encrusted codpiece. And no more singing.

6. Dude, you can act (see “Magnolia,” “Jerry Maguire,” “A Few Good Men,”
“Born on the Fourth of July” and “Rain Man”). Change the conversation
and embrace the unexpected, like working with Quentin Tarantino (if you
can forgive him for his “Sleep With Me” monologue).

7. The next time you get married, maybe consider someone you already know and/or are already in a romantic relationship with. Also: further to that, might we suggest a Scientologist to avoid any sticky arguments about how to raise the kids? That way, sending them off to Sea Org won’t be a deal-breaker.

8. Repeat after us: Age Appropriate. Maybe wading into your own end of the
dating pool — even though it breaks with the grand Hollywood tradition
— will give the gossip mill a little less grist. At least it’ll cut
down on the “he’s so controlling” talk.

9. Even better, maybe take a little time off from the ladies. Nothing equalizes a public image like being a “normal family man.”

10. If all else fails, just let your freak flag fly. The people who will
love you for it will at least offset, if not outnumber, those you lose. (See Cooper, Anderson.)

Many thanks to our mystery celebrity advice-giver for pitching in on this important item.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson