'Born on the Fourth of July' Tom Cruise received his first best actor Oscar nomination for his touching performance as Ron Kovic in Oliver Stones inspired 1989 adaptation of Kovics autobiography. Stone won his second Oscar for best director for the hit film. The film follows Kovics life from a wholesome high school student in Massapequa, N.Y., to a Marine in Vietnam, where his shooting injuries leave him a paraplegic. The film spends a lot of time focusing on his recovering at a Bronx VA hospital, where conditions were bleak and the staff was less than attentive. Kovic also sufferred from psychological damage from his experience in Vietnam and turns to alcohol. But, eventually, he turns his life around and becomes a leading antiwar activist.
Roland Neveu / Universal City Studios