Tom Cruise has wanted to make movies since he was just four years old.

The 55-year-old actor hailed his career a ''privilege'' because he's been able to fulfill all his boyhood dreams when he took to the stage to accept the Pioneer of the Year award by the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation on Wednesday (25.04.18).

Speaking at the event, which took place during CinemaCon, the National Association of Theater Owners' annual convention in Las Vegas, he said: ''I grew up going to movies. It was really my life, my escape. It was really my world.

''I wanted to dream and I wanted to make movies since I was four years old, no lie.

''I remember thinking I just want to do movies. I would write skits for my family. I love what I do and that started in these theaters. It's been, and is, such a privilege.

''I'm very proud to be part of this family. We take care of our own, that's what families do. I love what I do, and I will cherish this beautiful award.''

Tom - who was the first actor to receive the award - was honoured with a dinner at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace, where James Corden served as MC and 'Hamilton' star Leslie Odom Jr. gave a performance before the accolade was handed over to the 'Mission Impossible - Fallout' star by the movie's director, Christopher McQuarrie.

A video montage of the 'Top Gun' star's career highlights was played and earned a standing ovation from the audience, which included his 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' co-stars Henry Cavill and Simon Pegg.

While the guests ate their meals, songs from Tom's films played and messages of congratulations were shown on screens.

'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' actor Alec Baldwin said: ''To work with someone who knows all the things Tom knows and brings to the set every day, it's intoxicating.''

And Dakota Fanning, who starred in 'War of the Worlds' with Tom, thanked her former co-star for his influence on her career.

She added: ''His main focus is other people and other people's enjoyment and happiness, whether that's me as a fellow actor, whether that's the crew who's working on a film that he's the star of or whether that's the audience.''