Mary Lee South, the mother of Tom Cruise, has died at the age of 80.
According to PEOPLE, South passed away peacefully in her sleep after battling with a myriad of health issues in recent years.
Cruise, 54, honoured his mother at a memorial service at her local Church of Scientology on the weekend where his sisters, Lee Ann DeVette, 57, Cass Mapother, 55 and Marian Henry, 52 were also in attendance. They were joined by other family and friends who paid their respects to the Louisville, Kentucky native.
South was born Mary Lee Pfieffer and went on to marry cruise’s father, Thomas Cruise Mapother III. The couple - who had a tumultuous marriage- divorced in 1974 before the special education teacher met her second husband, Jack South.
Cruise has always credited his mother for his success in acting. Speaking with Rolling Stone in 1986, South recalled realising how talented her son was as she sat in the audience on the opening night of her son’s high school theatre production of Guys and Dolls.
"I can't describe the feeling that was there,” she said.
“It was just an incredible experience to see what we felt was a lot of talent coming forth all of a sudden. It had been dormant for so many years—not thought of or talked about or discussed in any way. Then to see him on that stage..."
“I guess I was his greatest audience,” she added.
“He had it in him then.”
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