Pop Culture

Tom Cruise's mom Mary Lee South dies at age 80

Tom Cruise's mother Mary Lee South has died, a rep for the actor confirmed to TODAY.

Our condolences go out to Cruise, 54, and his three sisters, who reportedly attended a memorial service for their mom over the weekend.

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Actor Tom Cruise and mother Mary Lee South attend the 1990 Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

South, 80, died peacefully last week in her sleep following health issues, People.com reported. Her memorial service was held at her local Church of Scientology, according to the website.

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The actor and his mother at the American Cinema Awards in 1991, in Beverly Hills, California.

South is often credited as the person who got her son into the entertainment business in the first place, encouraging him to act in local theater groups and try out for high school plays.

"I guess I was his greatest audience," she told Rolling Stone in a 1986 interview. "He had it in him then."

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The pair also attended the Golden Globe Awards in 1990.

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And throughout Cruise's career, his mom continued to be his biggest fan.

Ron Galella / WireImage
Cruise and South attend the premiere of 'Magnolia' in December 1999, in Westwood, California.

She and her husband thought acting was Cruise's "God-given talent," she told the magazine.

The mother and son maintained a close relationship — South was often spotted on Cruise's arm at red carpet events throughout the 1990s, including the Golden Globe Awards.

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