Today our condolences are with Tom Cruise and his siblings, whose mother Mary Lee South passed away at the age of 80 sometime last week. She had been struggling with poor health for a number of years, but eventually died peacefully in her sleep.

Tom CruiseTom Cruise's mother has died

It has been revealed that a funeral service for the matriarch had already been held over the weekend at her local Church of Scientology, where the 'Mission: Impossible' star and his three sisters 57-year-old Lee Ann DeVette, 52-year-old Marian Henry and 55-year-old Cass Mapother.

Mary Lee South was never one for publicity in spite of her famous son, but we do know that she used to be a special education teacher born Mary Lee Pfeiffer in Louisville, Kentucky. She was married to Cruise's father Thomas Cruise Mapother III - an electrical engineer - until the early 1970s, a man who Tom previously described as 'abusive' and who himself died of cancer in 1984.

54-year-old Tom has frequently cited her as the inspiration behind his acting career and she was often seen accompanying him at film premieres and other red carpet events. 'I was always interested in theater, but I never did anything with it', she had told Rolling Stone back in the 80s. 'When I was growing up, if you went to Hollywood, that was really risqué.' Tom actually asked her permission to start acting, and she 'wholeheartedly agreed'.

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Mary and her family lived in Syracuse, New York and Ottawa, Canada while Tom was growing up, returning to the US after her marriage ended and working as hard as she could doing several jobs to keep food on the table. Eventually they moved to Glen Ridge, New Jersey and Mary married Cruise's stepfather Jack South in 1978.

Mary Lee South is survived by Tom and his sisters. Husband Jack died in 2015.