Tom Cruise's mother always believed in her son's talents and abilities to become a Hollywood star.
Tom Cruise's religious beliefs and personal relationships may be topics of controversy but the actor did not have an easy childhood. At age 11, his father abandoned his family and his mother took on three part-time jobs to provide for her children and made sure they had enough to eat. In his father's absence, the Top Gun star got a job himself at a young age to help financially support his family. His mother Mary Lee did everything she could to make sure her son had a good life. She died peacefully in her sleep after battling health issues in her last few years in 2017 at age 80, reported PEOPLE.
Sad news for Tom Cruise - his mother has passed away at the age of 80 https://t.co/guMBLH8bEw pic.twitter.com/8wsyADQvB8— ET Canada (@ETCanada) February 14, 2017
In 2006, Cruise told the outlet that his father was “a bully” and his mother ended the marriage in 1974. She did her best to save her family from poverty as a single mother. Her son would massage his mother’s sore feet after she came home from long days at work while taking on work himself from a paper route. She eventually wed Jack South in 1978, when Cruise was 16. Through it all she supported her son to go after his dreams.
Tom Cruise’s mother, Mary Lee South, has died. pic.twitter.com/88hrGbLfY9— Tom Cruise Lover (@gargienagda7) February 14, 2017
When the actor was young, his mother encouraged him to take part in a local theater group. “I guess I was his greatest audience,” she said per Rolling Stone. “He had it in him then.” On the night of his production of Guys and Dolls in high school, she realized how talented her son was. "I can't describe the feeling that was there. It was just an incredible experience to see what we felt was a lot of talent coming forth all of a sudden," she said. "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..." Speaking of his stepfather Cruise added, "He loved my mother so much that he took us all in, all four young people," Cruise said of him and his sisters Lee Ann DeVette, Cass Mapother, and Marian Henry.
The pair never doubted Cruise's abilities to become a Hollywood star. When he asked her and her second husband if he could be an actor, “We both wholeheartedly agreed,” she told Rolling Stone. “Because we both felt it was a God-given talent … So to make a long story short, we gave him our blessing — and the rest is history.”
The mother-son duo was last seen at the Golden Globe Awards in 2009. According to Radar Online, she was last photographed in a wheelchair and struggling to breathe a year before her death. Cruise's stepfather was 89 when the World War II veteran passed away on July 25, 2015, in a Florida hospice.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Frazer Harrison