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Tom Cruise's Family Struck By Tragedy - What We Know About His Mother's Sudden Death

It's always painful when big stars lose someone close to them. It reminds us that no matter how famous or successful you are, no one is immune to heartbreak. Tom Cruise is one of Hollywood's most famous leading men, but his family has just lost someone very important.

Cruise's mother, Mary Lee South, has died at age 80. The cause of death is unknown so far, but South had been living with health problems for a number of years. Sometime last week Cruise and his three sisters attended a memorial service for their mother at her local Church of Scientology.

Cruise was reportedly very close with his mother, and she was the actor's "date" to many award shows.

In past interview, Cruise says his mother encouraged him to pursue acting. In a Rolling Stone article from 1986, she told a reporter that she "was always interested in theater, but I never did anything with it."

"When I was growing up, if you went to Hollywood, that was really risqué." Despite this, she always encouraged her son to follow his dreams, and believed he could succeed in show business.

"I guess I was his greatest audience. He had it in him then."

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.

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