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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 January, 2004, 17:10 GMT
Cruise's Welsh roots uncovered
Tom Cruise
Cruise would be welcomed back to the land of his great-great grandfather's
Hollywood film star Tom Cruise has been invited to visit north Wales, after claims emerged that his ancestral roots lie in Flint.

The 41-year-old star of Top Gun and The Last Samurai was told he had a Welsh connection on an American TV show which reveals the family trees of the rich and famous.

Cruise was stunned when he heard his great-great grandfather had emigrated from Flint in north Wales in 1850.

Cruise's real name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, and he is said to be descended from many generations of Mapothers living in Wales.

We are thrilled to be linked to such a huge celebrity icon
Alex Aldridge, council leader

The Cocktail star would be welcomed with open arms to the land of his great-great grandfather, according to Alex Aldridge, leader of Flintshire County Council.

And the day could provide another opportunity for the star to embark of his by now-legendary marathon walkabout sessions with fans.

Historical links

"We would be delighted if Tom Cruise wanted to come to Flint," said Mr Aldridge.

"We'd meet him at Manchester Airport and give him a guided tour of the town.

"A lot of Americans come back to research their family history and I am sure Tom would be fascinated by Flint's massive historical links.

"We are thrilled to be linked to such a huge celebrity icon.

"I reckon that all his success is based on having such a solid Flint background, it has stood him in good stead."

Cruise in The Last Samurai
The Last Samurai went straight to Number One at the US Box Office

Genealogists used by the American TV show Inside the Actor's Studio discovered that Cruise's great-great grandfather, Dylan Henry Mapother, emigrated from Wales to Louisville Kentucky in 1850 when he was 16.

The diminutive actor joins a number of celebrities linked to Flintshire. These include Bond villain actor Jonathan Pryce and former Wales and Liverpool striker Ian Rush.

Cruise hit the big time with Top Gun in 1986 and was in Britain this month to attend the premier of his latest blockbuster, The Last Samurai.

He divorced from fellow film star Nicole Kidman in 2001, and is currently romantically linked to Spanish actress Penelope Cruz.

The open invitation for Cruise to travel to Flint might appeal to the star, who has a shrewd ability to market himself as a man of the people.

At the premiere of The Last Samurai, Cruise spent two hours walking among fans, signing autographs and talking to their friends on mobile phones.

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