You may know Justin Hartley as the handsome and charming actor who plays Kevin Pearson on the hit NBC drama series This Is Us. But did you know that he has a surprising connection to another famous Hollywood star, Tom Cruise?
The Family Ties
According to Wikipedia, Justin Hartley was born in Knoxville, Illinois, and raised in Orland Park, Illinois. He is the only son of Mark and Jackie Hartley, and has three sisters: Megan, Gabriela, and Nathan. He attended Carl Sandburg High School and later studied history and theater at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and University of Illinois at Chicago.
Tom Cruise, on the other hand, was born in Syracuse, New York, and grew up in various places across the U.S. and Canada. He is the only son of Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electrical engineer, and Mary Lee Pfeiffer, a special education teacher. He has three sisters: Lee Anne, Marian, and Cass. He attended Robert Hopkins Public School and Henry Munro Middle School in Canada, and later Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey.
So how are these two actors related? Well, it turns out that they share a common ancestor: William Mapother Sr., who was born in 1768 in Ireland and immigrated to the U.S. in 1783. He settled in Kentucky and became a prominent farmer and politician. He had 11 children, one of whom was William Mapother Jr., who was the great-great-grandfather of Tom Cruise. Another one of his children was John Mapother, who was the great-great-great-grandfather of Justin Hartley.
This means that Tom Cruise and Justin Hartley are sixth cousins, once removed. They are both descendants of William Mapother Sr., but from different branches of his family tree.
The Career Paths
Tom Cruise and Justin Hartley have both achieved success and fame in their acting careers, but they have taken different paths to get there.
Tom Cruise made his film debut with a minor role in Endless Love (1981), and rose to stardom with leading roles in Risky Business (1983) and Top Gun (1986). He has since starred in many blockbuster films, such as A Few Good Men (1992), Mission: Impossible (1996), Jerry Maguire (1996), Minority Report (2002), The Last Samurai (2003), War of the Worlds (2005), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Top Gun: Maverick (2022). He has received three Golden Globe Awards and four Academy Award nominations for his performances. He is also known for performing his own stunts and being an outspoken advocate for Scientology.
Justin Hartley started his career on television, playing Fox Crane on the NBC soap opera Passions (2002-2006). He then gained recognition for portraying Oliver Queen/Green Arrow on the CW series Smallville (2006-2011). He also had recurring roles on Emily Owens, M.D. (2012-2013), Revenge (2013-2014), Mistresses (2014-2016), and The Young and the Restless (2014-2016). He landed his breakthrough role as Kevin Pearson on This Is Us in 2016, for which he has received critical acclaim and several award nominations. He has also appeared in some films, such as Red Canyon (2008), A Bad Moms Christmas (2017), The Noel Diary (2022), and Little (2022).
The Surprising Truth
So there you have it: the surprising truth about the relation between Justin Hartley and Tom Cruise. They are distant cousins who share a common ancestor from Ireland. They are both successful actors who have starred in popular films and TV shows. They are both handsome and charismatic men who have millions of fans around the world.
But do they know about their family connection? And have they ever met or worked together? Well, according to IMDb, they have never appeared in the same film or TV show. And according to various interviews and articles, they have never mentioned or acknowledged each other publicly. So it seems that they are unaware or indifferent about their relation.
Maybe one day they will find out about their surprising link and bond over their shared heritage. Or maybe they will remain strangers who happen to be related by blood. Either way, we can enjoy watching their performances on screen and admire their talents and looks.