In his early career, Tom Sizemore played many tough guy roles with magnetic intensity. Sizemore starred in numerous films now considered classics, most notably Saving Private Ryan in 1998. However, his struggles with addiction and legal problems would ultimately eclipse his talent and career.
In February, Sizemore was hospitalized and placed in critical condition after suffering a brain aneurysm. He died on Friday. He was 61 years old.
Charles Lago, Sizemore’s manager, expressed deep sorrow over the passing of both a client and a cherished friend who had been his mentor for nearly 15 years. According to him, Tom was an exceptionally genuine person who exuded kindness and generosity. He also drew inspiration from Tom’s fortitude in the face of adversity. Although he loved his family and sons dearly, the past few years were some of Tom’s finest as he made progress towards rebuilding his life. Charles will sorely miss his close companion Tom Sizemore.
As a child, Sizemore watched movies with his mother in Detroit. He became fascinated with Robert De Niro’s Taxi Driver performance. “I saw that movie every week for two months when it was playing in the theater,” he told Decider in 2022. At that point, I realized I wanted to be a part of whatever they were doing up there. I wanted to be a part of that, so I began thinking about becoming an actor.”
Having studied theater at Wayne State University and Temple University, Sizemore initially waited tables in New York City while pursuing his career aspirations. Soon after, he landed roles in several well-received films starting with Born on the Fourth of July in 1989, directed by Oliver Stone. He continued to secure small parts in movies such as Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break and Blue Steel. Eventually, Sizemore earned larger roles in productions like Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Passenger 57, True Romance and Natural Born Killers.
After his roles in Hollywood war films like Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor, Sizemore’s life took a turn for the worse. He faced charges for assaulting his fiancée at the time, Heidi Fleiss – known as the “Hollywood Madam” – in 2003. In addition to that, he was arrested several times for driving under the influence, drug possession, and domestic violence. There were also claims from some cast and crew members that he acted inappropriately with an 11-year-old girl on a film set; however, this accusation was dismissed in 2020.
He starred in the lowest-grossing movie of 2006, and he repeatedly tried to get clean. When Sizemore appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010, he said it was his ninth stint in treatment and that his sobriety periods were the most fulfilling.
By 2016, Sizemore was slowly working his way back into respectability, appearing as a guest on popular TV and streaming shows such as Lucifer, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Twin Peaks reboot, and Cobra Kai. The following year, he told the Daily Mail he was an older pitcher and still threw 98 mph when acting.
According to his manager, Sizemore’s twin sons Jayden and Jagger, 17, were at his side when he died.