Burbank, Calif. (AP) – Tom Sizemore, the “Saving Private Ryan” actor whose 1990s stardom burned out under the weight of domestic violence and drug convictions, died Friday at the age of 61.
The actor had suffered a brain aneurysm on February 18 at his home in Los Angeles. His manager Charles Lago said he died in his sleep on Friday at a hospital in Burbank, California.
Sizemore became a star with acclaimed appearances in “Natural Born Killers” and the cult-classic crime thriller “Heat.” But severe drug dependency, abuse allegations and multiple run-ins with the law destroyed his career, left him homeless and sent him to prison.
As the wave of the global #MeToo movement peaked in late 2017, Sizemore was also accused of groping an 11-year-old Utah girl on set in 2003. Charges were not filed.
Despite a flurry of legal troubles, Sizemore had scores of steady film and television credits—though his career never regained its momentum. Aside from “Black Hawk Down” and “Pearl Harbor”, most of his 21st-century roles came in low-budget, lesser-seen productions, where he continued to portray the gruff, tough people he was meant to portray. became famous for
“I was a guy who came from very little and rose to the top. I had a multimillion-dollar house, a Porsche, a restaurant partially owned by Robert De Niro,” Detroit-born Sizemore said in his 2013 interview. “By some miracle I made it out of there,” he wrote in the memoir. “And now I had absolutely nothing.”
The title of the book was taken from a line spoken by his character in “Saving Private Ryan”, a role for which he received Oscar buzz. But he wrote that success had turned him into a “spoiled movie star,” an “arrogant fool” and eventually a “hope-to-die addict.”
He produced a series of domestic violence arrests. Sizemore was once married to actor Maeve Quinlan, and was arrested in 1997 on suspicion of battering her. While the charges were dropped, the couple divorced in 1999.
Sizemore was convicted of abusing ex-girlfriend Heidi Fleiss in 2003 – the same year he pleaded no contest and avoided prosecution in a separate misdemeanor case – and sentenced to life in prison. The former Hollywood madam testified that he punched her in the jaw at a Beverly Hills hotel, and beat her to the point in New York that she couldn’t attend the “Black Hawk Down” premiere.
The sentencing judge said that drug abuse was a likely catalyst but that testimony revealed a man who had a deep problem with dealing with women. Fleiss referred to Sizemore as a “void” in a conversation with The Associated Press following his sentencing.
Sizemore apologized in a letter, stating that he was a “victim” and that “personal demons” had taken over his life, although he later denied abusing her and that she had been scarred. Accused of showing the picture.
Fleiss also sued Sizemore, saying she suffered emotional distress after he threatened to revoke her own probation. Fleiss was convicted in 1994 of running a high-priced call-girl ring. That lawsuit was settled on undisclosed terms.
Sizemore was the subject of two workplace sexual harassment lawsuits related to the 2002 CBS show “Robbery Homicide Division,” in which he played a police detective. He was recently arrested in 2016 in another domestic violence case.
Sizemore was jailed from August 2007 to January 2009 for failing multiple drug tests while on probation and in Bakersfield, California, after authorities found methamphetamine in his car.
“God is trying to tell me that he doesn’t want me to use drugs because every time I use them I get caught,” Sizemore told The Bakersfield Californian in a jailhouse interview.
Sizemore told the AP in 2013 that he believed his dependence was related to the success trap. He struggled to maintain his emotional composure as he described a low point while looking in the mirror: “I felt like I was 100 years old. I didn’t have a relationship with my kids; I had There was no work to speak of.I was living in a squat.
He appeared on the reality TV show “Celebrity Rehab” and its spinoff “Sober House,” telling the AP that he did the shows partly to get help, but also partly to pay off debts that had accumulated in the millions.
Many of Sizemore’s later career films had a sci-fi, horror or action bent: in 2022 alone, he starred in films with titles such as “Impuratus,” “Night of the Tommyknockers” and “Vampifather.” But Sizemore still landed some meaty roles — including in the “Twin Peaks” revival — and guest spots on popular shows like “Entourage” and “Hawaii Five-O.”
A stuntman sued Sizemore and Paramount Pictures in 2016, saying he was injured by an allegedly intoxicated actor while filming USA’s “Shooter.” State records obtained by the AP show that Sizemore was only supposed to sit in the stationary car and that he “reformed at the end of the scene and went to his car.” Sizemore was fired from “Shooter” and the stuntman’s lawsuit was settled on undisclosed terms.
In addition to his film and TV credits, he was part of the voice cast of the 2002 “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” video game. According to recent advertisements, he also taught classes at the LA West Acting Studio.
He is survived by his 17-year-old twin sons, Jaden and Jagger, and his brother Paul, who was with him at the time of his death.
Sizemore wrote in his memoir, “I’ve led an interesting life, but I can’t tell you what I’d give to someone you know nothing about.”
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