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Remembering Tom Sizemore

Remembering Tom Sizemore

Thomas Edward Sizemore Jr. was born November 29, 1961 and passed away March 3, 2023. He was was an American actor who is known for his supporting roles in Born on the Fourth of July, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Passenger 57, True Romance, Natural Born Killers, Strange Days, Heat, The Relic, Saving Private Ryan, Bringing Out the Dead, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor and the revival series of Twin Peaks. He is also known for voicing Sonny Forelli in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002).

Sizemore was born on November 29, 1961, in Detroit, Michigan. His mother, Judith, was a member of the city of Detroit ombudsman staff, and his father, Thomas Edward Sizemore Sr., was a lawyer and philosophy professor. He was raised Roman Catholic. Sizemore stated that his maternal grandfather was of French and Native American ancestry, and also that his grandfather was African-American.

One of Sizemore's earliest film appearances was in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July (1989). His other early roles included Lock Up (1989), Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991), Point Break (1991), True Romance (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), and Strange Days (1995). Sizemore starred in the independent drama film Love Is Like That (1993) with actress and model Pamela Gidley and had a supporting role in Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp (1994) as Bat Masterson. For his performance in Heart and Souls (1993), he was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor.

A succession of well-received supporting parts followed, beginning with his portrayal of Michael Cheritto in the heist film Heat (1995). Sizemore's first major leading role was as Vincent D'Agosta in The Relic (1997). Sizemore had a recurring role on the television series China Beach (1988–1991) as an enlisted man named Vinnie who was in love with Dana Delany's character. Sizemore continued to play leading and character parts in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), and Witness Protection (1999). Saving Private Ryan (1998) proved to be his most commercially successful project, bringing in $217,000,000 at the box office.

In the early 2000s, Sizemore appeared in the action films Pearl Harbor (2001) (starring Ben Affleck) and Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down (2001). He had a voice role as Sonny Forelli in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Sizemore starred in Ticker (2001), an action film directed by Albert Pyun, with Steven Seagal and Dennis Hopper. He also starred in the well-reviewed but short-lived television drama series Robbery Homicide Division (2001) (the program was canceled midway through its first and only season). He appeared in the Mel Gibson-produced Paparazzi (2004) and played an undercover cop in Swindle (2006), opposite Sherilyn Fenn.

That same year, he starred in The Genius Club (2006), playing a terrorist who taunts seven geniuses into solving the world's problems in one night. He went on to a leading role in the action/thriller film Splinter (2006) with Edward James Olmos. The next year, television network VH1 aired a six-episode reality TV series called Shooting Sizemore (2007), depicting the actor's life as he struggled to regain his career in the midst of battling long-standing addictions to methamphetamine and heroin. The series also covered an ongoing legal appeal of his conviction for an assault of former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. In the same year, the actor starred in the indie drama film Oranges (2007) with Tom Arnold and Jill Hennessy, which was directed by Syrian director and producer Joseph Merhi.

Sizemore performed in two films that screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Red (2008) and American Son (2008). He was highly prolific that year, starring in The Last Lullaby (2008), The Flyboys (2008) with Stephen Baldwin, action film Stiletto (2008) with Tom Berenger and Michael Biehn, drama film Toxic (2008) with Costas Mandylor, and the Canadian drama A Broken Life (2008) with Ving Rhames.

He went on to appear in five episodes of the television series Crash (2008–2009) with Dennis Hopper and the comedy film Super Capers (2009). Sizemore starred in the indie horror film Murder 101 (2014) and co-starred with Kyra Sedgwick and Vincent D'Onofrio in the comedy-drama film Chlorine (2013). Sizemore starred alongside martial arts actor Mark Dacascos in the action film Shadows in Paradise (2010), followed by an appearance as a trucker in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Sizemore appeared alongside the Insane Clown Posse in the comedy film Big Money Rustlas (2010) and the drama 513 with Michael Madsen. Sizemore has roles in the films Suing the Devil (2011) and White Knight (2011), as well as the adventure film The Age of Reason (2014). He saw a career resurgence when he was cast as a series regular in the USA Network action program Shooter (2016), starring Ryan Phillippe. He went on to receive positive notices for the drama thriller Calico Skies (2016). In 2017, he appeared as insurance agent Anthony Sinclair in David Lynch's revival miniseries Twin Peaks, and portrayed FBI Agent Bill Sullivan in the drama film Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House.

In 2020, Sizemore appeared in C.L.E.A.N., a thriller/horror indie film and won a Vegas Movie Award and in 2021 won another Vegas Movie Award for his supporting role in indie film The Electric Man with Vernon Wells and Eric Roberts. In 2022 Sizemore won also an IndieFEST Film Award and Accolade Competition Award for his supporting role in The Electric Man.

In January 2022, Sizemore joined the cast of The Legend of Jack and Diane, a feature film described as a female-fronted revenge thriller, directed and written by Bruce Bellocchi. The same year he was the lead star of the comedy series Barbee Rehab, alongside Bai Ling and Janice Dickinson.

Sizemore fronted the Hollywood rock band Day 8. Formed in 2002, the band recorded a four-song EP produced and recorded by Bradley Dujmovic and former Snot/Soulfly guitarist Mike Doling. Originally called "The Bystanders", the group included guitarist and co-writer Rod Castro, Alan Muffterson, Tyrone Tomke, and Michael Taylor.

Sizemore, who battled drug addiction from age 15, was convicted in 2003 of domestic violence against his girlfriend, the former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss. Sizemore was sentenced to seven months in jail and four months in drug treatment for repeatedly failing drug tests while on probation on March 25, 2005. Sizemore was caught attempting to fake the urine test using a Whizzinator. Fleiss's restraining order against him had lapsed by the time they appeared together in the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010.

In a 2013 interview, Sizemore claimed that he began to achieve sobriety after a stern interrogation from fellow actor Robert De Niro. De Niro personally checked Sizemore into rehabilitation.

On February 18, 2023, Sizemore suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm at his Los Angeles home and was hospitalized at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in critical condition. Charles Lago, his representative, issued a statement on February 27 that doctors had determined there was "no further hope and have recommended end-of-life decision" to Sizemore's family. Sizemore died on March 3, at the age of 61.

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