Tom Sizemore, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ star, dead at 61

At age 61, Tom Sizemore passed away. The actor was most known for his gritty tough-guy roles in classic movies like Saving Private Ryan.

Sizemore had a brain aneurysm on February 18 and is currently in serious condition. His career in Hollywood has also long been marred by legal issues and struggles with drugs.

The actor was receiving medical treatment and was in a coma. Doctors reportedly told the family on February 27 that “there is no further hope” and suggested making an end-of-life choice.

Charles Lago, the actor’s manager, stated in a statement to Variety that the family ultimately decided to remove him from life support on March 3.

“It is with great sadness and sorrow I have to announce that actor Thomas Edward Sizemore (‘Tom Sizemore’) aged 61 passed away peacefully in his sleep today at St Joseph’s Hospital Burbank,” Lago’s statement reads. “His brother Paul and twin boys Jayden and Jagger (17) were at his side.”

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my big brother Tom,” his brother Paul Sizemore said in a statement, per Variety. “He was larger than life. He has influenced my life more than anyone I know. He was talented, loving, giving and could keep you entertained endlessly with his wit and storytelling ability. I am devastated he is gone and will miss him always.”

Sizemore was born in Detroit, Michigan, on November 29, 1961. With films like Born on the Fourth of July, Point Break, True Romance, and Natural Born Killers, he made his Hollywood debut in small roles.

He proceeded to have success by playing a well-liked supporting role in the highly regarded 1995 heist movie Heat and by appearing frequently in the TV series China Beach.

Sizemore is likely best recognized for his role as Sgt. Mike Horvath in the revered 1998 Steven Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan, which takes place during World War Two.

In a notable sequence, Sgt. Horvath muses that despite the costs involved, “saving Private Ryan” might have been the “one decent thing” they were able to accomplish during the war:

The year’s highest-grossing movie in the US, Saving Private Ryan, also happened to be an Oscar winner. Sizemore’s performance was favorably praised and helped advance his career even if he didn’t win any prizes for it.

Other action and military movies starring Sizemore have included Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down. He also provided the vocal for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, a popular computer game.

But Sizemore’s long history of addiction and legal troubles frequently cast a shadow on his accomplishments. When he was 15, the actor claimed, he has struggled with addiction.

“First I drank. People could tell if you were drunk, so then I was like, ‘Hey, look, let me find a drug where I feel comfortable in my own skin,’” he told the Associated Press. “But I did. I found a drug and it was called cocaine. I did it for a while. Then I found an even better drug and it was called heroin.”

Sizemore’s battle with addiction resulted in legal issues. He was found guilty of domestic violence in 2003 after his ex-girlfriend Heidi Fleiss testified that Sizemore had struck her in the jaw.

After failing drug tests while on probation, he received a sentence that included probation, treatment, and anger management as well as a 7-month jail term.

He was placed on probation for a prior offense when he was detained for methamphetamine possession in 2007. He was charged with domestic abuse in 2017 after hitting his partner, and he entered a no contest plea. A lawsuit against Sizemore was later dismissed, but the actor was accused of abusing a woman on set when she was 11 years old in 2017. Sizemore vigorously rejected the allegations. Sizemore was detained for petty narcotics possession in 2019.

Sizemore has been vocal in the past about his battle with addiction and his difficulties staying sober.

“I’ve been trying to get sober since 1991,” he told Fox News Digital in 2021. “It became really big news much later than that, but I was trying to stop. I’ve had a problem for a long time. I had periods, long periods, of sobriety and I would end up relapsing.”

Sizemore claims in his 2016 autobiography that Robert DeNiro once persuaded him to enter rehab by claiming he was “going to die”

“I walked in to see my shrink and I walked in and there were all these people there… I sit down and Bob [De Niro] came in and goes, ‘OK. OK, now we can talk… Now you listen to me, I’m no psychiatrist… but you’re either going to go to rehab or go to prison — and in walks a cop”.

In 2010, Sizemore participated in the third season of the reality television program Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Sizemore continued to act, appearing in scores of movies despite the fact that his personal troubles had a significant negative impact on and frequently overshadowed his profession. On episodes like Hawaii Five-0, Shooter, and the 2017 Twin Peaks remake, he played recurrent roles.

Jagger and Jayden, Sizemore’s twin sons, both 17 years old, are left behind. Janelle McIntire, Sizemore’s ex-girlfriend, is their mother.

Rest in peace, Tom Sizemore. Though he lived an often troubled life, he will always be remembered for his great performances in so many iconic films.

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