Tom Sizemore, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ star, dead at 61
Tom Sizemore, an actor known for his work in hit films like “Saving Private Ryan,” “Natural Born Killers” and “Heat,” has died, his representative Charles Lago confirmed to CNN on Friday.
He was 61.
The actor was hospitalized after suffering a brain aneurysm in mid-February, Lago told CNN at the time.
Sizemore “passed away peacefully in his sleep” at Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, with his two sons and his brother, Paul Sizemore, by his side, Lago said in a statement released on behalf of the family.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my big brother Tom,” Paul Sizemore said in the statement. “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.”
On Monday, Sizemore’s family said doctors informed them there was “no further hope” and recommended “end of life decision” due to the condition of his health, according to a statement released.
“We are asking for privacy for his family during this difficult time and they wish to thank everyone for the hundreds of messages of support, and prayers that have been received. This has been a difficult time for them.”
Born in Detroit, Sizemore made a name for himself in Hollywood playing tough guys.
He had an early, small role in the 1989 Oliver Stone film “Born on the Fourth of July” and scored his television break playing Sgt. Vinnie Ventresca in the ABC series “China Beach.”
Sizemore followed that with performances in various films, including “Point Break” in 1991, “True Romance” in 1993, “Natural Born Killers” in 1994 and “Strange Days” in 1995.
His costarring role as Bat Masterson in Kevin Costner’s western “Wyatt Earp” earned Sizemore acclaim. He went on to other major roles in “Pearl Harbor” and “Black Hawk Down,” both released in 2001.
He was perhaps best known for his role as Sgt. Mike Horvath in the 1998 World War II film “Saving Private Ryan.”
Sizemore recently appeared in the Netflix series “Cobra Kai” and the independent supernatural film, “Impuratus.”
Off screen woes and recovery
Sizemore’s fame on screen was at times overshadowed by coverage of his life off screen.
Battling substance abuse for years, in 2003 he was convicted of domestic abuse against former girlfriend and Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. He had other legal run-ins and appeared on the VH1 series “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” in 2010.
That same year he told CNN’s Larry King that he had been addicted to cocaine, heroin and meth.
Sizemore later talked about starring in the comedy series “Barbee Rehab” in a 2022 interview with Decider and was asked if he had some hesitancy in taking on the role.
“There was some, but it was so goofy and so not like rehab that I got over it,” Sizemore said, laughing at the time. “Plus, it wasn’t about drugs. It’s about obsessions and compulsions and… Barbees!”
In the same interview, Sizemore reflected on seeing magic in movies like “The Wizard of Oz” as a child and later as a teen watching “Taxi Driver.”
“I saw that movie every week for, like, two months when it was playing in the theater. I saw it eleven weeks in a row,” Sizemore said. “That’s when I first started thinking, ‘Whatever that is they’re doing up there, I want to be part of it. I want to do that.’”