Tom Sizemore, a talented but troubled actor who made a career of playing tough guys, but struggled to stay on the right side of the law, has died at the age of 61, his manager said Friday.
He suffered a brain aneurysm in February and was removed from life support on Friday, days after doctors concluded no more could be done for him, Charles Lago said.
“It is with great sadness and sorrow that I have to announce that actor Thomas Edward Sizemore (aka “Tom Sizemore’), aged 61, passed away peacefully in his sleep today at St. Joseph’s Hospital Burbank,” a statement said.
“His brother Paul and twin boys Jayden and Jagger (17) were at his side.”
The actor worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names over a decades-long career, but away from the screen, he led a frequently troubled life, struggling with addiction and enduring spells in jail.
Born in Detroit in 1961, Sizemore worked as an actor in New York in the 1980s, and first came to prominence with a role in Oliver Stone’s 1989 film Born on the Fourth of July.
Throughout the 1990s, he appeared in movies including the star-studded True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino, and Stone’s violent cult hit Natural Born Killers.
But it was for his role in Steven Spielberg’s 1998 World War II epic Saving Private Ryan that he came to wider public attention, playing the second-in-command to Tom Hanks in a small group of soldiers sent to bring home a serviceman whose three brothers had already died.
The movie received a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars and the stars, who also included Matt Damon, were nominated for outstanding cast by the Screen Actors Guild.
A few years later, he was part of an ensemble that included Ewan McGregor and Tom Hardy in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down, about a botched military operation in Somalia.
His acting won frequent plaudits, and his craft was widely admired by fellow professionals.
But off-screen Sizemore’s life kept unraveling.
He blamed prolific drug use, including crystal methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, for some of his darker episodes.
In 2003 he was convicted of attacking his then-girlfriend and spent eight months in jail.
Drug possession landed him in trouble with the law several times over the following years, at least once resulting in more jail time.
In 2017 he pleaded no contest to more domestic violence charges.
Despite his troubles, he continued to work, appearing in TV standards including Hawaii Five-O and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
On February 18, he collapsed at his Los Angeles home after suffering a stroke and subsequent aneurysm. He had been in intensive care since.
Lago said he would miss his “great friend.”
“Tom was one of the most sincere, kind, and generous human beings I have had the pleasure of knowing. His courage and determination through adversity was always an inspiration to me.”
The actor’s brother, who was with him when he died, said he was “deeply saddened.”
“He was larger than life. He has influenced my life more than anyone I know. He was talented, loving, and giving and could keep you entertained endlessly with his wit and storytelling ability. I am devastated he is gone and will miss him always.”