Tom Sizemore, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘Heat’ Actor, Has Died at Age 61


Actor Tom Sizemore died on Friday, a representative confirmed to CNN. The 61-year-old performer, best known for his work in films like Saving Private Ryan, Heat, and Black Hawk Down, suffered a brain aneurysm on February 18. He was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital and remained in intensive care. Ten days later, a spokesperson said his family received word from doctors that there was no hope for recovery, and that “end of life decisions” were being made. He was 61 years old. 

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my big brother Tom,” the performer’s brother Paul Sizemore said. “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.”

The Detroit native was known for tough guy turns and worked with many top directors, like Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Kathryn Bigelow. His first major role was in 1994, in Lawrence Kasdan’s Wyatt Earp, playing the part of Bat Masterson opposite Kevin Costner. The following year, he was a key part of Robert De Niro’s crew in Michael Mann’s immediate cops-and-robbers classic, Heat.

Here he is in that film, making lines like “the action is the juice” sound like poetry.

In 1998, he was second-in-command to Tom Hanks in the World War II action-drama Saving Private Ryan. Though his character, Technical Sergeant Mike Horvath, seemed at times to be the most indestructible, he did not survive the randomness of combat in Steven Spielberg’s film. The following year, he co-starred with Nicolas Cage, Ving Rhames, and Patricia Arquette in Scorsese’s existential EMT drama Bringing Out The Dead.

In 2000, he received a Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actor in a miniseries or motion picture made for television for his work in Witness Protection, and in 2001 he went back into combat for Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down.

The actor struggled with drug addiction and frequently found himself in legal trouble.


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