Death of Tom Sizemore: The actor suffered a brain aneurysm

Actor Tom Sizemore, known for his work in films such as “Saving Private Ryan,” “True Romance” and “Black Hawk Down,” has died at the age of 61 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Sizemore died Friday at a Burbank hospital, according to his manager, Charles Lago. The actor was taken to the intensive care unit of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank on February 18, where he was listed in critical condition and remained in a coma.

Earlier this week, Lago released a statement on behalf of the “Heat” actor’s relatives: “Doctors have informed his family that there is no other hope and have recommended a decision to end his life.”

Lago said in a statement that Sizemore “died peacefully in his sleep … at St Joseph’s Hospital Burbank. His brother Paul and twin boys Jaden and Jagger were by his side.”

In 1998, Sizemore starred alongside Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning World War II drama Saving Private Ryan. Sizemore portrayed Capt. Miller’s (Hanks) right-hand man, Sgt. Mike Horvath, a loyal and courageous soldier who delivers the film’s title and keeps memorabilia from every military tour he completes.

Sizemore accepted the career-changing role of Horvath on a whim. He was just about to start filming Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line in Australia when Spielberg called and asked: “Do you want to go to Australia with Terry Malick or do you want to come to Great Britain and Ireland with me and tom Hanks?”

“I told him I wanted to go to Great Britain and Ireland,” he said in 2018.

“It was an unprecedented experience for me because it was like being called behind the curtain of Oz. Steven and his crew operated at a completely different level than I had ever seen,” he added, “his scope of vision, attention to detail was beyond anything I had ever dreamed of.”

Tom Sizemore in 2014.

(Jordan Strauss/Associated Press)

Born on November 29, 1961, Thomas Edward Sizemore Jr. grew up in Detroit. His father was a lawyer and professor and his mother a mediator of the city.

“I was a tough kid,” Sizemore recalled in 1995. “I don’t punch people anymore.”

Eventually, Sizemore’s family moved to the suburbs until his father divorced and the children returned to Detroit with their mother. By the age of 16, Sizemore “wanted to move on” with his life.

“I knew I wanted to be an actor,” he told The Times in 1995. “I wanted to get out of Detroit.”

After attending Wayne State University, Sizemore earned a master’s degree in theater from Temple University and moved to New York City to pursue acting. His first break came when Oliver Stone cast him in a small role in Born on the Fourth of July.

Sizemore played tough roles during the 1990s in films such as “Natural Born Killers,” “Wyatt Earp” and “Heat,” and later had a recurring role on the TV series “China Beach.” In 2000, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his leading performance as an ex-mafioso in the TV movie “Witness Protection.” He also had a lead role in the high-profile military drama ‘Black Hawk Down’.

In addition to his work in film and television, Sizemore also dabbled in theater. At the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in 2011, he held a private reading of his one-man show, “I Am Not Sam,” which explored his biracial identity. During the show, he adopted the voice of his black grandfather, who warned him never to reveal his biracial heritage if he wanted to make it in Hollywood.

“I hate this stuff,” Sizemore said as people gathered to congratulate him after the reading. “I’ll be out in a second.”

Sizemore has amassed over 200 acting credits spanning film, video games, theater and television. His last role was as a doctor in the 2022 sitcom “Barbee Rehab”.

During his career, Sizemore often made headlines for his run-ins with law enforcement. In 2003, he was convicted of abusing his girlfriend, Heidi Fleiss, and served 17 months in prison.

During his trial, Sizemore’s lawyers denied Fleiss’ claims and accused her of trying to blackmail him. He was found guilty of domestic violence, criminal threats and harassing phone calls.

He was also arrested once on suspicion of assaulting another girl in downtown LA and twice on suspicion of battery on an ex-husband. Additionally, he has previously been taken into custody on suspicion of possession or sale of a controlled substance and in 2006 pleaded no contest to using methamphetamine outside a Bakersfield motel.

Sizemore has been open about his struggles with drug addiction — he once even volunteered for rehab on national television for a season of the VH1 reality series, “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.”

Appearing on “Larry King Live” in 2010, Sizemore told the late TV host that he became addicted to cocaine after using the drug for the first time with “a famous actor,” when his Hollywood dreams were starting to come true. He also struggled with addiction to heroin and crystal meth.

“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I couldn’t get out of bed,” Sizemore told King. “But I didn’t get any pleasure out of it and it was ruining my career. … I am an actor. I’ve been acting for 30 years and I’m not done anymore. I had no money. … I was quite desperate.”

In 2011, Sizemore announced that he would be writing a book about his experiences with “substance abuse”. He released his memoir, By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There, in 2013.

“The fact that I’ve now been sober for over two years – and that I’m as active as I was before – proves that people can overcome obstacles even when they’re sure they can’t,” Sizemore said ahead of the book’s release. release.

Sizemore is survived by his 17-year-old twin sons, Jagger and Jaden.

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