Tom Sizemore, Star of ‘Saving Private Ryan’, dies at 61

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Tom Sizemore, who became a major presence in Hollywood in the 1990s, and appeared in leading roles in one major hit after another died on Friday. Sizemore suffered a brain aneurysm as a result of a stroke on February 19 and never recovered. He was found unconscious in his home and spent the rest of his life in a coma at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. After doctors determined he had no hope of recovery, he was taken off life support. Sizemore was 61 years old.

In a statement, Sizemore’s brother Paul said, “I am devastated by the loss of my big brother Tom. He was larger than life. He has influenced my life more than anyone I know. He was talented, loving, giving and could keep you going with his wit and eloquence. I’m devastated he’s gone and I’ll miss him always.”

Born in 1961 in Detroit, Sizemore’s Hollywood breakthrough came in 1989, when he appeared in four different films in one year, including Lock up and He was born on the fourth of July. From there it was off and running, appearing in one big movie after another – and usually more than one every year throughout the 1990s.

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Among his most famous films are Steven Spielberg’s Ryan’s Private Rescueby Tony Scott True Romanceand Oliver Stone Natural born killers. He also worked with directors like Martin Scorsese, Michael Bay, and Michael Mann.

Sizemore continued to work in the 2000s, albeit in less prominent projects. In his later years, Sizemore was more known for his legal and personal problems. He admitted to (and sometimes gets arrested for) drug problems, and was also convicted in 2003 of domestic violence against his girlfriend (the famous “Hollywood madam” Heidi Fleiss). He pleaded no contest to two other domestic violence charges in 2017. He also went to jail in 2005 after trying to break a urine test. Sizemore eventually appeared on several different television programs dealing with drug use, including Famous Revival By Dr. Drew. He also wrote a memoir about his career fighting substance abuse.

He is survived by two children. And despite his problems, he left behind an impressive body of work.

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