The formidable, yet troubled actor Tom Sizemore passed away at the age of sixty-one after having graced us with his presence in classic films such as Heat, Natural Born Killers, and Saving Private Ryan.

After much agonizing deliberation, the actor’s family made the difficult decision to take him off life support at a Los Angeles hospital, leading to his untimely death.

“It is with great sadness and sorrow I have to announce that actor Thomas Edward Sizemore (‘Tom Sizemore’) aged 61 passed away peacefully in his sleep today at St Joseph’s Hospital Burbank,” his manager Charles Lago said in a statement. “His Brother Paul and twin boys Jayden and Jagger were at his side.”

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my big brother Tom,” Paul Sizemore stated. “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.”

Early on the morning of Feb. 19, tragedy struck when the actor collapsed in his Los Angeles home after suffering a brain aneurysm from a stroke. He was quickly taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank where he fought for his life under intensive care and remained comatose in critical condition until further notice. On February 27th, a representative reported that his family had begun to consider “deciding end of life matters” after the medical professionals declared there was no hope of recovery.

After acting in Oliver Stone’s iconic 1989 anti-war film Born on the Fourth of July, Sizemore’s fame suddenly skyrocketed. In less than 12 months, he had already shared scenes with renowned actors such as Robert De Niro and Willem Dafoe, not to mention his villainous role in the 1991 action hit Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.

Throughout the ’90s and into the 2000s, Detroit’s own Tom Cruise was recruited by some of Hollywood’s biggest names – Tony Scott (True Romance, Enemy of the State), Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), Ridley Scott (Blackhawk Down) Martin Scorsese(Bringing Out The Dead), Kathryn Bigelow(Blue Steel, Point Break, Strange Days ), Michael Mann(Heat)and Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor). His distinct yet intimidating on-screen persona made him a natural pick for such notable directors.

After proving himself as a reliable backing actor for the Hollywood greats, Sizemore earned his big break by starring in The Relic (1997) and then playing both notorious figures John Gotti and accomplished baseball player Pete Rose in Witness to the Mob and Hustle respectively. He also gained substantial fame by voicing Sonny Forelli in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002).

Nonetheless, Sizemore’s long-standing substance misuse disorder – having said that he had been consuming drugs since his teenage years – eventually brought a stop to his budding career. The downfall began in 2003 when he was found guilty of domestic abuse against former flame Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and sentenced to seven months behind bars, plus another four weeks at a drug therapy center due to consecutive failed drug tests during the probation period.

In the early 2000s, Sizemore’s struggles with drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines continued to haunt him. To document this journey of recovery, a docuseries entitled ‘Shooting Sizemore’ was released in 2007. Three years later, he went on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and Celebrity Rehab: Sober House programs; reuniting him with his former flame Heidi Fleiss after her restraining order against him had been lifted.

Over the last twenty years, Tom Sizemore has featured in countless direct-to-DVD movies, until he made a resurgence in 2017 with his performance on Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House and David Lynch’s revival of Twin Peaks. Unfortunately that same year, he was charged with domestic abuse but denied it by entering a plea of no contest. In 2020 however, an 11-year-old girl accused him of molesting her during filming which resulted in a lawsuit being filed against him; yet this lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a judge later on.

Despite his personal setbacks, Sizemore’s co-stars often spoke highly of their time working with him; De Niro even went so far as to pay for one of the actor’s rehabilitation treatments. “He’s got that myth about him,” Jason Momoa said in 2014. “He’s the sweetest guy. I had the greatest scenes with him. He’s super supportive, constantly running lines, and very available. He’s been through so much and he’s so open that he’s not afraid to fall on his face. He doesn’t stop pushing, so it really helps you to do what you need to do. He makes it effortless, and it’s really, really fun to be around that.”

In 2013, Sizemore shared the story of his life and profession in a memoir entitled By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There. With this book, he recounted the difficult experiences and successes that have made him who he is today. Sizemore’s manager said that there will be a “private cremation service for the family with a larger celebration of life event planned in a few weeks.”