The film industry has lost many legendary figures recently, and sadly, beloved character actor Tom Sizemore has died after suffering a critical brain aneurysm. Sizemore was certainly an actor whose legacy is worthy of commendation. If you are scrolling through his list of credits, you may find many of your favorite movies of all-time. like Kathryn Bigelow, Michael Mann, Ridley Scott, and Martin ScorseseSizemore could often take seemingly small roles and insert a spark of personality that made them even more memorable.
The news of Sizemore’s condition and subsequent death comes as a shock because in the last few years, he’s remained just as active as he’s always seemed to be. Between dozens of smaller titles released in the last few years and a few memorable TV appearances, Sizemo remained one of the hardest working actors in the industry. He’s one of the rare actors that brings his A-game to any type of project, regardless of whether it’s an episode of Law & Order or an arthouse project from David Lynch.
Here are some of Tom Sizemore’s most memorable roles.
The Veteran, Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Born on the Fourth of July is among the best anti-war films, as it shows the journey of former US Sergeant Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) from a strictly nationalist patriot into a fierce critic of the United States military’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Sizemore’s role as a veteran of the war shows the human costs of putting military members in harm’s way, even when the intent of the mission is unclear .
DEA Agent Deets, Point Break (1991)
Sizemore was clearly a favorite of Bigelow, who cast him in several of her genre films throughout the 1990s. Sizemore brings his singular sense of menace to his role as a ruthless DEA agent in Point Break; he seems to understand the satirical take on masculinity that Bigelow is aiming for.
Detective Jack Scagnetti, Natural Born Killers (1994)
Oliver Stone‘s Natural Born Killers was one of the most controversial films of the decade, but it’s startlingly relevant now. Stone worked off of a brilliant screenplay from Quentin Tarantino that analyzed the impact of media sensationalism on the public’s reaction to violence; Sizemore makes these themes evident with his performance as an obsessive police detective who is just as ruthless and bloodthirsty as the serial killers he’s chasing.
Michael Cheritto, Heat (1995)
heat is quite simply one of the most perfect movies ever made, as it’s the rare “cops and robbers” film where the audience can sympathize with both sides of the conflict. There’s a great sense of chemistry between Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) and his hired crew, Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), Michael Cheritto (Sizemore), Trejo (Danny Trejo), and Waingro (Kevin Gage), as they each have their own reasons for joining his heist team. While Chris ultimately ends up evoking more sympathy, Sizemore does a great job at showing Cheritto’s complete lack of ethics, as he’s unafraid to gun down innocents in order to secure .
DeWitt Albright, Devil In A Blue Dress (1995)
Devil In A Blue Dress is Carl Franklin’s modernized take on the hard-boiled detective story, and it examines systematic racism as it impacts his charismatic lead detective Easy Rawlings (Denzel Washington). Sizemore’s sneering performance as the racist private investigator DeWitt Albright that blocks all of Easy’s leads shows the barriers in the system that sadly still exist. It takes a great actor to create a character that the audience instantly despises.
Max Peltier, Strange Days (1995)
Strange Days is Bigelow’s prophetic masterpiece on police brutality, online media, surveillance, and predestination that has only continued to become more relevant. Sizemore’s performance as a murderous, racist police officer is even more chilling now considering the considerable overchanges in the clast social years.
Sergeant First Class Mike Horvath, Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan is packed with so many great actors in brief roles; do you remember the scenes with Vin Diesel, Nathan Fillion, Paul Giamatti, Ted Danson, and Bryan Cranston? Sizemore has a more significant role as the long-time best friend of John H. Miller (Tom Cruise), who grew concerned about his mental health in the aftermath of D-Day.
Paulie Pintero, Enemy of the State (1998)
Tony Scott‘s career peaked with Enemy of the Statea hyper-stylized paranoia thriller that draws heavy inspiration from Francis Ford Coppola‘s 1974 masterpiece The Conversation. Sizemore has a memorable role as a shady mob boss who is just one of the quirky clients that Bobby Dean (Will Smith) has to deal with.
Tom Wolls, Bringing Out The Dead (1999)
An underrated effort from Scorsese, Bringing Out The Dead explores the psychological torment of the insomniac paramedic Frank Pierce (Nicolas Cage) during his late trips around Manhattan at night to recover the scenes of various crimes. Sizemore is essential in increasing the film’s tension when his character Tom Wolls is paired with Pierce; Wolls’ violent behavior and unstable mental state immediately cause Pierce’s spiral out to the world of his control.
Colonel Danny McKnight, Black Hawk Down (2001)
Black Hawk Down is among the best war movies of the century; the massive ensemble brings life to the various heroes who served in the US military’s chaotic 1993 operation in Mogadishu, and Ridley Scott does not shy away from the grimness of the casualties. Sizemore expertly shows the leadership of Colonel Danny McKnight, a veteran strategist who must inspire his men despite the heavy casualties they face in the midst of the conflict. Ironically, Sizemore also played a role in Michael Bay‘s Pearl Harbor the same year; while Bay’s attempt at honoring the conflict was disastrous, Sizemore nonetheless delivered a respectful performance.
Anthony Sinclair, Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)
David Lynch returned to his most famous saga with the masterful Twin Peaks: The Returna work of extraordinary filmmaking that stands as one of the most impressive works of art in the 21st century. Every character and moment is touched with Lynch’s idiosyncratic nuances, and Sizemore’s role as the aggressive, bullying boss of FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), who’s trapped within the childlike body of Dougie Jones, does a great job at evoking the audience’s sympathy for the famous lead character of the original series.