Monday, April 15, 2024

China Beach Star Dana Delany Remembers Tom Sizemore, Says “He Wanted to Be De Niro”


Emmy winner Dana Delany was there in 1989 when Tom Sizemore — who died Friday at 61 — broke out on her Emmy winning series, “China Beach.” As Sizemore went through decades of scandal– drugs, jail, trials, divorce, all kinds of accusations and allegations — she always held a soft spot for him.

As “China Beach” hit (he was there for Season 3) he also started popping up in movies. First was “BOrn on the Fourth of July.” Over a decade he appeared in more and more hits like “Saving Private Ryan,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Heat,” and so on. But by the mid to late 2000s, he was a tabloid wreck, constantly getting headlines for the wrong reasons.

Sizemore was, for a while, a character actor you looked forward to seeing on screen. But starting around 2009 his legal and personal problems killed his mainstream career. He started appearing in dozens of straight to video B movies. His one comeback was briefly in 2017 when he recurred on the “Twin Peaks” revival. But he could never overcome the Wild Man image. Dating “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss didn’t help.

Delany writes on Twitter, showing pictures of the actor when he was young: “This is the Tom I choose to remember. So young & full of dreams. He wanted to be DeNiro. I said, but why? You’re already Richard Burton. In many ways, he was.”

Rest in peace.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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