Sizemore was born in Detroit, Michigan. His mother, Judith ( Schannault), was a member of the city of Detroit ombudsman staff, and his father, Thomas Edward Sizemore, Sr., now retired, was a lawyer and philosophy professor. Sizemore has stated that his maternal grandfather was of French and Native American ancestry. Contrary to misstatement and rumor, Tom's mother is not of African-American ancestry. He has three brothers, Charlie, Aaron and Paul, who is also an actor. Sizemore attended Michigan State University for one year, as well as Wayne State University. He earned a Master's degree in theatre from Temple University in 1986. He subsequently moved to New York City to pursue an acting career.
One of Sizemore's earliest film appearances occurred in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July in 1989, followed by roles in Lock Up (1989), Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991), Point Break, True Romance (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), and Strange Days (1995). Sizemore also starred in the independent drama film Love Is Like That (1993) with actress and model Pamela Gidley. He had a supporting role in Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp as Bat Masterson.
A succession of well-received supporting parts followed, perhaps the most well known being his portrayal of Michael Cheritto as an armed robber in the heist film Heat (1995). His first major leading role was as Vincent D'Agosta in 1997's The Relic. Sizemore had a recurring role on the television series China Beach (1988 to 1991) as an enlisted man named Vinnie who was in love with Dana Delany's character. Sizemore continued to play leading and character parts in many films, notably Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), and Witness Protection (1999).
In the early 2000s, he appeared in actions films such as Pearl Harbor (2001), starring Ben Affleck, and Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down (2002). He had a voice part as Sonny Forelli in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In 2001, Sizemore starred in Ticker, an action film directed by Albert Pyun, with Steven Seagal and Dennis Hopper. In 2002, Sizemore starred in the well-reviewed but short-lived television drama series Robbery Homicide Division. It was cancelled mid-way through its first season. He also played an undercover cop in the film Swindle opposite Sherilyn Fenn. In 2004, he starred in Paparazzi.
In 2006, he starred in The Genius Club, playing a terrorist who taunts seven geniuses into solving the world's problems in one night. Also that year, he had a leading role in action/thriller film Splinter with Edward James Olmos. In 2007, the television network VH1 aired a six episode reality TV series called Shooting Sizemore, which depicted the life of the actor as he struggled to regain his career in the midst of a continuing battle with addiction. The series also covered an ongoing legal appeal on his conviction for an assault of former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. In this year, the actor also starred in the Indie drama film Oranges with Tom Arnold and Jill Hennessy, which was directed by Syrian director and producer Joseph Merhi.
Recently, Sizemore has worked in films that include Red and American Son, both of which were screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2008, Sizemore starred in The Last Lullaby, playing a killer, and appeared also in The Flyboys with Stephen Baldwin, action film Stiletto with Tom Berenger and Michael Biehn, drama film Toxic with Costas Mandylor, and is the star in the Canadian drama A Broken Life with Ving Rhames.
In 2009, he appeared in the comedy film Super Capers. In addition, Sizemore also appeared in five episodes of the TV series Crash with Dennis Hopper. In 2010, Sizemore starred in the indie horror film C.L.A.S.S. which is written by Sheldon Robins, and co-starred with Kyra Sedgwick and Vincent D'Onofrio in drama/comedy film Chlorine. He also starred alongside martial arts actor Mark Dacascos in the action movie Shadows in Paradise. He also appeared in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Sizemore also appeared alongside the Insane Clown Posse in the comedy film Big Money Rustlas and the drama 513 with Michael Madsen. Sizemore has roles in the upcoming films, the Age of Reason, Suing the Devil and White Knight.
Sizemore fronted the Hollywood rock band Day 8. Formed in 2002, the band recorded a four-song EP produced and recorded by Bradley Dujmovic and former Snot/Soulfly guitarist Mike Doling. Originally called "The Bystanders", the group included guitarist and co-writer Rod Castro, Alan Muffterson, Tyrone Tomke and Michael Taylor.
While speaking in an interview about friend Mickey Rourke, Sizemore revealed he is Catholic: "He"s been a good friend. He"s a real good Catholic and I"m Catholic."
Sizemore married actress Maeve Quinlan in 1996, but divorced in 1999 because she couldn't handle his drug problems. In 2010, Sizemore appeared as a patient/castmember on VH1's third season of Celebrity Rehab.
In July 2005, Sizemore became a father when Janelle McIntire gave birth to their sons, Jagger and Jayden Sizemore.
Substance abuse and legal problems
Sizemore, who had battled drug addiction since he was 15, was convicted in 2003 of assault and battery against his girlfriend, the former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss. Sizemore was then sentenced to 7 months in jail and four months in drug treatment for repeatedly failing drug tests while on probation on March 25, 2005. Sizemore was caught attempting to fake the urine test using a Whizzinator. Fleiss' restraining order against him had lapsed by the time they appeared together in the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010.
On May 8, 2007, while still on probation for a previous drug conviction, Sizemore was arrested outside the Four Points Sheraton hotel in Bakersfield, California for possession of methamphetamines. Police found what appeared to be two bags under 1 gram in weight of methamphetamine and three glass pipes used for inhaling methamphetamines that were coated with drug residue inside his 2004 Ford Mustang. On June 25, Sizemore was sentenced to 16 months in prison. The sentence was reduced to nine months because Sizemore already served 213 days in county jail because he was unable to post bail. On March 27, 2009, Sizemore avoided jail-time in the same case for an alleged probation violation.
On May 28, 2009, Sizemore was arrested in Los Angeles on an outstanding warrant for drug charges. Sizemore and a friend were questioned by police, and the outstanding $25,000 warrant for Sizemore from 2007 was discovered. Sizemore did not have any narcotics in his possession, but was arrested on the warrant; he was later released.
Sizemore had been approached to appear in the first season of the reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, but declined. He met with Dr. Drew Pinsky about appearing in the second season, sitting in Pinsky's office for two hours, as Pinsky recounted, "sweating and completely high on drugs, talking a million miles an hour, acting like he was going to do it then deciding he didn"t want to." Sizemore ultimately decided to appear in the show's third season, but did not appear in the season premiere, forcing Pinsky's colleague Bob Forrest to seek him out. Because Heidi Fleiss was also in treatment on the show that season, both she and Sizemore had to consent to appear together. While the season premiered in January 2010, Sizemore's arrival at the clinic was chronicled in the third episode, and his reunion with Fleiss was amicable. Yet, by the season's end, it was Heidi who, at their graduation ceremony, lashed out against Sizemore, taunting him that "the thought of being with [him] would turn women gay...it really would." After they received their coins, both Tom and Heidi agreed to Sober House treatment. During a guest appearance on the fourth season of Celebrity Rehab, a healthy-looking Sizemore praised Dr. Drew and his program, stating he has been sober for fourteen months.
Online Film Critics Society Award - Best Ensemble Cast Performance Nominated " Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated " Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Drama