Tom Berenger (born Thomas Michael Moore; May 31, 1949) is an American television and motion picture actor and industrial lighting designer.

He is best known for his roles as Sgt. Barnes in the 1986 Oliver Stone movie "Platoon", for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and Thomas Beckett in the Sniper film series.

Life and Career[edit | edit source]

Berenger was born as Thomas Michael Moore to a Roman Catholic family of Irish descent in Chicago. He has a sister, Susan. His father was a printer for the Chicago Sun-Times, and also a traveling salesman. Moore selected "Berenger" as his professional name after he was forced to change his surname professionally as there was already a "Tom Moore" in the Actors' Equity Association. He graduated in 1967 from Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois.

He studied journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri but decided to seek an acting career following his graduation. He established the Tom Berenger Acting Scholarship Fund in 1988 to award theatre students for excellence in performance. In 1972, he worked as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines, based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He transferred to New York in 1973. He worked in regional theatre before relocating to New York City in the 1970s.

Berenger worked in soap operas and had a starring role as lawyer Tim Siegel on "One Life to Live". His feature film debut was the lead in Rush It, a 1976 independent film. In 1977, he had a small role as the killer of the lead character (played by Diane Keaton) in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. In 1978, he had a starring role in In Praise of Older Women for Avco-Embassy Pictures. In 1979, he played Butch Cassidy in Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, a role he got in part because of his resemblance to Paul Newman, who played the character previously in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). These early roles highlighted Berenger's ability to play both villains and heroes.

Berenger starred in several significant films in the 1980s, including The Big Chill (1983), Platoon (1986), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) and Major League (1989, which co-starred Dennis Haysbert). In 1986, he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Staff Sergeant Barnes in Platoon (this performance also won him a Golden Globe Award for "Best Supporting Actor"). In the mid-1990s he was somewhat recognized in his role from the movie Sniper (which would later be followed by four sequels of which Berenger starred in three of them). Other notable films from that period in which he was featured include: Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Shattered (1991), Sliver (1993) and Chasers (1994). Various roles in the 2000s and 2010s followed but most were of the direct-to-video, made-for-television or independent production type. He had a brief supporting role in the 2001 acclaimed crime drama Training Day as well as the lead role in the 2005 Hallmark Channel movie event Arthur Hailey's Detective.

It has been recorded that Berenger himself has said that his favorite movie of those he had starred in was the 1993 film Gettysburg, where he played the role of General James Longstreet. He has said he has seen Gettysburg more than any other of his starring movies. Berenger co-produced the 1997 miniseries "Rough Riders" while also starring as Theodore Roosevelt.

In more recent years, Berenger has continued to have an active acting career in film and television, although often at a supporting level. His most notable television appearance was on "Cheers" in its last season as Rebecca Howe's blue collar-plumber love interest, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series". He also began a career as a producer in the 1990s.

Berenger was also seen on the box art and promotional content for Novalogic's videogame Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, as his roles in Sniper 2 and Sniper 3 were very similar to what was chosen for the game's artwork. He starred in the mini-series version of Stephen King's "Nightmares & Dreamscapes", as a celebrated author who realizes the warped painting he recently purchased is alive with illustrations of impending doom for him in "The Road Virus Heads North". Berenger stars opposite Armand Assante and Busta Rhymes in the 2009 dramatic crime thriller Breaking Point, which had a limited release starting in December 2009.

He has most recently appeared in the science fiction thriller Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio and Cillian Murphy, where he played a business executive who served as a mentor to and was an associate of the father of Murphy's character. Inception was a box office success and was his first appearance in a mainstream theatrical movie since Training Day in 2001. In 2012 Tom Berenger appeared in the TV miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys" as Jim Vance, uncle of protagonist Devil Anse Hatfield (played by Kevin Costner). On September 23, 2012 Berenger earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for the role.

Berenger has been married four times and has six children. He has homes in Vancouver, British Columbia, Beaufort, South Carolina, and Toluca Lake, Los Angeles.

Berenger has two children by his first wife, Barbara Wilson, to whom he was married from 1976 to 1984: Allison Moore (born in 1977) and Patrick Moore (born in 1979). He has three daughters by second wife Lisa Williams (to whom he was married from 1986 to 1997): Chelsea Moore (born in 1986), Chloe Moore (born in 1988) and Shiloh Moore (born in 1993). He has one daughter with Patricia Alvaran, whom he married in 1998. He married Laura Moretti in Sedona, Arizona in early September 2012.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Note
1993 Sniper Thomas Beckett
2002 Sniper 2 Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2004 Sniper 3 Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2014 Sniper: Legacy Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2017 Sniper: Ultimate Kill Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2020 Sniper: Assassin's End Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Links and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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