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Tom Berenger

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Tom Berenger
Berenger in 2019
Thomas Michael Moore

(1949-05-31) May 31, 1949 (age 75)
EducationRich East High School
Alma materUniversity of Missouri (BA)[1]
  • Actor
  • producer
  • television writer
Years active1968–present
  • Barbara Wilson
    (m. 1976; div. 1984)
  • Lisa Williams
    (m. 1986; div. 1997)
  • Patricia Alvaran
    (m. 1998; div. 2011)
  • Laura Moretti
    (m. 2012)

Tom Berenger (born Thomas Michael Moore; May 31, 1949) is an American actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes in Platoon (1986). He is also known for playing Jake Taylor in the Major League films and Thomas Beckett in the Sniper films. Other films he appeared in include Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), The Dogs of War (1980), The Big Chill (1983), Eddie and the Cruisers (1983), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Betrayed (1988), The Field (1990), Sniper (1992), Gettysburg (1993), The Substitute (1996), Training Day (2001), and Inception (2010).

Berenger won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his performance as Jim Vance in the 2012 miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.

Early life and education[edit]

Berenger was born as Thomas Michael Moore in Chicago, on May 31, 1949, to a Catholic family of Irish ancestry with his great-grandfather and grandmother settling in Chicago.[2] He has a sister, Susan.[3] His father was a printer for the Chicago Sun-Times and a traveling salesman.

Moore graduated in 1967 from Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois.[4] He studied journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, but decided to seek an acting career following his graduation in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.


He worked in regional theatre and in 1972, he worked as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines, based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He transferred to New York in 1973.[5]

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.[4]

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 (1976), an 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 based on the murder of schoolteacher Roseann Quinn. 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,[6] who played the character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Berenger starred in several significant films in the 1980s, including The Big Chill (1983), Eddie and the Cruisers (1983), Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985), Platoon (1986), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Shoot to Kill (1988), and Major League (1989). In 1986, he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the Staff Sergeant Barnes in Platoon (this performance won him a Golden Globe Award for "Best Supporting Actor"). A role for which he has become well known for is Thomas Beckett, the main character in the mid-1990s film Sniper (which would later be followed by six sequels, featuring Berenger in the starring role for four). 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). When asked in a 1999 interview to name his favorite film out of those in which he had acted, Berenger said it was too difficult to choose but that the one he had watched most frequently was his 1993 film Gettysburg, where he played the role of General James Longstreet.[7]

He established the Tom Berenger Acting Scholarship Fund in 1988 to award theatre students for excellence in performance.

In more recent years, Berenger has continued to have an active acting career in film and television, although often at a supporting level. One of his most notable television appearances 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.[citation needed] Berenger co-produced the 1997 miniseries Rough Riders, also starring as Theodore Roosevelt.

Berenger was also seen on the box art and promotional content for Novalogic's 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 dramatic thriller Breaking Point, which had a limited release starting in December 2009.

Berenger appeared in the 2010 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. It was his first major film role since Training Day in 2001. In 2012, he appeared in the television miniseries Hatfields & McCoys as Jim Vance, uncle of protagonist Devil Anse Hatfield (Kevin Costner). On September 23, 2012, Berenger won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for the role.[8]

In 2022, it was announced that Berenger would star in the comedy film Plan B, alongside Jon Heder and Shannon Elizabeth.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Berenger has been married four times and has six children. He has two children by his first wife, Barbara Wilson, to whom he was married from 1976 to 1984: Allison Moore (born 1977) and Patrick Moore (born 1979). He has three daughters by second wife Lisa Williams (to whom he was married from 1986 to 1997): Chelsea Moore (born 1986), Chloe Moore (born 1988) and Shiloh Moore (born 1993). He has a daughter named Scout Moore (born 1998) with Patricia Alvaran, to whom he was married from 1998 to 2011. He married Laura Moretti in Sedona, Arizona, in early September 2012.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 The Sentinel Man at End
1977 Looking for Mr. Goodbar Gary
1978 Rush It Richard Moore
1978 In Praise of Older Women Andras Vayda
1979 Butch and Sundance: The Early Days Butch Cassidy / Robert Leroy Parker
1980 The Dogs of War Drew Blakeley
1982 Beyond the Door Matthew Jackson
1983 The Big Chill Sam Weber
1983 Eddie and the Cruisers Frank Ridgeway
1984 Fear City Matt Rossi
1985 Rustlers' Rhapsody Rex O'Herlihan
1986 Platoon Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1987 Someone to Watch Over Me Detective Mike Keegan
1988 Shoot to Kill Jonathan Knox
1988 Betrayed Gary Simmons
1988 Last Rites Michael
1989 Major League Jake Taylor
1989 Born on the Fourth of July Gunnery Sergeant Hayes
1990 Love at Large Harry Dobbs
1990 The Field The American
1991 Shattered Dan Merrick
1991 At Play in the Fields of the Lord Lewis Moon
1993 Sniper Master Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Beckett
1993 Sliver Jack Landsford Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1993 Gettysburg Lieutenant General James Longstreet
1994 Major League II Jake Taylor
1994 Chasers Rock Reilly
1995 Last of the Dogmen Lewis Gates
1996 The Substitute Jonathan Shale
1996 An Occasional Hell Dr. Ernest Dewalt
1998 The Gingerbread Man Pete Randle
1998 Shadow of Doubt Jack Campioni
1999 A Murder of Crows Detective Clifford Dubose
1999 One Man's Hero John Riley
1999 Diplomatic Siege General Buck Swain
1999 Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying Sikes Direct-to-video
2000 Takedown McCoy Rollins
2001 Training Day District Attorney Stanley 'Stan' Gursky
2001 The Hollywood Sign Tom Greener
2001 True Blue Rembrandt 'Remy' Macy
2001 Watchtower Art Stoner
2002 D-Tox Hank
2004 Sniper 3 Gunnery Sergeant Tom Beckett Direct-to-video
2007 The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Jonathan Toomey
2008 Stiletto Virgil Vadalos
2009 Silent Venom Admiral Bradley Wallace
2009 Charlie Valentine Becker
2009 Breaking Point Steven Luisi
2010 Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball Hal Leuco / FBI Agent Walter Weed Direct-to-video
2010 Sinners and Saints Captain Trahan
2010 Inception Peter Browning Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2010 Faster Warden
2011 Last Will Frank Emery
2011 Bucksville The Patron of Justice
2012 Brake Agent Ben Reynolds
2012 War Flowers General McIntire
2014 Bad Country Lutin
2014 Doc Holliday's Revenge Judge Wells
2014 Lonesome Dove Church John Shepherd
2014 Sniper: Legacy Gunnery Sergeant Tom Beckett Direct-to-video
2014 Reach Me Teddy
2015 Impact Earth Herbert Sloan
2017 Sniper: Ultimate Kill Gunnery Sergeant Tom Beckett Direct-to-video
2017 Cops and Robbers Captain Randolph
2018 American Dresser John Moore
2018 Battle of the Bulge: Wunderland Major McCulley Direct-to-video
2018 Gone Are the Days Will
2018 1st Born Jefferson Tucker
2019 Stakeout Joe Smith
2019 Supervized Ray
2020 Blood and Money Jim Reed
2020 Adam Jerry Niskar
2020 Sniper: Assassin's End Gunnery Sergeant Tom Beckett Direct-to-video
2020 Battle of the Bulge: Winter War Major McCulley Direct-to-video
2022 The Most Dangerous Game Benjamin Colt
2022 Black Warrant Nick Falconi
2023 Among Wolves Father Callahan
2024 One More Shot Mike Marshall Direct-to-video


Year Title Role Notes
1975–1976 One Life to Live Tim Siegel 66 episodes
1977 Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye Billy Sutton Television movie
1979 Flesh & Blood Bobby Fallon Television movie
1986 If Tomorrow Comes Jeff Stevens 3 episodes (miniseries)
1993 Cheers Don Santry 2 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
1995 Body Language Gavin St. Claire Television movie
1995 The Avenging Angel Miles Utley Television movie
1997 Rough Riders Theodore Roosevelt 2 episodes (miniseries)
1999 In the Company of Spies Kevin Jefferson Television movie
2000 Law & Order Dean Tyler Episode: "Panic"
2000 Cutaway Red Line Television movie
2001 Jackson County War Cain Hammett Television movie
2002 Ally McBeal Harrison Wyatt Episode: "Nine One Nine"
2002 The Junction Boys Paul 'Bear' Bryant Television movie
2002 Sniper 2 Gunnery Sergeant Tom Beckett Television movie
2003 Third Watch Aaron Noble 4 episodes
2003 Peacemakers Marshal Jared Stone 9 episodes
2004 Capital City Senator Foxworthy Television movie
2005 Into the West Colonel J. Chivington Episode: "Hell on Wheels"
2005 Detective Sergeant Malcolm Ainslie Television movie
2006 Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King Richard Kinnell Episode: "The Road Virus Heads North"
2007 America's Iliad: The Siege of Charleston Narrator (voice) Television movie
2007–2008 October Road Bob 'The Commander' Garrett 19 episodes
2008 Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway Larsan Television movie
2011 XIII: The Series Rainer Gerhardt 6 episodes
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Jim Vance 3 episodes (miniseries)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
2013–2015 Major Crimes Jackson Raydor 7 episodes
2014 Hawaii Five-0 Eddie Williams Episode: "Ma lalo o ka 'ili"
2017 Training Day District Attorney Stanley 'Stan' Gursky Episode: "Elegy" (reprised character from 2001 film of the same name)


  1. ^ "Faculty - Theatre Department". theatre.missouri.edu. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ McMillen, Robert (July 30, 1999). "One man's hero". The Irish News. Retrieved January 11, 2020 – via Tom Berenger On-line.
  3. ^ Walker, Janet (November 1975). "Tom Berenger: "I've Starved Before…I Can Again!"". Day TV Gossip. Archived from the original on 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  4. ^ a b Profile, biography.com; accessed October 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Profile Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, theatre.missouri.edu; accessed October 8, 2014.
  6. ^ "Interview with William Katt". Chicago Sun-Times.
  7. ^ America Online Chat with Tom Berenger. AOL. Retrieved August 18, 1999.
  8. ^ Pennington, Gail (September 24, 2012). "'Homeland' wins big; Hamm loses again at Emmys". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  9. ^ Complex, Valerie (July 16, 2022). "Jamie Lee & Jon Heder Topline Comedy 'Plan B' For Joke Zero And Future Proof Films". Deadline. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  10. ^ America Online Chat with Tom Berenge, tomberengeronline.com; retrieved August 18, 1999.

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