Advertisements

What the Hell Happened to Tom Berenger?

tom berenger 2013

Tom Berenger

Tom Berenger is an Oscar nominee and a Golden Globe winner.  He’s done action, drama and comedy.  He’s been the leading man and a supporting actor.  He’s worked with directors like Christopher Nolan, Oliver Stone and Ridley Scott.  And yet, after nearly four decades in Hollywood, Berenger has never been a major movie star.

What the hell happened?

berenger - one life to live

Tom Berenger – One Life to Live – 1975-1976

Berenger first appeared on the soap opera One Life to Live. 

From 1975 – 1976, Berenger played law school dropout Tim Siegel.  Berenger was the third actor to play this role on the show.  The part was originated by Bill Fowler in 1969.  From 1970-1971, he was played by William Cox.  Then in 1975, Berenger played Siegel as he returns from law school.  After dropping out of law school, Tim became a construction worker and fell in love with a nun.

Jenny, the nun, left the church and the couple got engaged.  This outraged Jenny’s cousin Vince who couldn’t stand the thought of Jenny leaving the church.  So he gets into a fist fight with Tim which exacerbates a latent brain aneurysm!  As Tim is dying, Jenny arranges a hasty wedding in his hospital room.  Shortly after the wedding, Tim dies!

Oh man, do I wish I had a clip for this!  Sadly, I do not.

Tom Berenger - Rush It - 1977

Tom Berenger – Rush It – 1977

In 1977, Berenger made his movie debut in the independent comedy, Rush It.

The movie was about New York City bike messengers who fall in love.  It co-starred Jill Eikenberry and John Heard.

Rush It is one of those movies that has become a trivia question.  It’s Berenger’s first movie and that’s about the only reason anyone even remembers it.

berenger - the sentinel

Tom Berenger – The Sentinel – 1977

Berenger had a bit part in the 1977 horror movie, The Sentinel.

The movie is about a young woman who moves into an apartment building after attempting suicide.  Her only neighbor is a blind priest, but she hears strange noises.  Eventually it is revealed that the building is a gateway to hell and the old blind priest is the only thing keeping evil at bay.

The movie ends with one of those teasers where a new couple considers moving into the apartment building.  Berenger and Star Trek’s Nan Visitor play the couple.  The star-studded cast includes Chris Sarandon, Cristina Raines, Martin Balsam, Burgess Meredith, Beverly D’Angelo, Ava Gardner, José Ferrer, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum.

berenger - mr goodbar

Tom Berenger – Looking For Mr. Goodbar – 1977

Later that year, Berenger had a more substantial role opposite Diane Keaton in the drama, Looking For Mr. Goodbar.

The movie was based on Judith Rossner’s novel of the same name which was in turn based on a true story of a school teacher who was *spoilers* brutally murdered.  Keaton played the school teacher who spends her nights at bars picking up men for casual sex and drugs.  She has relationships with men played by Richard Gere, LaVar Burton and Berenger who looks way too innocent to brutally murder a school teacher…

Keaton was a long way from Annie Hall which was released the same year!  Reviews were mostly positive and the movie was a hit at the box office.  Berenger’s role may have been small, but it made an impression.

berenger - in praise of older women

Tom Berenger – In Praise of Older Women – 1978

In 1978, Berenger starred in the Canadian-produced World War II drama, In Praise of Older Women.

The movie was set in Hungary during and after World War II.  Berenger played a young man who procures local girls for the occupying G.I.’s.  He starts a relationship with a married woman in her thirties played by Karen Black.  She teaches him about love and romance.  He carries her lessons on to other relationships with mature women.

In Praise of Older Women was the very first movie screened by the Toronto Film Festival.

Next: Eddie and the Cruisers

Advertisements

Posted on November 4, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 112 Comments.

  1. That Fear City trailer is juicy fun.
    Rae Dawn Chong Rae Dawn Chong Rae Dawn Chong

    Berenger just never had that movie star quality that makes most A-List actors. I’m always happy to see him in a movie, but he’s not a draw all by himself. Even the blandly weird William Hurt seemed more like a movie star than Berenger did.

    I endorse Gettysburg for some nice cinematography and some excellent acting, most notably from Sam Elliot. Avoid Gods & Generals like the plague.

    I liked Shattered a lot when I saw it on video, but I haven’t seen it in over 20 years. The twisty plot was a little more novel at the time. Also, Bob Hoskins.

    I remember thinking that Chasers sounded a lot like a specific episode of Quantum Leap, but, you know…without the in-body time traveling or Dean Stockwell.

    I’m a little loopy right now. need some sleep.

    Like

    • lol – you sound a little loop. I like your Fear City haiku.

      When I started the article (which was actually a long time ago. I started researching back in the summer.) I went in with the idea that Berenger was basically a big, handsome guy with a charisma deficiency. Good for a supporting player, but not a leading man. Having now watched or rewatched a lot of his movies, my opinion has changed a little. I do think he had enough star power to be a lead. But just barely.

      I think part of the problem is that he was really well suited to action movies. But just as he was getting into them, guys like Stallone took over. Berenger wasn’t a big muscle bound super hero type like Stallone and Arnold. So he ended up in smaller action movies. Also, like Kurt Russell, he diversified quite a bit. Great for an actor. Not so great for developing a brand as a movie star.

      I didn’t watch Quantum Leap. Please tell me Bakula didn’t leap into a Playmate on the run.

      Like

      • No, but he leapt into a bounty hunter who was handcuffed to a hot blonde who gave him more than he could handle.

        Like

      • Tom Berenger in theory, if could’ve arguably been a Kevin Costner or Harrison Ford type of leading man/action star if his luck worked out better. I don’t know if things didn’t work out for Tom Berenger because of poor timing or lack of quality filmmakers/collaborators on his side. Even Kurt Russell had John Carptenter on his side to fall back on.

        Like

    • https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecinefiles/permalink/10153617238430795/

      Is there any Cinefiles love for Abel Ferrara’s FEAR CITY?

      Knowingly clichéd and packed with overwrought performances, there’s also a fantastic noir-influenced style and mood to the film.

      Tom Berenger’s ex-boxer-turned-pimp substitutes for a corruption of the Philip Marlowe type of character in a world in which there are pretty much no likable people and the women are all objects to be bought and sold and murdered, including Melanie Griffith.

      The depictions of New York’s 42nd St., particularly at night, are especially captivating.

      All in all, an excellent 80s action thriller.

      Like

  2. well dang it Lebeau, this is not only another welcome WTHH entry, it’s liberally sprinkled with written gemstones…. and it’s about an actor I’ve truthfully not given much thought to. Tom Berenger has had a lengthy, respectable career yet you are right, i’ve never heard anyone say they were going to see the new Tom Berenger movie. Although there a few that I am going to take a look at after reading this.

    Like

    • I was surprised when Berenger was requested initially. It’s probably been about a year since his name first came up. And I have been surprised how many people have echoed that request since then. I am not sure if his fans come from Platoon, Big Chill, Major League, Sniper, The Substitute or heck even Fear City. Probably some combination.

      The reason I was surprised to hear requests for Berenger is that I never gave the guy all that much thought either. And I had seen the majority of his mainstream movies. He just never made a strong impression on me one way or another. As we have said about other actors, (I believe Daffy coined the phrase for Kurt Russell) he was neither the reason to buy a ticket nor a reason to avoid a movie.

      While I was going back and watching some of the minor movies I had missed, I developed a greater appreciation of Berenger. His filmography is actually really impressive. You just forget that he was in a lot of those movies or forget those movies even existed. Does anyone remember Sliver? It was a big deal at the time.

      Anyway, this was an interesting one. It was a bit more of a challenge than most for some reason. But I think every now and then it’s worthwhile to look at a guy like Berenger who had a great career somewhat under the radar.

      Like

  3. Tom Berenger with Al Pacino is the best actor in the world. Tom Berenger along with Debra Winger (another great actress), is the most hated actor in Hollywood. Message in His staff should have one for 2 Oscars (Platoon) where it was stolen in a shameful manner, and the other for Gettysburg. Tom Berenger starred in an extraordinary way in big movies like “Playing In The Fields of the Lord”, “Bretayed”, “Sniper”, “Shattared”, “Major League,” “Platoon,” “Love at Large”, “Someone to Watch witness “,” The Substitute “” The Last of the Dog Men”, ” Rough Riders “, “Fear City” e altri film molto bellli. You see that is a great actor, even when they starred in low-budget films like “True Blue” and “Watchtower” where films are sufficient, but the play of Tom Berenger is 10 in the report card. Tom Berenger N° 1

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can see where Berenger with Pacino would be a great actor, because Pacino’s mere presence elevates other performers. I don’t know how he does it, it’s like stage or movie magic. Berenger in the Big Chill may have been a solid performer who got eclipsed by the others. It’s been so long since I saw that movie, can’t remember much about it. Time to watch it again, especially for certain references that Kasdan included in it.

    Like

  5. I am definitely not a fan of Tom Berenger . But I’m an admirer , for the extraordinary way of acting, and when he recites Tom Berenger is a great actor . The article written above, I do not agree at all. In the movie Platoon , everyone spoke only of Tom Berenger , Tom Berenger and was Platoon . It ‘s true that playing opposite Al Pacino, also co-star reads well. But if Tom Berenger stars alongside Al Pacino, reads very well, without the positive influence of Al Pacino and vice versa. Jeff Goldblum and William Hurt, what they have done more than Tom Berenger ? Absolutely nothing ( are lower as actors ) , but being within recite in Hollywood film absurd and are rewarded because they are under the protective wing of the Mecca of Cinema (which is rotten and corrupt ) . Tom Berenger as I wrote, he quarreled with various lobby of Hollywood, the actor most hated ( with Debra Winger ) from Hollywood. I have seen several times recite Robert De Niro is a great actor , but in other film role was out and her acting was not good, a movie about everyone (can not remember the title), but it was a comedy movie with the great actor Bill Murray who played a crime boss , who had jokes . I repeat that Tom Berenger is the Best actor in the world with Al Pacino

    Like

    • Hey Dutch – nice to hear from you again. Sorry you disagree with the article. To be honest, I couldn’t tell from your comments what parts of it you disagreed with. All I really get from your comments is that you really, really like Berenger and Pacino. Beyond that, something got lost in translation.

      Oh and the movie you are probably thinking of is Mad Dog and Glory starring De Niro, Murray and Uma Thurman.

      Like

  6. Ciao Lebau, Unfortunately, I write and speak bad English language – American. When I write a comment I will “google translator”, which translates from My comment ‘from Italian to English and’ English to Italian properly to 50% – 60% You are a great: the title of the movie that you wrote is right: with Robert DeNiro, Bill Murray, Uma Thurman and a young David Caruso.

    I am Italian, and I write by the Region of Piedmont – North Italia

    Like

  7. Love the criticism of the Big Chill- absolutely a pity party for Boomers- note that everyone is doing well financially- all the angst is Upper Middle Class White People Problems- yawn.

    I never liked the subplot of Jobeth Williams cheating on her husband- because he’s boring! They could have actually examined that- but no- they just cruise along to ’60’s pop-

    Like

    • I had a very weird experience with The Big Chill. I saw it when I was a kid. I was way too young to relate to it in any way, shape or form. What’s more, I saw the edited-for-TV version which was missing all of the sex, drugs and language. But the comedy elements appealed to me. I practically had it memorized. In college, I finally saw the unedited version and realized how much I was missing.

      I still enjoy the movie. But watching it now, I wonder how I ever related to it. Its flaws have become more apparent with the passing of time. You just want to slap these characters around and tell them to get over it already! As you pointed out, they are living the dream! And yet they are mopey because they gave up on some hippy idealism that was all bullshit anyway.

      I feel the same way when I watch Reality Bites. I enjoy both movies, but they pander so much to their target demographic. Both are ultimately all surface and very little substance. But entertaining if you can get past the flaws.

      Like

  8. I’m really not sure what was so offensive about my comment that someone felt the need to downvote it… but whatever. Big Chill was eventually recycled into the TV series ‘thirtysomething” which was similar, yuppie angst and totally unsympathetic characters, to me anyway. One episode was all it took to turn me off from the series. I still plan to see BC again, because of a respect for Kasdan who made the transition from the Midwest to Hollywood. Back in the day I was fortunate enough to be present at a college auditorium where he was speaking to a smallish audience about his experiences. He was totally humble, down to earth and wearing faded jeans and a plaid shirt. I will never forget it. Did I think of a single question to ask? Heck no, I was staring slack jawed in awe. other people did have great questions for him, but for the life of me I can’t recall a single word of the whole thing. I had a tendency to be starstruck back in those days.

    Like

    • People go crazy when they have the power to select digital thumbs to voice their approval or disapproval. I can never figure out why people do what they do – especially online.

      Very cool about Kasdan. I was a fan back in the days when he was the writer of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and director of Body Heat and The Big Chill.

      Like

      • Kasdan also co-wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, which just happens to be my favorite movie of all time. I’ve long meant to check out The Big Chill but just have never gotten around to it. Your comments make me wonder if I might enjoy it now. Kasdan has a wonderful lyricism to his writing and I for one am thrilled that he’s returning to the Star Wars universe as head writer on Star Wars 7.

        Like

        • I love me some Raiders. And Kasdan also wrote Empire. So, he can do great things. But it’s been a long time since he’s been great. So I’m less optimistic about Star Wars 7. Especially given the mess JJ made of Star Trek and the rushed time table. Hopefully it will be a return to greatness for Kasdan. Empire was made under worse conditions.

          I would recommend checking out The Big Chill. It’s entertaining. At the end of the day, it feels a little empty. But you will have laughed and enjoyed some good Motown music. You just have to put up with all the Boomer crap. If that doesn’t annoy you overly much, it’s an enjoyable way to pass 2 hours. Great cast. Great soundtrack. Okay movie.

          Like

  9. Very nice as usual. Tom Berenger’s career seems very similar to Kurt Russell’s career. Both being very near to stardom but never been truly able to shine on their own.

    About “The Big Chill” I also found that movie a bit overrated. Not bad, but also not good, but maybe it’s just a matter of a movie aging bad.

    About the WTHH I had an idea. Some days ago I was helping my sister packing her own things and I found lots of CDS of artists who now have fallen from grace. So, why don’t expand the series in the music industry? What do you think about it?

    Like

    • Glad you liked it. There are definitely similarities between Russell’s and Berenger’s careers. There’s also a lot of differences. Russell was a child actor with ten years of Disney movies under his belt. Then he went the independent/cult route with Carpenter. Berenger was much more celebrated for a short time than Russell ever was.

      I’m sure a WTHH-type series could be applied to almost anything. Music would certainly work. But I’m not the guy to write that series. I have neither the background nor the passion for it. I could one day see expanding to include film directors. But I need to stay comfortably within the realm of what I know which is filmed entertainment.

      Like

    • And like Kurt Russell, maybe Tom Berenger’s versatility if you want to call it that, kind of hurt him. Berenger could do ensemble comedy (“Major League”), ensemble drama (“The Big Chill”), heavy period drama (“Platoon”), etc. It seems like with his biggest movies, while he had an important role, he wasn’t necessarily always the main focus 100%.

      Like

  10. What Ever Happened To… Tom Berenger?

    http://www.chud.com/1124/what-ever-happened-to-tom-berenger/

    There are a number of actors with whom I’d like to see on
    the silver screen again simply because of their untapped talent. But there are others who deserve to be looked
    upon in a new light because of their screen presence. Whether or not their acting is up to par is
    beside the point; sometimes, presence can go a long way. Tom Berenger falls in the latter
    category.

    Now I’m not going to say that I miss seeing Berenger on
    screen because he’s an undiscovered talent who made unsuccessful decisions
    throughout his career. No, he knows he
    has a lackluster acting range and I do not intend for that to sound demeaning
    in any way. Berenger is a different kind
    of actor, one who uses his undeniable presence instead of fancy one-liners
    (even though he spouts his fair share of those).

    The first time I saw Berenger was when I watched the classic Major League (argue with me all you want, but it’s still a classic that was
    ruined by two horrible sequels). In that
    1989 film, he played Jake Taylor, a character with the most generic name that
    I’ve ever seen. Taylor is the aging
    catcher for the fledgling Cleveland Indians.
    While Berenger was outshined by the bigger performances of Charlie Sheen
    and Wesley Snipes (playing Willie Mays Hayes, now there’s a name!), his character
    was more of the strong, silent type; the type of guy you wouldn’t want to mess
    with because, quite frankly, he scared the shit out of you.

    Years later, I watched Platoon and my impression of
    Berenger changed greatly. He played the
    role of the sadistic Sgt. Bob Barnes, the perverse opposite of his character in Major League. He was a guy who used his experience and demented
    world-view to mold the younger soldiers into the type of monsters he wanted
    them to be (in a way, a direct mirror of his own personality). Berenger was haunting in his portrayal as
    this broken man and truly made the film unforgettable, with the help of Charlie
    Sheen and Willem Dafoe.

    Looking at his performance in Platoon today, you’d
    automatically think it was a fluke. In
    many ways, it was. He never had the
    opportunity to prove himself because he probably got offers to do higher
    profile fluff projects instead of taking the risk that all great actors need to
    take.

    Regardless of his professional decisions, Berenger starred in
    a number of interesting and all out entertaining projects over the years. He starred opposite Billy Zane in Sniper,
    Sharon Stone in Sliver and did battle with the evil Marc Anthony (yes, that Marc Anthony!) in The Substitute. While I’m on the topic, let me just say that The
    Substitute is easily one of my favorite guilty pleasures; the acting is
    horrendous, but the execution of the story itself (about an undercover
    mercenary seeking revenge on high schoolers who brutalized his wife) is just
    too outrageous to ignore. Seek that film
    out if you get the chance. I’m not
    saying it’s a film that will change your opinion on whether or not you’ll like
    Berenger (or any actors in the film, for that matter). It will, however, be a great way to waste
    some time.

    After The Substitute, everything was quiet on the Berenger
    front. In fact, I pretty much forgot
    about him. Then I saw Training Day.

    To be honest, I only noticed Berenger was in the film after
    watching it on late-night television just a few years ago for the third time. It’s not that he was caked in pounds of
    make-up or anything. He just looked like…
    a stranger. Someone you remember from
    when you were younger but aren’t too sure from where specifically. He had one scene in the film and it was in
    the same frame as Denzel Washington, so I’m sure you know who got most of the
    attention. But seeing Berenger again was
    great. I don’t know if what he did was
    even considered acting, but he’s still got the attitude and swagger. That’s something they can’t teach you in
    acting school.

    Do I think Berenger will ever make a comeback? Sadly, I think not. The filmmaking landscape has changed too drastically
    and audiences regard action stars in a different light as opposed to when
    Berenger was the “go to” guy back in the 80’s and 90’s. Come to think of it, that now seems like such
    a long time ago.

    Like

    • Tom Berenger : What happened to him?

      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000297/board/flat/88256064?p=1

      Fri Nov 2 2007 16:09:12
      Tom is one of those guys that could have been (still could be?) a huge movie star based on his talent. From what I’ve read about Tom is he’s not into the Hollywood game, doesn’t like the award shows, doesn’t like LA, etc. He’s like that musician that would be huge if he would let the studio package him into the next American Idol but isn’t the next American Idol because he won’t play the game. It’s not the talent that’s lacking, it’s the willingness to whore that is lacking. I think that may be Tom’s deal, he won’t play the game. Besides, he probably lives comfortably as it is doing the work he does without the negative trappings of recognizable stardom. I know I wouldn’t want to be a Clooney or a Cruise or any other star that can’t go to the grocery store without being mauled, photographed, etc.

      Wed Nov 19 2008 12:17:10
      There seem to be two kinds of actors: the kind who want to be stars because they enjoy the trappings, and the kind who want to work because they enjoy the work (and the trappings are secondary or even avoided). Berenger always struck me as the second kind, and the most talented seem to be the second kind.

      Mon Nov 28 2011 22:53:47
      He pretty much refused to kiss anybody’s ass and the industry turned on him and he only gets parts in B-movies or small roles in major films like Training Day, Inception, and Faster. It is a shame that a guy with such talent has been forgotten.

      Like

      • I agree with all you say about Berenger. Thought, and still think, he was one of the handsomest as well as a very talented actor.

        Shale: I’m in charge of this class. I’m the warrior chief. I’m the merciless god of anything that stirs in my universe. You fuck with me, and you will suffer my wrath.

        Like

      • I meant I agree with the perspicacious and thoughtful Terrence Clay’s comments re. Berenger.

        Great work, Lebeau.

        Like

  11. I’m Glad I’m Done: Tom Berenger on the State of Hollywood:
    http://www.craveonline.com/film/articles/187107-im-glad-im-done-tom-berenger-on-the-state-of-hollywood

    The Sinners and Saints star describes the sad state of the industry, and reminisces about Major League, Platoon and Inception.

    Like

    • I read that interview with Berenger during my research. The headline is kind of misleading. He’s glad he’s almost done because he doesn’t like the way modern tech has changed the way movies are made. But it’s not the indictment of the film industry the headline had me expecting. He doesn’t really say movie making is in a sad state.

      Like

  12. CAREER MAKEOVER CANDIDATE: Tom Berenger:
    http://www.themoviesnob.net/2009/07/career-makeover-candidate-tom-berenger.html

    From time to time, actors for some reason or another, simply disappear. Unless you peruse the direct to DVD shelves at your local video store, there are a handful of once prominent actors who used to star in mainstream films, popular films, great films, films with merit and substance and creativity, who are nowhere to be found. This happened to actors the likes of John Travolta in the eighties, until his star was resurrected thanks to Quentin Tarantino.

    Some of these actors need a reboot. Some of them have a quality; a quality that made them popular at one time, talents that, if put in the right directorial hands, could shine once again and get their name back in the public lexicon. It happened most recently for Mickey Rourke, and if it could happen for him, why not others? So here, now, is my campaign to resurrect one of the more popular actors of the late eighties and early nineties: Tom Berenger…

    I understand that laughter is your first response, but that is precisely my point. Seventeen years ago, considering Tom Berenger as a viable leading man would not have garnered the consensus chuckle. Seventeen years ago, Major League II (the roman numerals make it more… important) had not hit the screen yet and marked the beginning of the end of Berenger’s mainstream acting career. But consider what came before Major League II.

    Back in 1983, Berenger, who had been working for several years in smaller pictures, starred in the ensemble drama The Big Chill. Berenger played Sam Weber, a member of a group of friends that included Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, and William Hurt, who had come back together after college to attend the funeral of one of their friends who had committed suicide. Weber had become a famous television actor, playing a Magnum P.I. type action star, J.T. Lancer. Berenger portrayed Weber as a humble star, wanting to keep his fame in Los Angeles while he was with his friends back in Michigan. Berenger fit in well with the large ensemble, and The Big Chill became one of the more popular films of 1983 and has kept quite a cult following throughout the years.

    Three years later Berenger starred in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam opus, Platoon. Berenger played Seargent Barnes, the villain of the picture, Stone’s head representation of the pro-war faction that ended up dividing the Platoon into two different mindsets. Berenger earned his first and only Oscar nomination playing the brooding, evil, scarred war veteran whose villainy was unmatched in 1986. One scene in particular in a Vietnam village was both deeply disturbing, as well as a true testament to Berenger’s ability to be a ferocious and impacting actor.

    The following year Berenger teamed with director Ridley Scott in the under seen but effective thriller Someone To Watch Over Me, then the following year in yet another small thriller, Shoot To Kill, opposite Sidney Poitier. Shoot To Kill, despite its aimless and meaningless title, is a taut, suspenseful picture that takes place in the mountains of the Northwest, and Berenger’s mountain man is a perfect adversary/partner to Poitier’s FBI agent who longs to get back to civilization. Berenger was running along at a film a year at this point, and the following year would star in another ensemble picture, this time creating one of the most endearing and consistently humorous sports flicks of all time.

    Major League starred Charlie Sheen, a fellow Platoon alum, as well as Wesley Snipes, Renee Russo, and Corbin Bernsen, and despite its noticeable similarities to Bull Durham, holds its own as a solid, and often-hilarious sports movie. Berenger played Jake Taylor, the veteran catcher of a band of Cleveland Indian misfits, and was the heart of the picture as well as one half of the movie’s inevitable romantic angle. Berenger was building a solid career, seemingly on his way to another Oscar nomination and perhaps a win somewhere down the road.
    Maybe Berenger’s agent, around this time, developed a coke problem, one he kept hidden from Berenger. Maybe between doing lines on his glass-top, eighties coffee table, complete with wooden pink flamingos serving as legs for said table, Berenger’s agent was reading the scripts for movies like Shattered, Sniper, and Sliver, and was thinking “these are great films! This could be Berenger’s forever-remembered ‘S’ Trilogy’!” These potboiler thrillers were dead on arrival. I can understand trying to cash in on the Sharon Stone early-nineties sexual popularity by starring in Sliver, but there is no excuse for the corny, laughable thriller Shattered or the poor attempt to return to the war picture, Sniper.

    Berenger’s star was beginning to fade, so now his agent, scrambling for a hit, switched his coke for pot, and read the script for Major League II. Perhaps if you’re stoned this script would seem funny, but I cannot imagine any sort of mind-altering substance making this screenplay read for laughs. Throw in a neutered PG-13 rating, whereas the original was a funny R-rated picture, and the recipe is there for failure. Berenger should have known better, and perhaps this is where he switched agents, but it seemed to be too late for him to find his way back into cultural prominence as an actor.

    After floundering through the rest of the nineties in direct-to-video drivel like The Last of the Dogmen (ironic title?), forgettable theatrical films like The Substitute (later to be immortalized in sequels starring Treat Williams), and Shadow of a Doubt (yawn), Berenger was officially out of the limelight. So much so that seeing his face on the cover of a DVD box elicits laughter, and seeing him appear randomly in a film like Training Day causes the viewer to say something along the lines of “hey… wait… is that… it’s TOM BERENGER!”

    Having just turned sixty, it is time for Berenger to take a different role, something edgy, subdued, and something totally out of his comfort zone. He needs to be challenged again, and I don’t mean challenged to keep his old knees and fake hip in shape enough to do a fourth Sniper film (that’s right, there were two sequels. To Sniper). Berenger needs to campaign to get a small, important role in an Aronofsky film, or he needs Paul Thomas Anderson to whip his ass into shape, or Tarantino to write a role in which he could flourish, something that would get him to show off that fiery intensity and acting prowess he gave Oliver Stone twenty-three years ago. Or perhaps he could flash some of that quick wit and aggressive humor he flashed twenty years ago in a new dramedy, maybe as a father or an uncle to the main character. Or perhaps, he just needs to drug test his next agent.

    Like

    • When I posted this article on Tom Berenger’s IMDb message board, somebody suggested to me that maybe Berenger’s biggest problem has been simply making bad choices in scripts at times when his career is hot. He’s obviously picked a few winners, but unfortunately, more often than not, he has chosen mediocrity.

      Like

  13. Joe Eszterhas blew the whistle on his drinking:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000297/board/thread/195292937

    Funny story from his book; Berenger was not getting much work back in the early 90’s, because he had become a drunk. Eszterhas stuck his neck out for him and got him a job in his movie, Sliver, where he was drinking on set and being a d**k.

    He tells this story, instead of being diplomatic and keeping it to himself, because Berenger made a comment about Eszterhas that was less than flattering, after all he did for him.

    Like

    • Interesting. Of course I take everything Eszterhas says with a giant grain of salt. But there is probably some truth there.

      Like

      • Honestly, I’d be surprised if the divorce had any real impact on his career. Scientologists can be vengeful, but his career was already on the slowing down by then.

        Like

      • Good looking actors who should have had better careers but didn’t:
        https://www.datalounge.com/thread/7998473-good-looking-actors-who-should-have-had-better-careers-but-didn-t

        Tom Berenger. I thought in his day he was much better looking than Kevin Costner or the other insipid alleged hunks who had the career he should have had in the 80s. Something must have derailed Berenger’s career post-Platoon. – .. booze, I guess. His ex-wife was big into Scientology and he was pretty vocal about how f***ed up the Scienos are so that may have been a contributing factor as well.

        —Anonymous

        reply 46 06/23/2009

        I used to work at a hotel in LA where Tom and his wife would often stay (they lived in South Carolina at the time). The man was beyond a drunk. He would drink an entire bottle of Tanqueray before dinner, then wine with his wife while they ate, then more drinks at the lobby bar after that. I have never, ever seen someone consume that much booze, daily, and still be even remotely functional (which he was). In other news, he was a f***ng hot mess of a daddy and loved it when I flirted shamelessly with him.

        —Anonymous

        reply 47 06/23/2009

        I had heard that Berenger had a drinking problem, but I didn’t know it was THAT bad. Jeez. Booze didn’t start to affect his looks until after he made that trashtastic movie in which he played a harda** ex-military substitute teacher… he was still an effing hot daddy in that movie, drunk or no, and it’s a guilty pleasure of mine each time it runs on basic cable.

        —R46, jellus

        reply 49 06/24/2009

        About 20 years ago, Berenger did a live via satellite with a Canadian lunch-hour news show. It was a rambling, bizarre speech where he took time to bash the British and saying; “I hope I don’t offend you guys up there by saying this..eh?”

        The normally chatty host was stunned into silence.

        —Anonymous

        reply 57 08/02/2009

        Like

  14. Another fine entry…I did not know about Berenger’s drinking. That is something (if true) that has derailed many a career (and not only in the movies). I’ve always liked TB’s presence — he had a sort-of John Wayne-like quality to him: Hard-core macho but still human underneath the bluster. TB also starred in a very good TV Western that ran but one season:

    >http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353867/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_33

    It was a Western with some “CSI” overtones, about a Marshall trying to adapt to changing times, the “old West” with “modernity” creeping in (a la “The Wild Bunch”)…it was intelligent, well-written, and of course lasted one season. 😦

    Like

    • I think he was born in the wrong era. He’d have made an excellent cowboy back when Westerns were popular.

      Liked by 1 person

      • https://forum.dvdtalk.com/13133885-post41.html

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
        Timing is also important. The one thing they are really good at also has to be very popular in movies at the same time.

        In the 1960s westerns were very popular. This enabled Eastwood and McQueen to transition to the big screen. Magnificent Seven made McQueen a big star, he then reinvented himself with Great Escape and became a superstar. Eastwood became a big western movie star which enabled him to try different things. He made Dirty Harry and became a megastar.

        I see the western as the thing Tom Selleck is best at. Unfortunately the western had come and gone by the time he came along.
        I think this is a very valid point. Selleck is a natural in Westerns and, unfortunately for him, NOBODY was making westerns when he was hot. Silverado brought back the popularity a little in the mid-80s but even so the 80s was a rough time for Westerns.

        IMO, if the timing had been right, Selleck could have been just as big of a star as Eastwood. I can see him doing Westerns and gritty cop movies.

        Like

        • Wow, if it wasn’t for Tom Berenger, my mom (oh my goodness, watching that one episode of “Major Crimes”), and the great Terrence Clay, I never would’ve known about this site. I Imagine we’d all be a bit less weird, but hopefully more enriched:-)

          Like

        • Thanks to Tom, your mom and Terrence!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ha, Ha, without mom, Terrence, and Tom, I’d be in bad shape. But we’d have to have “The Big Chill” (I kind of always thought “Return of the Secaucus Seven” was better, by the way:-)

          Like

  15. If you look at the poster (for “War Flowers”), it still ties into Tom Berenger:
    http://www.cinemablend.com/new/10-Movie-Stars-Who-Could-Really-Really-Use-Hit-Right-Now-40183-p5.html

    Christina Ricci
    Because of her general personality, her abundance of tattoos and her interests, Christina Ricci was never going to be Julia Roberts, but with a ton of acting talent and a willingness to walk out onto ledges, she was well on her way to carving out a career as an actress in gritty dramas and off-beat films like Black Snake Moan, Monster and Penelope, but sometime around Speed Racer’s release date, the wheels came off. In fact, a strong case could be made that the best thing Ricci has done since 2006 was a one-episode story arc on The Good Wife.

    What Ricci needs more than anything else is a supporting part in an extremely well-received, possibly even Academy Award nominated movie. She needs to play like the hyper-emotional sister of the main character or a drug addict in a few scenes. That would lead to her toplining some high profile independent movies, which should ideally lead her to finding some more strange and wonderful bits of acting we can all enjoy on IFC at two in the morning.

    Like

    • Yeah, Ricci is someone I keep meaning to get around to. I should get to her soon.

      Like

      • Interesting. Ricci was in the all too short lived TV series (yes, there actually was a TV series this decade I watched and got hooked on) “PanAm.” I’m STILL hoping they decide to bring it back for another season.

        Like

        • I hate to break it to ya, but I think it’s time to let that hope die.

          Like

        • OK so it’s been a few years. but they left it with a CLIFFHANGER!

          Like

        • I hate it when that happens. I’m still angry about Twin Peaks.

          Like

        • remember Lebeau, the end of Twin Peaks was not a cliffhanger. It was an unhappy ending.

          Like

        • It depends on your point of view. From a real world perspective, I know that Lynch and company had every intention of freeing Cooper in the show’s third season. In fact, they ended the season with every character in jeopardy in hopes that viewers would demand another season. Also, if any characters weren’t invited back, they had an easy out.

          But even viewing Twin Peaks purely from an “in story” perspective, there were hints in Fire Walk With Me about Cooper’s fate. This makes it feel less like an unhappy ending and more like a dangling plot line.

          The frustrating part is that they could still pick up the show exactly where it left off. When last we saw Coop he was an old man stuck in the lodge. The implication is that he will escape after many years have based. And hey, many years have passed and McLaughlin is the right age to play Cooper after his imprisonment in the lodge. He’s even expressed an interest in doing so. But Lynch won’t allow it. And everyone knows Twin Peaks isn’t worth doing without Lynch’s involvement.

          At one point, a comic book artist put together a comic based on the ideas for the third season of Twin Peaks. The idea was to include it in the DVD release a few years back. Lynch objected and the comic never saw the light of day. Which is a shame. I’d have loved to have seen it.

          Since we will never get the intended ending, the best way to approach it is that Twin Peaks had an unhappy ending. It’s not inconsistent with the show. But knowing that was not the intent of the show will probably annoy me at least mildly until the day I die.

          Like

      • Inexplicable Career Arcs:
        http://goneelsewhere.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/inexplicable-career-arcs/#comment-78441

        I’ve got a good one: Christina Ricci. She started off with a lot of attention for her work in The Addams Family films, did a few forgettable kid’s flicks, and then blasted into adulthood with The Ice Storm, The Opposite of Sex, Buffalo ’66, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas back-to-back.

        She then followed that with 15 years of some of the worst career choices imaginable. The few highlights in her resume (Sleepy Hollow, Monster, Speed Racer, Black Snake Moan) are surrounded by forgettable performances in terrible films.

        Like

        • Career Prospectus: Christina Ricci:
          http://www.laineygossip.com/Career-Prospectus-Christina-Ricci/29678?categoryId=1290

          Sarah,
          At first glance at Ricci’s filmography, it seemed as though she escaped the child actor curse, but she doesn’t appear to be working often or getting any good projects—she seems to be turning into a mocktress. Her biggest project this year is the Lizzie Borden Lifetime movie, which says it all about her career at the moment.
          –Elizabeth

          Sarah,
          She was fantastic in Black Snake Moan, and yes Pan Am sucked, but it wasn’t because of her. I just think she is way too talented to be playing second string to Katy Perry in Smurf movies. So, Sarah, what is going on w/ Christina Ricci?
          –Kim

          Sarah,
          What happened to [Christina Ricci]? She’s practically MIA until an event like the Met gala comes along.
          –Liz


          Kim, you and I are going to have to disagree about Black Snake Moan. And you know, Elizabeth, that Lizzie Borden movie doesn’t look half bad. But I agree with the overall sentiment, and this is just a sample of the emails I’ve gotten about Christina Ricci. Everyone seems to agree—things are not going as well for her as they ought to be. The word “mocktress” came up more than once. It pains me, because I wanted to be Wednesday Addams when I was a kid (still kinda do, frankly), but let’s take a look at what’s going on with Christina Ricci’s career.

          The first thing is that making the leap from child star to grown up actress is not easy, ever, for anyone. Ricci has, at least, avoided the major pitfalls. She’s unpleasant but she hasn’t gone full-Lohan or anything like that. But it’s just not easy for child stars to grow up and be seen as anything other than the kid they were, especially for someone like Ricci, who’s got a bit of the Forever Child about her. That’s starting to get better as she’s entered her thirties, which is not a euphemism for “she’s old” or anything, but an observation that she looks more like a grown woman now, and not a frozen infant.

          But because she’s been trying to overcome not only her child star status but her own Forever Childness, she’s been taking roles that actively work against those things. Sometimes it works out: Monster, Penelope. Sometimes it does not: Sleepy Hollow (not a great movie and because she looked all of twelve years old, her on-screen relationship with Johnny Depp was off-putting) and Black Snake Moan (schlocky dreck, and again, her youthfulness made it extra creepy and exploitative). She would benefit from not fighting her type but finding work that plays to her strengths, especially her underutilized comedic abilities.

          Doubling back, we do need to talk about the fact that there have been rumours that she is unpleasant. Eventually, no matter how talented you are, being a pill will bite you on the ass. No one gets away with it forever, and it’s especially hard for women. A reputation for being bitchy affects actresses not only on set, making top-tier talent less likely to want to work with them (see also: Katherine Heigl), but audiences get wind of that—if they even just think you “look bitchy”—and they’re gone. Think about it—when was the last time you saw Christina Ricci on the cover of a major magazine? I don’t think she needs to kowtow to the Minivan, but fixing the professional reputation is important. And it would, in turn, provide her with more mainstream opportunities to get in front of the public and maybe elevate that aspect of her profile, too.

          And finally, there’s the mocktress thing. It’s never a good sign when you’re more famous for showing up places than for doing your proper acting gig, even if the results of you showing up places tend to be pretty spectacular. Ricci actually works quite a bit (she has four movies slated for this year), so she’s not really a mocktress, but just that the impression exists is problematic. It means no one is seeing her work. Quickest fix: Be in a big movie or a TV show. Ricci has evinced no interest in doing the franchise thing, but Pan Am proves she isn’t adverse to television. That might be Ricci’s best bet. Find a decent TV pilot and try again. With regular exposure to the public comes an increased/revitalized public profile, and holding her sh*t together on a TV set would go a long way to quelling most of the “she’s unpleasant” stuff. Also it would remind people she is a good actress with a fairly broad range. Or she could just, you know. Have a baby.

          Like

    • Star-Derailing Role:
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StarDerailingRole

      Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci’s careers were damaged with the high-budgeted flop Speed Racer. Hirsch, who had been in a number of acclaimed films before it, has mostly disappeared in supporting roles since (not doing another lead role until the 2011 flop The Darkest Hour) while Ricci’s been mostly appearing in low-budget indies, with the exception of the aforementioned Bucky Larson, which fortunately didn’t affect Ricci due to her indie cred.

      Ricci’s career had barely survived an earlier derailment in the early 2000s following the failure of Prozac Nation, in which she was the star and co-producer

      Like

  16. Say, Lebeau, what about that swish, giraffe-necked, spittoon-headed Brit “actor” who dawdled and sniffed his way through films like “The Comfort of Strangers” and “An Ideal Husband”?

    Best Regards.

    Like

  17. Tom Berenger to play Scott Caan’s dad on “Hawaii Five-0”:
    http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/12/11/hawaii-5-0-casts-tom-berenger/

    He’ll appear with Melanie Griffith, who will play Danny’s mom.

    Like

  18. Gettysburg was originally developed as an ABC mini-series. When ABC backed out of the project, Civil War buff Ted Turner stepped in. He planned to air the mini-series on TNT. But when he saw the film in post production, he decided to release it theatrically.

    Gettysburg was a theater release? Wow I didn’t know that. It’s something I usually catch in reruns and I thought it was a PBS movie. As a amateur historian, I thought it was very well done, and Berenger’s performance as Longstreet was good; but this was actually a theatrical release?

    I recently saw him on the History Channel mini series The Hatfield and McCoy’s and I did not recognize him. He got real old and put on some weight. But the important thing for an actor is that he gets work and he has a filmography compared to actors that make a big splash then vanish into obscurity (i.e. Josh Harnett) or just never make it. Tom came close to being A list and it never came to fruition but he is working.

    Like

  19. And he was in Cheers!

    Like

  20. Gettysburg did get a theatrical release in the fall of 1993. Being a Civil War buff I saw it then,.

    As for Berenger I’d draw parallels between him and Russell and Dillon. All three were always primarily ensemble players and character actors rather than leading men (Berenger and Dillon anyway, Russell has done the leading man thing quite a bit). Although all of them played certain archetypes repeatedly, they never comfortably fit into a particular genre. In some ways you could say the same about James Woods (another good subject for WTHHT).

    Side note: Other possibilities for WTHHT include Warren Beatty and in the directors category Oliver Stone.

    Like

  21. I appreciate this website very much, but there have been a few instances now where you give away the ending of a movie, such as “Looking for Mr. Goodbar”. I had never seen it and didn’t know the ending until you gave it away.

    Perhaps if you put a big “SPOILER” in red or something just before you tell us a spoiler… or simply don’t give away spoilers. I will still watch the movie, but I’m a bit upset that you gave away the ending. Not cool.

    Like

    • I’m pretty sensitive about spoilers myself. But Mr Goodbar came out in 1977. If you haven’t seen it in 37 years, what are the odds I’m spoiling it for you now? It’s based on a book which is based on a true story of a woman who was spoilers brutally murdered.

      There is actually a spoiler warning in the article. Granted, it could be bigger. But it’s not like I’m spoiling the end of Citizen Kane here.

      Like

      • I understand the true story reasoning behind the spoiler, I guess. Still – I didn’t know the story behind the movie, nor did I know much about the movie itself, so your spoiler was rather unfortunate for me to read, as I was hoping to watch that movie today.

        As to the 37 years old bit – there are many, many, many movies I have not seen from the dawn of time til now that I also do not know the ending of. Just because a movie is old doesn’t mean everyone on the planet will know the ending of it 😉

        Like

        • That’s cool. And I’m sorry for the spoiler.

          I take spoilers on a case-by-case basis. There’s not a formula in place. Age is obviously a consideration. Also the importance of surprise to the movie. For example, The Sixth Sense or The Crying Game are all about the surprise. Even though those movies are old, I wouldn’t give away the twists without a pretty substantial spoiler warning. Another factor is how important the spoiler is to what I am talking about. In this case, Berenger’s entire role in the movie is wrapped up in the spoiler. You can’t say much more than “Berenger appeared in Looking for Mr. Goodbar” without discussing what his character does.

          If it makes you feel better, most audiences going into the theater to see Looking For Mr. Goodbar in 1977 probably knew how the story ended. So it shouldn’t have much of an impact on your viewing experience should you decide to track it down and watch it. But regardless, sorry for the unwanted spoiler info. I do try to take all that into consideration with these articles.

          Like

        • Thanks for explaining 🙂
          I was wondering that too – about the audiences back then and how they might have also known the ending, considering the true story nature of it.
          Not sure Berenger’s role, but I’m sure I’ll find out when I watch the movie in an hour.

          Dun dun dun…

          Like

        • Now of course you need to come back and share your thoughts. Enjoy!

          Like

        • About the movie “LOOKING FOR MR GOODBYE” does anyone know the name of the actual person the movie was written about. It says it was based on true events. Id love to research it. Im writing a book. And that might be an interesting tidbit to include. My book is about murder and is going to be called The injustice of the justice system” its basically about all the killers who were let loose to wreak havoc and murder AFTER all warning signs an earlier crimes were ignored. Though most of the characters are true life serial killers. Especially the obscure ones that the public has probably never heard of. Maybe Mr Berger will one day read it. Though its not even close to becoming a movie and never will. Id sure like to impress my idol though. Lol. Once your a single 57 year old. All you have left are impossible dreams. Lol. Thanks for listening. Lol

          Like

  22. I have been a fan of tom bartenders for over 30 years. I would love to meet him in person. I think hes awesome an one of the best actors ever. I really liked return of the dogma I just recently saw. If he ever gets to texas. Have him get in touch. God if only wishes could come true.. im not some young girl . Im a retired ballet dancer and registered nurse. Im 57. I would do about anything just to meet him in person. Omg. It would be soo awesome. I wouldn’t tell a soul ever if I could just meet him. Thanks. Vickie

    Like

  23. My facebook info is tangomom1999@yahoo.com. from all my dancing years. The last 20 yrs ive done “whip dancing” its a cross between dancing with the stars and dirty dancing. Ive never written a comment before so I hope mr. Berger realizes how much I respect him and all the enjoyment ive gotten from alll his movies. Id love to feel his curly hair. Lol. A true dream come true an then some. Come on down to texas lol your secrets safe with me. Im a red headed Leo. Ive had a crush on him more years than I can count.

    Like

  24. Tom was a hunk in his day, and he could act very well; his problem is that he had a lot of movies that flopped. The scripts he was offered simply weren’t good stories. Rustlers’ Rhapsody is one of my favorite movies, and I don’t even like westerns. Now his looks are gone, yet he keeps getting work. That proves he has a lot of talent.

    Like

  25. I thought Tom Berenger, in his younger years, was just gorgeous, and he was one of my favorite actors. I wish he was in more movies. In my opinion, he has star quality. He just hasn’t played the “Hollywood” game.

    Like

    • He definitely could have been more involved in the Hollywood game. But that’s true of a lot of actors here. If you want a career like Tom Cruise, you have to live and breathe Hollywood.

      Like

      • I agree. I lived and worked in Hollywood for a couple of years. What a zoo. Everyone wanted to be SOMEBODY and bragged, if they were.

        Like

        • re: living/working in Hollywood:

          There was a GREAT line on the original “Law & Order,” in their 3-part story loosely based on the OJ “incident.” [ie, a director killed an actress] Some gal that worked for a studio told Detective Rey:

          “I work in a funny business, Ray — everyone talks like hippies but acts like they’re in the Sicilian mob.”

          Like

        • You have to be willing to sing your own praises. Or at least sell yourself while playing at being humble. I know that’s not something that comes naturally to me. Others excel at it.

          Like

        • It’s just as well that “singing your own praises” doesn’t come natural to you. It may work in Hollywood, but else where it is consider a very classless trait.

          I interviewed many performers and got well acquainted with a few. Many were really “screwed up” individuals, and many have faded, or disappeared.

          I remember the first time I met Jose Feliciano. He was screaming at his young, 300 pound girl friend Susan because she had brought the wrong color of boots to his performance at the Roxy. How he knew they were the wrong color is a mystery. I was a friend of his pianist, but apparently, he thought I was some groupie. When we were introduced, he said, ” I know a good book you should read.” I asked him the name of the book. He replied, “The story of “O.” I told him I had never heard of that book, and his young girlfriend said, “Oh, it’s a pornographic novel,” I said, “Why should I read it.” His reply was, “You know a poor girl like yourself, broke and all alone and lost in the big city.” I told him I certainly wasn’t broke, alone or lost, and I walked away. My pianist friend was totally humiliated. I had a number of other encounters with Jose, and he was a total jerk. He was bright and talented but a jerk! By the way, He finally married his 300 pound lady friend, who he had started dating when he was in his late twenties and married and she was 14 and president of his fan club.

          Like

        • Great story. Thanks for sharing.

          Yeah, fame and fortune can screw with your head. I would imagine it would be hard for anyone to remain level-headed when all the people around you start telling you that you are never wrong.

          In the Chevy Chase article, there is a quote from Bill Murray where he says that when you become famous, you’re going to be an asshole for a year or two. There’s no getting around it. After that, you either figure out how to deal with it or you become an asshole forever. Sounds like that was the case for Jose.

          Like

  26. I’ve heard that Bill is still an asshole. I’ll add Brad Pitt and George Clooney to that, too. Of course, that’s only my opinion, I know others like these guys. I’d rather watch Tom on the screen and even in interviews. I saw a 1993 interview for “SIiver” and he seemed as nice and down-to-earth as a guy can get.

    Like

    • Tom Berenger is a first class actor. He doesn’t take himself seriously and seems to realize acting is a job. He doesn’t need his ego stroked 24/7.

      Like

    • Murray is a character. He can be an asshole from what I have heard. He’s kind of awesome about it though.

      Someone I know was telling me a “Bill Murray is an asshole” story about how her husband sat behind him at a ballgame. He and his friends (all drunk) kept quoting Caddyshack which was clearly annoying Murray. But he still posed for pictures with them and took an autograph. I was like “And this makes him an asshole how?”

      My favorite Bill Murray story is that he sometimes sneaks up on people in the street and covers their eyes from behind. Then he steps into view and says “No one will believe you.”

      Like

    • About Bill Murray, I have heard/read that he is highly unusual. He didn’t have an agent. He had a landline with answering machine for people to contact him. If he is interested then he will call back. That phone number seems to be given from one person to another with no official listing.

      I supposed he wasn’t much of an asshole but just hat he is not of the same beats as the majority of people.

      Like

      • I’m sure there are plenty of people that consider Murray an asshole. He probably is to some extent. But he’s an extremely talented asshole and he pulls it off with style. I have also heard stories about what a big heart he has. But I’m sure there are people who will tell you that Chevy Chase is a big sweetheart too. So it’s probably going to depend on who you’re talking to.

        Like

      • Bill’s son was the University of Arizona assistant basketball coach for a while. He would come to the games now and then and brought his dad with him one time. He was always gracious to anyone who approached him or wanted to chat with him.

        Like

        • The first person accounts I have heard are all the same. Even the one that tried to paint him as a jerk, he really came off smelling like roses. It was the guy telling the story that came off poorly.

          Everyone has multiple faces. You get me on a bad day, I might snap at you. That’s true of celebs too.

          Like

  27. I would like to add that Tom Berenger got a recurring guest star role in Showtime drama, Major Crimes. He played a charming deadbeat estrange husband of Captain Raider. I think he had been in two episodes on season 2 and one episode (so far) this season.

    Like

    • Thanks for the heads up. I was unfamiliar with that show.

      Like

      • Major Crime is a spin-off of the show that I really like, The Closer. The Closer ran for 7 seasons, until Kyra Sedgwick leave the show. The show, for me, seems to have really strong writing team and the chemistry between the casts were superb. I highly recommend the show if you like cop show.

        Like

        • I don’t actually watch a lot of cop shows. But I remember hearing a lot of good things about The Closer. I might check out an episode if Berenger is on it.

          Like

  28. Tom Berenger hasn’t been seen in any recent films probably because he insn’t any good at acting. He never measured up the good actors like Pacino, Neuman, DeNiro, he is simply a Second Rate Actor.

    Like

    • While I agree he’s not in the same league as the three actors you mentioned, that’s true of a lot of actors. You don’t have a career as long as Berenger’s if you aren’t any good at acting.

      Like

    • Deanna Dawn Smith Fagin

      Tom Berenger is a wonderful actor. His acting in “Platoon” was first rate. DeNiro hasn’t been in anything decent for years, and Hoffman was in some real duds.

      Like

  29. One thing that LeBeau left out is that Tom Berenger’s real name is Thomas Michael Moore. He picked “Berenger” as his professional name, after a school friend, because there was already a “Tom Moore” in the Actors’ Equity Association.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000297/bio?ref_=nm_ql_1

    Like

  30. In 1979/80, he was also in a made for TV movie called Flesh and Blood. It co-starred Suzanne Pleshette and John Cassavetes and also had a then very young and different-looking Denzel Washington in a small role as an ex-con. I remember that the movie caused a little bit of a stir because Tom’s character had a romantic relationship with Pleshette, who was his character’s his step mom. I was attending Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois at the time and one of the movie’s casting directors came to our production of Peter Pan (I think he was friends with out Drama teacher. Coincidentally and unrelatedly, Bill Murray’s sister Nancy was a nun at the high school who assisted Mrs. Pritchard with the Drama Dept!). The casting director invited our cast to be extras in the movie which was being shot in downtown Chicago. We worked for 2 Days, were given box lunches and paid $25 a day. We shot boxing scenes and I actually met Tom, Suzanne, John and Denzel. I even got to give Tom a kiss on his vaselined (boxers put Vaseline on their faces, I guess) lips! I remember thinking he was so handsome and predicted he would be a big star someday. My first brush with greatness – what a great memory!

    Like

  31. My God, Suzanne Pleshette…… I can’t remember the last time I heard that name mentioned….. by anyone. That takes me back.

    Like

    • I was 14/15 at the time. I brought my grandfather, my uncle and a friend who was also in the play with me. We had such a great time. The actors were all very nice and Suzanne was just gorgeous!

      Like

    • BTW, I hunted for decades for this movie and finally bought a copy of it a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t caught on camera in any scenes but it is still a cherished momento for me. It really took me back!

      Like

  32. Scott MacDonough

    I just came across this article on Tom Berenger and would like to add some truthful information. I was working for a NYC publicity firm when we were assigned to work on a low-budget movie called “Platoon”. I had always admired Tom Berenger’s work and thought he should have been an A-list movie star a decade ago. I met him and we became friends immediately. He was–and remains–one of the nicest, most intelligent, loyal and completely down-to-earth guys I have ever met, as well as a terrific, woefully underrated actor. He was also, at that time, an incredibly handsome man, and all of my female friends (including my sister) were madly in love with him and dying to meet him. Oddly, I think the “curse of good looks” worked against him. He had absolutely no ego and blushed when he read articles describing him as a “hunk”. Soon, he asked me to be his publicist, and I had so much fun setting up interviews for him. I introduced him to some of the most renowned NYC film critics of that time, and everyone of them–female and male alike–loved him. And “Platoon” finally gave his career the boost it needed. But Tom never changed. He had survived a disastrous first marriage (but was a wonderful, loving father to his young son and daughter), He had recently remarried a lovely girl he had met in Beaufort while he was filming “The Big Chill”, and had two more children by her (two daughters). He was a voracious reader, especially fascinated by history, and had a great, self-effacing sense of humor. Whatever Joe Esterhaus said about Tom having “a drinking problem” was a vicious lie. Eventually I left that p.r. firm, but I liked Tom and his family so much that I told him I’d continue to do his publicity at no charge. Of course, he never called me again about publicity (which he really didn’t care about, he’s a private man and very protective of his family) but we’ve continued to keep in touch via email, letters, and phone calls. Far from just a “hunky pretty boy”, Tom is a serious first-rate actor and starred in a play with the then-unknown (and not very nice) Kevin Spacey at the Long Wharf Theater in Connecticut. Tom also got his acting start appearing in plays in regional theaters. I used to call him “the guy who can’t say no” because he’s so good-natured he’ll easily be talked into doing not-so-great movies by people he thinks are friends, and, in the process, has had to turn down plum roles in hugely successful movies that would have propelled him, deservedly, into the ranks of a major movie star. Just one example: he was offered one of the three leads in “Tequila Sunrise” but had to turn it down because he had already committed to the disastrous “Love at Large”. So the comments here dismissing him as a lightweight lacking in charisma truly anger me. Debra Winger, who never suffered fools gladly, loved him when they did “Betrayed”. And Sharon Stone, after letting it be known that she detested Billy Baldwin when they filmed “Sliver”, told Larry King that it was Tom Berenger who got her thru the making of that mess of a movie. When King asked her if she’d like to make another movie with Tom, Ms. Stone broke into a radiant smile and replied: “In a minute!”

    Like

    • Hi Scott, thanks for sharing your perspective on Berenger. As someone who knew him, you obviously have a different point of view than those of us who only know him from the movies. I notice that most of your points are about what a great guy he is to work with. There’s certainly something to be said for that. A lot of the actors in this series aren’t as good natured so it’s refreshing to read accounts of someone who didn’t let their ego get the best of them. Personally I don’t consider Berenger a “light weight”. But I assume anyone that does is basing their opinion on Berenger’s movies moreso than what he is like off screen.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. It always helps to provide a more balanced portrayal of the subject when we get to hear from people with first hand experience. We here at Le Blog wish Mr. Berenger nothing but the best.

      Like

  33. Emmy winner – Hatfields and McCoys 🙂 🙂

    Like

  34. Peacemakers – his PERFECT role which USA gave up on far too soon ppphhtttt
    Stephen King miniseries Nightmares and Dreamscapes
    Into the West miniseries
    October Road – two season show
    Guest star on Law and Order “Panic”
    Guest star on Third Watch
    Guest star on Hawaii 5-0
    Guest star on Major Crimes

    Last of the Dogmen is a big fan favorite!
    Betrayed is my personal favorite.

    Like

    • Episode 169 – The Substitute

      http://www.whmpodcast.com/2014/09/episode-169-substitute.html

      On the season premiere of We Hate Movies, the gang heads back to school with Tom Berenger and Marc Anthony in The Substitute! Why does this movie spend so much time on the botched Cuba mission? Why did Berenger’s resume need to be that padded? And what on Earth is up with that bathing suit? PLUS: I’mgonnakillherI’mgonnakillherI’mgonnakillher!

      The Substitute stars Tom Berenger, Ernie Hudson, Raymond Cruz, William Forsythe, Luis Guzmán and Diane Venora; directed by Robert Mandel.

      Like

  35. I would say kurt career is more similar to dennis quaid. both actors are hit and miss in the box office but have a lot of cult classics on their hands. even though both actors appeared in some lead hits neither where the drawing factor

    Like

  36. I watched “Last Rites” (well, had it in the background, but right in front of me, and I was paying attention) a few days ago (Thursday? Friday?), ho boy; bless the film, I like many of the performers there (Berenger, Daphne Zuniga, Anne Twomey, Paul Dooley) but man, the film just kind of goes on with itself without explaining anything. So many questions: were Berenger & Twomey’s characters once incestuous? Berenger’s cop buddy, what does he know about what’s going on with the mob families, and is he an undercover or a regular detective? Why is Zuniga playing a Hispanic character when everyone else is either Greek or Italian (I think she could pass for both, and she can still flee to Mexico without being Hispanic)? Why was so much detail left out of the script?

    Like

  37. It is so frustrating reading these blown up out of touch comments from third-party gossipers about Tom Berenger’s drinking! First and foremost he never ever ever drinks on the job/on the set. Know this for a fact! He’s a social drinker like most of us and really gets a bum rap! And Scientology? No way, divorced his second wife due to her joiningThe church.

    Like

  38. Charlie Sheen’s ‘Major League’ Reunion Photo Freaked Everyone Out With How Old They Look Now

    http://uproxx.com/sports/charlie-sheen-major-league-reunion-photo-tom-berenger-corbin-bernsen/

    Major League, to this day, is among my favorite movies of all-time. Not sports movies (of which, I will argue it belongs at the top) or comedies (which, again, at least near the top of my list), but out of all the movies that have ever been made, it’s one of my favorites.

    That, of course, is highly subjective, but it’s where I stand on the matter. Major League is an auto-watch whenever it’s on TV or if it’s on demand and I’m not looking for anything specific. It’s fun and one of the few sports movies that I find tolerable because the inevitable plot of “underdogs overcome adversity to become winners” is at least filled with funny moments. Because of how often I watch it and how funny it remains, sometimes I forget just how old the movie is.

    Major League was released in 1989, which means we’re rapidly approaching the 30th anniversary of the film. Today, we all got a reminder of just how old the film is when three of its stars, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Corbin Bernsen got back together and took a picture in the same pose as an old promotional picture for the film and they certainly look nearly 30 years older.

    Look, it’s been nearly 27 years since the first picture was taken so of course they’re older, but it is a bit staggering how much different they look. The general reaction to the photo ranged somewhere from self reflection on how much time has passed since the movie came out, to downright shock at how rough the crew looks now.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: