Tom Berenger

Tom Berenger (born Thomas Michael Moore; May 31, 1949) is an American television and motion picture actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of 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), Betrayed (1988), The Field (1990), Gettysburg (1993), The Substitute (1996), One Man's Hero (1999), 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.

Tom Berenger
Tom Berenger - Monte-Carlo Television Festival
Tom Berenger at the 2013 Monte-Carlo Television Festival
Thomas Michael Moore

May 31, 1949 (age 69)
Alma materUniversity of Missouri, B.A. 1971[1]
OccupationActor, producer, television writer
Years active1968–present
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Barbara Wilson
(m. 1976; div. 1984)
, 2 children
Lisa Williams
(m. 1986; div. 1997)
, 3 children
Patricia Alvaran
(m. 1998; div. 2011)
, 1 child
Laura Moretti (m. 2012)

Early life and education

Berenger was born as Thomas Michael Moore in Chicago, on May 31, 1949, to a Roman Catholic family of Irish ancestry. 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), Platoon (1986), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), and Major League (1989). In 1986, he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of 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 four sequels, featuring Berenger in the starring role for three). 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. 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 also 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.

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 he 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.[8]

Personal life

Berenger 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 in 1993). He has a daughter named Scout Moore (born 1998) with Patricia Alvaran, to whom he was married from 1998–2011. He married Laura Moretti in Sedona, Arizona in early September 2012.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Rush It Richard Moore
1977 Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye Billy Sutton Television movie
1977 The Sentinel Man at end
1977 Looking for Mr. Goodbar Gary
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
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 Sergeant Barnes Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1987 Someone to Watch Over Me Det. 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 GySgt. 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 Thomas Beckett
1993 Sliver Jack Landsford Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1993 Gettysburg Lt. Gen. James Longstreet
1994 Major League II Jake Taylor
1994 Chasers Rock Reilly
1995 Last of the Dogmen Lewis Gates
1995 Body Language Gavin St.Claire
1995 The Avenging Angel Miles Utley
1996 The Substitute Jonathan Shale
1996 An Occasional Hell Dr. Ernest Dewalt
1997 Rough Riders Theodore Roosevelt Television movie
1998 The Gingerbread Man Pete Randle
1998 Shadow of Doubt Jack Campioni
1999 A Murder of Crows Clifford Dubose
1999 One Man's Hero John Riley
1999 Diplomatic Siege Gen. Buck Swain
2000 Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying Sikes
2000 Takedown McCoy Rollins
2000 Cutaway Red Line
2001 Training Day Stan Gursky
2001 The Hollywood Sign Tom Greener
2001 Johnson County War Cain Hammett
2001 True Blue Rembrandt "Remy" Macy
2001 Watchtower Art Stoner a.k.a. Cruel and Unusual
2002 D-Tox Hank
2002 The Junction Boys Paul "Bear" Bryant
2003 Sniper 2 Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2004 Sniper 3 Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2005 Detective Sgt. Malcolm Ainslie Television movie
2006 Nightmares and Dreamscapes Richard Kinnell Television movie
2007 The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Jonathan Toomey
2008 Desperate Hours: An Amber Alert Larsan Television movie
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 Walter Weed
2010 Sinners and Saints Captain Trahan
2010 Firedog Einstein Voice only
2010 Inception Peter Browning Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2010 Faster Warden
2011 Last Will Frank Emery
2011 Right Angle Jerry
2011 Bucksville The Patron of Justice
2012 Brake Agent Ben Reynolds
2012 War Flowers General McIntire
2012 Fighting to Forgive General McIntire
2014 Sniper: Legacy Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2014 Reach Me Teddy
2014 Bad Country Lutin
2014 Lonesome Dove Church John Shepherd
2017 Sniper: Ultimate Kill Thomas Beckett Direct-to-video
2017 Gone Are the Days Will
2017 American Dresser John Moore
2017 Cops and Robbers
2017 Wunderland Major McCulley
2018 1st Born Jefferson Tucker Post-Production
2018 Supervized Ray Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1975–1976 One Life to Live Tim Siegel Unknown episodes
1979 Flesh & Blood Bobby Fallon Television movie
1986 If Tomorrow Comes Jeff Stevens 3 episodes
1993 Cheers Don Santry 2 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
2000 Law & Order Dean Tyler Episode: "Panic"
2002 Ally McBeal Harrison Wyatt Episode: "Nine One Nine"
2003 Third Watch Aaron Noble 4 episodes
2003 Peacemakers Marshal Jared Stone 9 episodes
2005 Into the West Colonel J. Chivington Episode: "Hell on Wheels"
2007–2008 October Road The Commander 19 episodes
2012 XIII: The Series Rainer Gerhardt 6 episodes
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Jim Vance 3 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
2013–2015 Major Crimes Jackson Raydor 4 episodes
2014 Hawaii Five-0 Eddie Williams (Danno's father)
2017 Training Day Stan Gursky Episode "Elegy"
reprise character from the 2001 film of the same name


  1. ^ "Faculty - Theatre Department". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Tom Berenger". IMDb. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  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,; accessed October 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Profile Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed October 8, 2014.
  6. ^ "Interview with William Katt". Chicago Sun-Times.
  7. ^ America Online Chat with Tom Berenge. AOL. Retrieved August 18, 1999.
  8. ^ Pennington, Gail (September 24, 2012). "'Homeland' wins big; Hamm loses again at Emmys". St. Louis Post-Dispatch via website. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  9. ^ America Online Chat with Tom Berenge,; retrieved August 18, 1999.

External links

A Murder of Crows (film)

A Murder of Crows is a 1998 thriller film directed by Rowdy Herrington and starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Berenger.

Bad Country

Bad Country (also known as Whiskey Bay) is a film based on a true story starring Matt Dillon, Willem Dafoe, Amy Smart, and Tom Berenger. The film started shooting in Baton Rouge and Angola, Louisiana on August 7, 2012.

Betrayed (1988 film)

Betrayed is a 1988 American drama thriller film directed by Costa-Gavras, written by Joe Eszterhas, and starring Debra Winger and Tom Berenger. The plot is roughly based upon the terrorist activities of American neo-Nazi and white supremacist Robert Mathews and his group The Order.


Chasers is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Dennis Hopper, his last directorial effort before his death in 2010. It is about a pair of United States Navy shore patrollers (SPs) (Tom Berenger and William McNamara) who must escort a beautiful prisoner (Erika Eleniak), and the troubles they encounter.

Fear City

Fear City is a 1984 American action-thriller directed by Abel Ferrara. The lead roles are played by Billy Dee Williams and Tom Berenger.

In 2012 the film was released on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory.

If Tomorrow Comes (miniseries)

Sidney Sheldon's If Tomorrow Comes is a 1986 CBS miniseries based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Sidney Sheldon, starring Madolyn Smith, Tom Berenger and David Keith. It was directed by Jerry London and the screenplay was written by Carmen Culver.

If Tomorrow Comes (novel)

If Tomorrow Comes is a 1985 crime fiction novel by American author Sidney Sheldon. It is a story portraying an ordinary woman who is framed by the Mafia, her subsequent quest for vengeance towards them and her later life as a con artist. The novel was adapted into a three-part TV miniseries with the same name in 1986, starring Madolyn Smith and Tom Berenger.

Major League (film)

Major League is a 1989 American sports comedy film produced by Chris Chesser and Irby Smith, written and directed by David S. Ward, that stars Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, James Gammon, Bob Uecker, Rene Russo, and Corbin Bernsen.

Made for $11 million, Major League grossed nearly $50 million in domestic release. Major League deals with the exploits of a fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, and spawned two sequels (Major League II and Back to the Minors), neither of which replicated the success of the original film.

Major League II

Major League II is a 1994 American sports comedy film and sequel to the 1989 film Major League. Major League II stars most of the same cast from the original, including Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Corbin Bernsen. Absent from this film is Wesley Snipes, who played Willie Mays Hayes in the first film and who by 1994 had become a film star in his own right. Omar Epps took over his role.

Major League II also welcomes some new faces to the team. David Keith plays Jack Parkman, a selfish superstar catcher who is looking to replace the aging Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) as the starter. Takaaki Ishibashi, of Japanese comedic duo Tunnels, is outfielder Hiroshi "Kamikaze" Tanaka who helps excite the team. Eric Bruskotter is rookie catcher Rube Baker who is getting used to the MLB life. Unlike the first film, which was rated R, Major League II is rated PG and is distributed by Warner Bros. instead of Paramount Pictures.

Shadow of Doubt (1998 film)

Shadow of Doubt is a 1998 American independent mystery-thriller film directed by Randal Kleiser and starring Melanie Griffith, Tom Berenger, Craig Sheffer, and Huey Lewis.

Sliver (film)

Sliver is a 1993 American erotic thriller film based on the Ira Levin novel of the same name about the mysterious occurrences in a privately owned New York high-rise sliver building. Phillip Noyce directed the film, from a screenplay by Joe Eszterhas. Because of a major battle with the MPAA (which originally gave the film an NC-17 rating), the filmmakers were forced to make extensive reshoots before release. These reshoots actually necessitated changing the killer's identity. The film stars Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, and Tom Berenger. When he signed on to direct the film, Phillip Noyce remarked "I liked the script a lot. Or at least, I liked the idea of jumping on the Joe Eszterhas bandwagon."

Sniper (film series)

The Sniper film series is a series of action and war films beginning with the 1993 film Sniper, which center upon the characters of Master Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Beckett (Tom Berenger) and Gunnery Sergeant Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins), who work as Force Reconnaissance Scout Snipers in United States Marine Corps.

Sniper 3

Sniper 3 is a 2004 action adventure direct-to-video film starring Tom Berenger, Byron Mann, Denis Arndt and John Doman. It was directed by P.J. Pesce and the third installment in the Sniper film series.

Someone to Watch Over Me (film)

Someone to Watch Over Me is a 1987 romance crime thriller film starring Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers and directed by Ridley Scott. The film's soundtrack includes the George and Ira Gershwin song from which the film takes its title, here sung by Sting, and Vangelis' "Memories of Green", originally from Scott's Blade Runner.

The Dogs of War (film)

The Dogs of War is a 1980 war film based upon the 1974 novel of the same name by Frederick Forsyth. Largely filmed in Belize, it was directed by John Irvin and starred Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger. In it a small mercenary unit of soldiers is privately hired to depose the president of a fictional African country so that a British tycoon can gain access to a platinum deposit.

The title is based on a phrase from William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar: "Cry, 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war."

The Field (film)

The Field is a 1990 Irish drama film written and directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Brenda Fricker and Tom Berenger. It was adapted from John B. Keane's 1965 play of the same name. The film is set in the early 1930s in a very underdeveloped region of rural Ireland.

The Gingerbread Man (film)

The Gingerbread Man is a 1998 American legal thriller film directed by Robert Altman and based on a discarded John Grisham manuscript. The film stars Kenneth Branagh, Embeth Davidtz, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Berenger, Daryl Hannah, Famke Janssen, and Robert Duvall.

Awards for Tom Berenger

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