March 5, 2023 – His characters were often informed by their volatility: affable nihilism could explode into violence, which made him a natural player of bent cops and detectives, as believable in straight roles as in over-the-top variations, such as Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. But his own personality bore many of those same traits. His career was sidelined repeatedly by addictions to heroin and methamphetamines, and his peripatetic drug-fuelled sex life led to repeated cases of domestic violence.

In 1998, after starring as the criminal gangster boss John Gotti in the television film Witness to the Mob, Sizemore received a visit from De Niro and his mother, who forced him into rehab. Steven Spielberg then hired him for Private Ryan, provided Sizemore be drug-tested regularly, and threatening to reshoot all his scenes if he failed a single test.

Five years later, on the verge of television success as the lead in Robbery Homicide Division, he was kicked off the set of a movie, Piggy Banks, accused of molesting an 11-year-old female actor, and convicted of domestic violence against his then girlfriend, “Hollywood madam” Heidi Fleiss. The double scandal contributed to the TV show’s cancellation. 


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