Tom Berenger Biography
Born Name: Thomas Michael Moore
Tom Berenger is an American actor known mainly for his roles in action films.
Berenger was born as Thomas Michael Moore in Chicago to an Irish Catholic family. Berenger's father was a printer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Berenger has a sister, Susan. He picked "Berenger" as his professional name, after a school friend, because there was already a "Tom Moore" in the Actors' Equity Association.
He graduated from Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois, in 1967. Berenger studied journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, but decided to seek an acting career following his graduation. He worked first in regional theatre and moved to New York City in the 1970s.
Berenger worked in soap operas and had a starring role on One Life to Live. His feature film debut was the lead in Rush It (1976), an independent film now mostly forgotten except for those of its cast members who went on to greater renown. In 1977, Berenger had a small but noticeable role as a murderer in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. In 1978, he had a starring role in In Praise of Older Women for Avco-Embassy Pictures. In 1979, he had the role of Butch Cassidy in Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, a role he got in part because of his resemblance to Paul Newman, who played the character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). These early roles highlight Berenger's ability to play both villains and heroes.
Berenger starred in several significant films in the 1980s, including The Big Chill (1983), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), and Major League (1989). In 1986, he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of SSG. Barnes in Platoon (this performance won him a Golden Globe Award for "Best Supporting Actor"). In the mid-1990s he was most recognizable in his role from the movie Sniper (which would later be followed by two sequels). Other notable films from that period include Shattered (1991), Sliver (1993) and Chasers (1994).
It has been recorded that Berenger himself has said that his favorite movie of those he had starred in was the 1993 hit Gettysburg, where he played the role of General James Longstreet. He has said he has seen Gettysburg more than any other of his starring movies. Berenger co-produced the 1997 miniseries Rough Riders, also starring as Theodore Roosevelt.
In more recent years, Berenger has continued to have an active acting career in film and television, although often at a supporting level. His most notable television appearance was on Cheers in its last season as Rebecca Howe's blue collar-plumber love interest, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series". He also began a career as a producer in the 1990s.
Berenger 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 has been married three times and has six children. He resides in Vancouver and Beaufort, South Carolina.
Berenger has two children by his first wife, Barbara Wilson (Moore), to whom he was married between 1976 and 1984: Allison Moore (born in 1977) and Patrick Moore (born in 1978). He has three daughters by second wife Lisa Williams (to whom he was married between 1986 and 1997): Chelsea Moore (born in 1987), Chloe Moore (born in 1988) and Shiloh Moore (born in 1995). He has one daughter, Scout Moore (born 1998), with Patricia Alvaran, whom he married in 1998.
Berenger has also lent himself to likeness, like for the face of Frank Jaeger, in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.