Born in Chicago, Oscar nominee and Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Tom Berenger was born Thomas Michael Moore and raised in a working class Roman Catholic family of Irish descent. His father was a printer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Tom attended the University of Missouri to study journalism. There, he first auditioned for a role in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at the college theater on a whim and a bet with a roommate; he won the role of “Nick”, the second male lead.
After several stints in regional theater, Berenger attended Herbert Berghof’s Studio School for Acting in New York City. There, he pursued a professional acting. He selected “Berenger” as his professional name, after a school friend, as there was already a “Tom Moore” in Actors’ Equity. His film debut was in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), followed by roles in such films as The Big Chill (1983), Eddie and the Cruisers (1983), Platoon (1986), Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Shoot to Kill (1988), Betrayed (1988), Last Rites (1988), Major League (1989), Shattered (1991), Gettysburg (1993), The Substitute (1996), Sniper (1993), Rough Riders (1997), Inception (2010), Hatfields & McCoys (2012), among many others.