Born in Chicago, Illinois, as Thomas Michael Moore, was raised along with his sister, in a working class home headed by a father who worked as a printer for The Chicago Sun-Times. After graduating Rich East High School in 1967, he attended the University of Missouri to study journalism, but tried his hand at acting on a whim because of a bet he lost. He picked "Berenger" as his professional name, after a school friend, because there was already a "Tom Moore" in the Actors' Equity AssociationBerenger made his debut in a college production of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?" before moving on to regional theater following graduation. This move changed his career path forever.Berenger 1st established himself in aggressive, brooding roles. He first came to the public's attention as the self-effacing Tom Selleck-like television star in Lawrence Kasdan's iconic drama,"The Big Chill"(1983). But it was his hard-edged turn as the Vietnam War-scarred Sergeant Barnes in "Platoon" (1986) that turned the relatively unknown actor into a bona fide star.From that point on, Tom gained notice and continued appearing in unpredictable roles and cameos. He was nearly in one film or TV movie every year up until the present.