Movie star Tom Berenger acted in a few World War II scenes in Pierre on Tuesday and then headed west. He was expected in Sturgis on Wednesday where he will be part of the 80th anniversary Motorcycle Rally expected to draw 250,000 or more.
Berenger, famous for his iconic roles in movies including “The Big Chill,” “Platoon” and “Major League,” has been a leader in the “Legends Ride” during the Rally in recent years. It’s charitable event put on by the Buffalo Chip, the giant concert venue and campground a couple miles outside of Sturgis.
Berenger won a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination for his role in the 1986 Oliver Stone movie, “Platoon,” in which he played the hardcore Sgt. Bob Barnes. He has said the one of his many roles he watches the most is “Gettysburg,” about life in a small South Dakota town near Pierre — er, scratch that. He played Gen. James Longstreet in the epic film about the epic Civil War battle in Pennsylvania. He won awards for that role, too.
Berenger has developed a history with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in recent years.
After filming for a couple days this week in Pierre on an independent movie about the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, “Winter War,” directed by Pierre native Luke Schuetzle, Berenger went on to Sturgis.
“Tom has been a big part of the Legends Ride for a half-dozen years and we are delighted that he will be here again this year,” Marilyn Stemp told the Capital Journal on Tuesday. Stemp is special assistant to Rod Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip.
“We expect Tom and his wife Laura to arrive here tomorrow,” Stemp said on Tuesday. “Laura actually taught Tom to ride a motorcycle.”
While the city of Sturgis canceled most of its major events for the Rally this year because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buffalo Chip is advertising many concerts, headlined by Reverend Horton Heat, Molly Hatchet and 38 Special.
Berenger is the road captain of the Legends Ride on Monday, Aug. 10, from Deadwood to Sturgis that raises money for the Special Olympics and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame.
Berenger will be speaking at the Legends Ride dinner in the Franklin Hotel in Deadwood Monday morning, Aug. 10, Stemp said.
Earlier this year, Berenger posted a promotion for the Buffalo Chip and its owner Rod Woodruff on the Buffalo Chip’s Facebook page:
“Hey there, Tom Berenger here. Have you heard? Well, my friend Rod Woodruff at the Buffalo Chip let me know that Sturgis 2020, the 80th anniversary, is ON! I don’t know about you, but I’m packin’ her up here. I hope to see ya out there. God bless America. And God bless the Buffalo Chip.”
Capital Journal reporter Del Bartels contributed to this article.