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Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

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Also Known As: Wesley Trent Snipes Died:
Born: July 31, 1962 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Orlando, Florida, USA Profession: producer, actor, singer, restaurateur, telephone installer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The tragedy of actor Wesley Snipes' career was due not to the fact that he was sentenced to three years of jail time for tax evasion in 2008, but rather because it overshadowed a prolific decade of work in which he proved himself to be among the most versatile and popular leading men in Hollywood. Though his athletic prowess made him an ideal action hero in films like "Blade" (1997) and its two sequels, he was also a skilled dramatic actor in films like "New Jack City" (1991), "Jungle Fever" (1991), "The Waterdance" (1992), and "One Night Stand" (1997), which earned him the top acting award at the Venice Film Festival. Snipes was equally adept at comedy, most notably in "White Men Can't Jump" (1992), and could transition gracefully from larger-than-life characters like his futuristic villain in "Demolition Man" (1993) to subtler parts like his uncredited turn as a smooth-talking bar patron in "Waiting to Exhale" (1995). A string of legal problems and bad business decisions left a smear on his name during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and may have precipitated the career tailspin that culminated in his 2008 conviction and incarceration two years later, leaving many to question his future as a viable...

The tragedy of actor Wesley Snipes' career was due not to the fact that he was sentenced to three years of jail time for tax evasion in 2008, but rather because it overshadowed a prolific decade of work in which he proved himself to be among the most versatile and popular leading men in Hollywood. Though his athletic prowess made him an ideal action hero in films like "Blade" (1997) and its two sequels, he was also a skilled dramatic actor in films like "New Jack City" (1991), "Jungle Fever" (1991), "The Waterdance" (1992), and "One Night Stand" (1997), which earned him the top acting award at the Venice Film Festival. Snipes was equally adept at comedy, most notably in "White Men Can't Jump" (1992), and could transition gracefully from larger-than-life characters like his futuristic villain in "Demolition Man" (1993) to subtler parts like his uncredited turn as a smooth-talking bar patron in "Waiting to Exhale" (1995). A string of legal problems and bad business decisions left a smear on his name during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and may have precipitated the career tailspin that culminated in his 2008 conviction and incarceration two years later, leaving many to question his future as a viable film actor.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Banana Republic (2014)
3.
 Game of Death (2011)
4.
6.
 Chaos (2008)
7.
 Contractor, The (2007)
8.
 Detonator, The (2006)
9.
 Hard Corps, The (2006)
10.
 Hard Luck (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1963:
Moved to the Bronx at age one
1977:
Moved back to Orlando, Florida, with his mother
:
Co-founded Struttin' Street Stuff, a theater troupe which performed street and puppet theater in Orlando
:
Appeared in "The Wiz" with Theatre on Park Dinner Theatre in Orlando
:
Appeared in the East Harlem production of "The Me Nobody Knows"
:
Appeared in commercials for Levi's 501 jeans and Coca-Cola Classic
1985:
Broadway debut in "The Boys of Winter"
1986:
Film debut in the Goldie Hawn vehicle "Wildcats"; first collaboration with Woody Harrelson
1987:
Appeared as Michael Jackson's rival gang leader in the Martin Scorsese-directed music video "Bad" (only seen in the long version of the video)
1988:
TV debut in the HBO anthology miniseries, "Vietnam War Story"
1988:
Turned down a small role in Lee's "Do the Right Thing" for the larger part of Willie Mays Hays in "Major League" (1989)
1990:
Cast as a regular in the short-lived ABC cop series, "H.E.L.P."
1900:
Portrayed jazz saxaphonist Shadow Henderson in Lee's "Mo' Better Blues"
1991:
Played merciless drug lord Nino Brown in Mario Van Peebles' controversial "New Jack City"
1991:
Reteamed with Lee for the interracial romance "Jungle Fever"
1992:
Reteamed with Woody Harelson in Ron Shelton's "White Men Can't Jump"
1993:
Co-starred with Sean Connery in the film adaptation of Michael Crichton's "Rising Sun"
1995:
Donned drag to play Noxeema Jackson in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar"
1995:
Reteamed with Harrelson for "Money Train"
:
Founded Amen Ra Films in conjunction with Fox
1996:
Starred opposite Robert De Niro in "The Fan"
1996:
Executive produced (also narrated) the documentary, "John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk"
1996:
Was one of several prominent showbiz figures to provide funding for Lee's "Get on the Bus"
1997:
Played a detective investigating "Murder at 1600"
1997:
Won praise for his turn as an unfaithful husband in "One Night Stand"
1998:
Cast as the escaped con purused by Tommy Lee Jones in "U.S. Marshall"
1998:
Produced Che-Kirk Wong's "The Big Hit"; film starred Mark Walhlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips
1998:
Played an African-American superhero who battles a group of blood-sucking vampires in "Blade"
1998:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (August 21)
1998:
Produced and acted in Maya Angelou's directorial debut, "Down in the Delta"
1998:
Made his network TV debut as producer and star of "Futuresport" (ABC)
2000:
Produced and starred in the thriller "The Art of War"
2002:
Reprised role (also produced) in "Blade II"
2004:
Once again portrayed a vampire hunter in "Blade: Trinity"; also produced
2010:
Cast as one of Brooklyn's most infamous drug dealers in Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

High School of Performing Arts: New York , New York - 1975 - 1977
Jones High School: - 1977 - 1980
State University of New York, Purchase: Purchase , New York - 1984

Notes

Snipes is the owner of China One, a restaurant in L.A.

"I'm a physical type of actor and love projects in which I can get physical. The more action, the better."---Snipes quoted to The New York Times, August 24, 1990.

He received the Victor Borge Scholarship, given by the Governor of Florida.

"I see characters as having not only a physical life but a spiritual life. In Haiti, when people get possessed by the spirit, they take on a differenct form; they surrender themselves to a different manifestation. I ask the character to let me represent him the way he would represent himself, using my body. If you're operating from that kind of energy, you're going to get a performance that will jump off the screen."---Wesley Snipes quoted in Premiere, July 1991.

"If you really respect the artistic contribution of black folks, then we don't want to do no more movies about a nigga in the 'hood, 'cause a nigga in the 'hood ain't no more different from a pimp on the block back in the 70s, and you see what happened to that. After they didn't have no more pimps and they told every pimp story they could tell, BOOM, end of the industry. So we gotta change the movies, start doing movies that go beyond just a nigga in the 'hood."---Snipes quoted in Vibe, October 1993.

"All I meet is other actors and models. With this crazy schedule it's hard to say, 'OK, baby, I'll be over at 4 a.m.' I just wish I could meet some normal woman. Because a lot of the people I meet just don't have heart."---Snipes on his dream woman, to Cindy Pearlman of the Chicago Sun-Times, November 7, 1997.

"I'm a Bruce Willis fan and I'm seeing him and Mel Gibson, and they're making a lot of cash," he said in an interview last week at a downtown hotel here. "And I'm like, 'Wouldn't it be nice to be a part of that club?' "---Snipes quoted to Derek Tse of the Toronto Sun, March 20, 2002.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
April Snipes. Born in Puerto Rico; married c. 1984; divorced in 1990.
companion:
Halle Berry. Actor, model. No longer together.
companion:
Donna Wong. Restaurateur. Of Asian heritage; dated from c. 1996; no longer together.
companion:
Nikki Park. Painter. Korean; mother of Snipes' two youngest children.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

grandmother:
Ruth Carter.
mother:
Marion. Divorced from Snipes' father.
son:
Jelani Asar Snipes. Born c. 1988; appeared in "Mo' Better Blues" (1990); mother, April Snipes.
daughter:
Isnet Snipes. Born on July 31, 2001; mother, Nikki Park.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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