Wesley Snipes, one of Hollywood’s finest and one of the meanest faces around, is indeed a force to reckon within the ever-evolving world of filmmaking. Stuffed with versatility, he is not just an actor but also a producer, and a martial artist. The legendary actor rose to prominence after he played a lead role in the Vampire movie, Blade. Snipes’ 3-year jail sentence which more or less dented his image in the industry is not enough to wipe off his amazing records in the past. Here is all you need to know about the legendary actor.
Wesley Snipes’ Bio
He was born Wesley Trent Snipes on July 31, 1962, in Orlando, Florida, to his parents Marian and Wesley Rudolph Snipes. The name ‘Wesley’ was all he was going to take from his father who was an aircraft engineer. Wesley found his own forte in acting and filmmaking. The actor, who grew up in the Bronx, New York, enrolled at the High School for the Performing Arts in New York City. He had his tertiary education at the State University of New York at Purchase before he fully took a step into his career.
Scouting for roles, Wesley was soon discovered by an agent after which he got his debut role in the movie Wildcats (1986), where he starred alongside Goldie Hawn. In 1987, he made an appearance in Michael Jackson’s music video ‘Bad’ where he portrayed his nemesis. Catching the attention of movie stakeholders, Wesley played a role in ‘Major League’ which turned out to be a success. The talented actor was cast in Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues in 1990 after which he landed a lead role in Jungle Fever also by Spike Lee in 1991.
The actor was greeted with more leading roles in the 90s. He is known for his thrilling characters in action films: Passenger 57, Money Train, U.S. Marshals and many others including Demolition Man in which he starred alongside actor Sylvester Stallone. Snipes was fast rising to prominence and he bagged the ‘Best Actor Volpi Cup’ in 1997 for his remarkable performance in the movie One Night Stand released in the year 1997. His 90s diaries ended with the Vampire movie Blade, the record-breaking movie which placed him on a high pedestal among his counterparts. The movie, Blade earned Snipes lots of recognition and accolades including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He landed another role in The Contractor in 2012 and also starred in the action movie Game of Death released in 2010. In the latter part of the 2000s, however, he was caught up with challenging hurdles emanating from tax issues. It started in 2008 when Snipes was found guilty of tax evasion charges and was made to face the law.
Wesley Snipes was basking in wealth at the climax of his career but witnessed a significant financial meltdown which took a toll on his status. At the time, the government had ordered that the actor paid $2.7 million from his income which amounted to $13.8 million. Authorities also stated that the actor did not file his returns between 1991 and 2001. Some sources have estimated his net worth to be about $5 million while some estimate a lower figure. Regardless, Snipes hopes to make it through his trying times.
Personal Life – Wife, Children
Wesley Snipes’ life has been filled with formidable dynamics and the media are always in his business. The actor has been married two times and has children from his two marriages. He was first married in 1985 to April Snipes, also an actress. The couple who had a son together split after five years of marriage in 1990.
He married again in 2003 to Nakyung “Nikki” Park, a painter. The couple who have been married since then, have four children together – Alaafia Jehu-T Snipes, Akhenaten Kihwa-T Snipes, Alimayu Moa-T Snipes his sons and a daughter Iset Jua-T Snipes, who was born in 2001.
Other Facts To Know About Wesley Snipes
- Although Wesley Snipes was raised a Christian, he later changed to Islam in 1978 and started to practice the doctrine of the religion. Then again in 1988, he left the Islamic religion. The media is yet to ascertain the actor’s present religion or fate.
- He is a martial artist. Snipes who has made name for himself as an actor also has martial arts as his forte. The actor was only 12 when he started training in martial arts and he holds a fifth-degree black belt in Shotokan karate. In Hapkido, Snipes also has a second-degree black belt. He has over the years learned various forms of martial arts.
- The actor was included on People Magazine’s list of ’50 Most Beautiful People in the World’ in 1991.
- Wesley Snipes is a lover of music and spends his leisure time listening to music.