Wesley Snipes is an American actor, film producer, and martial artist. Snipes' breakthrough performance was as Nino Brown, the major character in the action-thriller movie "New Jack City," which was released in 1991. He went on to star in a number of other blockbuster films throughout the 1990s, including "Passenger 57," "Demolition Man," and "Blade."
Snipes is renowned for his martial arts prowess, and he has studied a variety of styles such as karate, kung fu, and capoeira. His training in martial arts has been interwoven into many of his roles, most notably in the "Blade" film series where he played a vampire hunter who used a range of martial arts skills in his battles.
Wesley Snipes was born on July 31, 1962, to Marian and Wesley Rudolph Snipes in Orlando, Florida. His mother was a teacher and his father worked as an aircraft engineer; both of his parents were educators. Snipes grew up in the Bronx, a neighbourhood of New York City, where he first developed a love for martial arts.
Snipes attended high school for performing arts in New York where he studies drama and dance. He also he studied martial arts, achieving a black belt in Shotokan karate. Snipes pursued his acting studies at the State University of New York at Purchase after completing his high school education there.
Snipes began his acting career in stage plays and made his screen debut in the 1986 comedy "Wildcats" starring Goldie Hawn. With his appearance in the 1991 crime drama "New Jack City," he became more well-known and shot to fame.
Over the course of his 30-year career, Wesley Snipes has made numerous film, television, and stage appearances. His most significant performances have included:
In the 1991 film "New Jack City," Snipes portrayed the main character Nino Brown, a cocaine king from New York City.
Snipes portrayed Sidney Deane, a hustler in the game of street basketball, in "White Guys Can't Jump" (1992).
In the 1993 film "Demolition Man," Snipes portrayed Simon Phoenix, a villain who is cryogenically preserved and subsequently reanimated in a future civilization.
In the 1998 film "Blade," Snipes portrayed Blade, a vampire hunter who is both human and vampire.
He portrayed Neil Shaw, an intelligence agent, in "The Art of War" (2000).
Snipes portrayed Doctor Death, a member of the titular band of mercenaries, in "The Expendables 3" (2014).
A Great Producer
In addition to acting, Wesley Snipes has produced a number of movies and TV shows. His credits for producing include:
In addition to portraying Blade, Snipes served as the executive producer of "Blade" (1998). A new wave of comic book movies were made possible by the film's critical and financial success.
"Down in the Delta" (1998), a drama film directed by Maya Angelou and produced by Snipes, depicts the tale of an addicted lady who relocates to the Mississippi Delta to reunite with her family.
Snipes produced and featured in "The Art of War" (2000), an action movie about an intelligence agent entangled in a plot to create a conflict between China and the United States.
Snipes made a comeback in "Blade II" (2002), serving as both executive producer and the movie's principal actor.
Snipes produced and acted in the 2006 criminal drama "Hard Luck," which follows a man who is released from jail and sets out to track down those responsible for framing him.
Snipes worked as an executive producer on the NBC television programme "The Player" (2015). Philip Winchester played a former military operator turned security expert who gets mixed up in a high-stakes gambling operation in the television series.
Wesley Snipes has accomplished numerous noteworthy feats during the course of his career, including:
Snipes was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998 in recognition of his services to the entertainment business.
Throughout the course of his career, Snipes has received nominations for a number of NAACP Image Awards, including Best Actor in a Motion Picture for "New Jack City" and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for "Jungle Fever" (1991).
Snipes has been nominated for a number of Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for "King of New York," among others (1990).
For his performance in "Blade," Snipes received a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor in an Action/Adventure Film (1998).
Snipes is a skilled martial artist who has trained in various different systems, including Shotokan karate, capoeira, and kung fu. He has applied his martial arts skills into many of his film appearances, most notably in the "Blade" film series.
Snipes has started a number of enterprises, including a production company called Amen Ra Pictures and a security firm named The Royal Guard of Amen-Ra, in addition to his career as an actor and producer.
Wesley Snipes has been married twice. April Dubois, to whom he had his first marriage, and he divorced her in 1990. In 2003, Snipes wed the painter Nakyung Park; the two are parents to four kids.
Snipes was found guilty of federal tax evasion in 2008 and given a three-year prison term. He completed his time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania from 2010 to 2013.
Snipes has a long history of charity giving and has supported numerous causes during his career. Among other organisations, he has worked with the Children's Defense Fund and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Snipes has a black belt in martial arts, which he enjoys doing in his leisure time. Along with designing various buildings in the past, he has also shown interest in studying architecture.