Biography of Wesley Snipes
Wesley Trent Snipes is the idol of millions of movie fans on both sides of the Atlantic, awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a number of prestigious film awards. Among them: the prize of the Venice Film Festival (Volpi Cup) for the best performance of the role of the main character in the drama “One Night Stand”, the CableACE Awards of the National Cable Television Association (for the film “History of Vietnam”), the Image Awards of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( for America’s Dream and New Jack City) and a Blockbuster Award for acting in the Blade franchise.
In the photo: actor Wesley Snipes (Wesley Snipes)
The owner of a muscular torso, a piercing gaze and a chiseled strong-willed face combines not only brilliant skills in martial arts and Afro-Brazilian martial arts, but also a bright acting talent.
Ironically, he received the most attention from the media not for his merits in the profession and diverse roles – a UN special forces operative in “The Art of War”, a disabled person in “Dance on the Water”, a vampire killer in “Blade”, a drag queen in a comedy “Wong Foo” – but because of the trial and imprisonment for tax evasion.
The future cult artist was born on July 31, 1962 in Orlando, Florida. His mother, Marianne (nee Long), was a teacher’s assistant, and his father, Wesley Rudolph, was an aeronautical engineer. The boy was not the only child of intelligent parents. In addition to him, three daughters grew up in their family. However, soon after his birth, his parents divorced, and the mother and children moved closer to their relatives in New York. While she was at work, their grandmother looked after the children.
Wesley Snipes before becoming famous
The family lived in a disadvantaged area of the city – the Bronx. At the suggestion of Marianne, who was afraid of the bad influence of the street, her son is always busy with useful things: he mastered martial arts, earning a 5th dan in Shotokan karate and a black belt in Hapkido, read a lot, and also attended the Higher School of Acting, Music and Arts, named after New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The graduates of this unique educational institution were such celebrities as Al Pacino, Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Aniston.
When the young man was in high school, their family moved again to Orlando, and he was forced to interrupt his studies at a prestigious school. But he was still interested in acting – he joined the theater troupe Struttin’ Street Stuff. Together with other members of the team, he performed in parks and squares, made scenery, made puppets and came up with scripts for puppet shows.
After school, the young man continued his education at the acting department of New York University. After graduating, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. During his student years, he began attending auditions and earning a living acting in commercials and playing cameo roles in various theatrical productions.
Wesley Snipes as a drag queen in Wong Foo
In 1986, he auditioned for a role in the comedy Wild Cats, starred in Streets of Gold and a couple of other low-budget projects.
He was allowed to break into the big cinema by shooting in the clip “Bad” (1987) by Michael Jackson, directed by Martin Scorsese himself. Giftedness, incredible energy and unique plasticity of the actor did not go unnoticed.
Immediately after the premiere of the video clip, he received an offer from Spike Lee for the central role of saxophonist Shadow in his tape “Blues for a Better Life”. Subsequently, this director invited him to shoot in another of his projects Tropical Fever, where events unfolded around the theme of interracial relations. His hero is a married, successful black architect who falls in love (not without reciprocity) with a white woman.
Wesley Snipes in Better Life Blues
During this period, fans of Wesley’s work could see him as an employee of the drug department in the gangster film “King of New York”, where his filming partners were Christopher Walken, Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso.
Shot from the movie Tropical Fever with Wesley Snipes
In 1991, he played in the dramatic film “Dance on the Water”, receiving an award at the Houston Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Award for his role as Raymond. In the same year, expanding the scope of activities, he established the production company Amen-Ra Films and its subsidiary Black Dot Media. At the same time, the actor was in the ranking of the Top 50 most beautiful men in the world according to the American glossy magazine OK!.
In 1991, Wesley Snipes was in the ranking of the most handsome men in the world.
In 1992, he played a basketball player in the comedy film White Men Can’t Jump in partnership with Woody Harrelson, earning an MTV Movie Award nomination, and as a security officer in the action-packed thriller Passenger 57.
Wesley Snipes and Sean Connery in Rising Sun
The popularity of the artist grew rapidly, he was invited to many high-budget projects. So, in 1993, he had a chance to work on the creation of the action movie “Rising Sun” with such stars as Oscar-winning Sean Connery, Harvey Keitel, Carrie-Hiroyuki Tagawa. In the utopia “The Destroyer”, his colleagues on the set were Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock (for the role of the violent criminal Simon Phoenix, he received the MTV award in the nomination “Best Villain”, in the 1996 psychological thriller “Fan” – Robert De Niro.
Wesley Snipes in the movie Destroyer
In 1997, the drama film “One Night Stand” appeared on the screens with Wesley at the head of a stellar ensemble cast, which included Nastassja Kinski, Robert Downey Jr., Kyle MacLachlan. Its European premiere took place at the Venice Film Festival, where the actor was awarded and named the best performer of the male role of the year.
Wesley Snipes and Nastassja Kinski in One Night Stand
In 1998, he played Blade, the main character of the mystical action movie of the same name, which became his calling card and paid back his budget three times (he collected more than $ 150 million at the box office). He talked about a dhampir (half-vampire) who took revenge on the vampires for the death of his mother. After the release of the tape on the screens, the actor was recognized as a real superstar and received a personalized star on the Walk of Fame, received the Blockbuster Entertainment Award and a nomination for the MTV Movie Award in the Best Fight category. In 2002, the sequel to this tape, Blade 2, was released, and two years later, the triquel Blade. Trinity”.
Wesley Snipes became the star of Blade in 1998
The 2000 film with Snipes in a key role, The Art of War, also had a high rating, in the title of which there is a reference to the book of the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu. In 2008, the sequel Art of War 2 was released. And the same year, the actor was charged with tax evasion.
Shot from the film with Wesley Snipes “The Art of War 2”
Problems with law
In October 2006, Wesley Snipes, Eddie Ray Kahn and Douglas Rosil were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government of taxes and defraud the authorities. In addition, the actor was separately charged with six counts of fraudulently filing an annual tax return from 1999 to 2004.
In October 2006, Wesley Snipes got in trouble with the law.
Forging returns in 1996 and 1997 allowed him to recover $4 million and $7.3 million in taxes, respectively. Finally, Snipes submitted bogus checks to the IRS three times totaling $14 million.
To all accusations, Snipes replied that he was not a US citizen (although in reality he has American citizenship), after which he went on the attack, saying that the feds unfairly accuse him of fraud, because he is an excellent target for demonstrating the “well-coordinated work of the state apparatus” .
Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison
In a court hearing dated February 1, 2008, Wesley was acquitted of “conspiracy to defraud the government” and “filing a fraudulent tax return.” However, three episodes of fraud with declarations still remained on him. On April 24, he was sentenced to three years in prison (Kan and Rosil received 10 and 4 years). The actor filed an appeal, which he lost. On December 9, 2010, he was sent to Pennsylvania Federal Penitentiary.
On April 2, 2013, he was released early, until July 19 he remained under house arrest, which was removed due to the exemplary behavior of Snipes.
After serving his sentence, in 2013 he immediately returned to the cinema – he starred in the continuation of the cult franchise “The Expendables-3”. Interestingly, at her presentation, held in Cannes, an ensemble cast consisting of Snipes, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford arrived in armored personnel carriers.
Star cast of the cult franchise “The Expendables-3”
In 2015, the artist played in the film “Chirak”, created by director Spike Lee. The events in it took place in Chicago, where women decided to fight crime in an original way – by refusing sex until the end of endless murders.
Wesley Snipes personal life
The Hollywood actor has been married twice. His first chosen one was Puerto Rican April, with whom the actor was married from 1985 to 1990. In 1988, she gave him their first child, Desire Asara.
Wesley Snipes first wife April
Subsequently, he was romantically involved with mixed-race artist Halle Berry, then with a girl of Chinese descent Donna Wong, and in 2003 he married Korean artist Nakayang “Nicky” Park.
Wesley Snipes and second wife Nakayang “Niki” Park
The couple has four children, three sons and a daughter: Izet Jua, Elimayu Moa, Elafia Jehu and Ekineiten Kiva. The family lives in two countries: in the USA and South Korea, which has become a second home for Snipes.
Wesley Snipes family
Snipes’ parents raised him in the Catholic faith, he later converted to Islam, and then returned to Christianity. According to him, he never smoked or used drugs.
In 2001, during a terrorist attack that led to the death of hundreds of people and the destruction of the New York World Trade Center, the actor’s apartment was completely destroyed. By a lucky chance, there was no one in it – at that moment Wesley was in the gym.
Wesley Snipes now
In recent years, Wesley Snipes has been filmed little, and films with his participation rarely have a box office success. In August 2017, viewers could see him in the horror film “Armed Response” (Snipes was the producer of the tape and played the main role). According to the plot, a group of special forces went to an abandoned base to find out why communication with local scientists was lost. However, the fighters fall into a trap, and something unknown begins to hunt them.
During the same period, Wesley starred in Total Recall: Abduction, a fantasy about five friends vacationing in a lake house when Earth is under a massive alien invasion with massacres and kidnappings.
Wesley Snipes in 2017 starred in the fantasy “Total Recall: Abduction”
It is known that the actor was approved for the lead role in the fantasy action movie Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnels, but the start date of filming has not yet been announced.