Wesley Snipes life and biography

Wesley Snipes picture, image, poster

Wesley Snipes biography

Date of birth : 1962-07-31
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-10-29
Credited as : Actor, Blade film series, The Expendables

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Wesley Trent Snipes is an American actor, film producer, and martial artist, who has starred in numerous action films, thrillers, and dramatic feature films. Snipes is known for playing the Marvel Comics character Blade in the Blade film series, among various other high profile roles. Snipes formed a production company, Amen-Ra Films, in 1991 and a subsidiary, Black Dot Media, to develop projects for film and television.
Snipes has been training in martial arts since age 12, earning a high ranking 5th dan black belt in Shotokan Karate and 2nd dan black belt in Hapkido. He has also trained as a student of Capoeira under Mestre Jelon Vieira and in a number of other disciplines including various styles of kung fu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As of 2011 Snipes is serving a prison sentence for misdemeanor failure to file U.S. federal income tax returns.

At age 23, Snipes was discovered by an agent while performing in a competition. He made his film debut in the 1986 Goldie Hawn vehicle Wildcats. Later that year he appeared on the TV show Miami Vice as a drug-dealing pimp in the episode "Streetwise" (first aired December 5, 1986). In 1987, he appeared as Michael Jackson's nemesis in the Martin Scorsese-directed music video "Bad" and the feature film Streets of Gold. That same year, Snipes was also considered for the role of Geordi La Forge in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Snipes' performance in the music video "Bad" caught the eye of director Spike Lee. Snipes turned down a small role in Lee's Do the Right Thing for the larger part of Willie Mays Hayes in Major League, beginning a succession of box-office hits for Snipes. Lee would later cast Snipes as the jazz saxophonist Shadow Henderson in Mo' Better Blues and as the lead in the interracial romance drama Jungle Fever. He played the drug lord Nino Brown in New Jack City, which was written specifically for him by Barry Michael Cooper. He also played a drug dealer in the 1994 film Sugar Hill.

Although Snipes is better known for his roles in action films like Passenger 57, Demolition Man (with Sylvester Stallone), Money Train, The Fan, U.S. Marshals and Rising Sun, he has also had success in comedies like White Men Can't Jump, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar where he played a drag queen alongside Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo. Snipes has also received critical acclaim for his performances in dramas like The Waterdance and Disappearing Acts.

In 1997, he won the Best Actor Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for his performance in New Line Cinema's One Night Stand. In 1998, Snipes had his largest commercial success with Blade, which has grossed over $150 million worldwide. The film turned into a successful series. He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, SUNY/Purchase.

Most of his latest films have been released straight-to-DVD. His latest films are The Shooter (also known as The Contractor), filmed in Bulgaria and the UK, with Charles Dance, Lena Heady and Eliza Bennett, Gallowwalker, released in 2009, and Game Of Death with Ernie Hudson, Robert Davi, Zoë Bell, and Gary Daniels.

Snipes was originally slated to play one of the four leads in Spike Lee's 2008 war film Miracle at St. Anna but had to leave the film due to his widely publicized tax problems; his role eventually went to Derek Luke.

Snipes made a comeback performance in Brooklyn's Finest as Caz, a supporting character. He also had to turn down the part of Hale Caesar in The Expendables because he was not allowed to leave the United States without the court's approval. He was also offered the role of Nick Curran in Basic Instinct but turned it down because of commitments on another film. He is currently in talks with Sylvester Stallone about a part in a sequel to The Expendables.

In the late 1990s, Snipes and his brother started a security firm called the Royal Guard of Amen-Ra, dedicated to providing VIPs with bodyguards trained in law enforcement and martial arts.
In 2000, the business was investigated for alleged ties to the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors. It emerged that Snipes had spotted 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land with the intention to buy and use for his business academy, which were close to the aforesaid compound in Putnam County, Georgia. Both Snipes' business and the groups used Egyptian motifs as their symbols.

Ultimately, Snipes and his brother did not buy the land, instead establishing their company in Florida, Antigua, and Africa. The compound was raided in 2002 and their leader was convicted. Later the conviction was overturned.

Snipes has been romantically linked to a number of women, including Jada Pinkett Smith, Sanaa Lathan, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez. He has been married twice, first to April Snipes, with whom he has a son, Jelani Asar Snipes, born in 1988. Jelani had a cameo role in Snipes's 1990 film Mo' Better Blues.
In 2003, Snipes married painter Nakyung "Nikki" Park, with whom he has four children: son Akhenaten Kihwa-T Snipes, daughter Iset Jua-T Snipes (born July 31, 2001), son Alaafia Jehu-T Snipes (born May 26, 2004), and son Alimayu Moa-T Snipes (born March 26, 2007). Snipes spends a lot of time in Park's home country of South Korea, which he calls his "second home."

Wesley Snipes had some various law issues.
In 2005, Snipes sued New Line Cinema, and David S. Goyer, director of Blade: Trinity, which Snipes also produced. He claimed that the studio did not pay his full salary, that he was intentionally cut out of casting decisions, and that his character's screen time was reduced in favor of co-stars Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel.
Snipes contends that Goyer, his fellow producers, and New Line kept him out of the project's decision process, and that this alleged misconduct ended up harming the film's box office performance (it made just $52 million, compared to the previous installments' respective grosses of $70 million and $82 million).
He says that a portion of his salary—$3.6 million—was withheld as punishment. Neither Goyer nor New Line has commented on these allegations. The suit is still pending.

In 2005, Snipes was detained at OR Tambo International Airport for attempting to leave South Africa using a fraudulent South African passport.

On December 9, 2010, Snipes reported to the McKean Federal Correctional Institution near Lewis Run, Pennsylvania.In a television appearance on December 7, 2010, Snipes was asked by CNN's Larry King if he was nervous about going to prison, and he admitted his trepidation about doing time. "I think any man would be nervous," Snipes said. "Given the length of time that they are suggesting that I be away from my family, away from my profession, away from my ability to provide for my family and for those who have depended upon me to contribute to society ... I think anyone would be nervous about that."
On June 6, 2011, the United States Supreme Court dismissed Snipes' appeal.Snipes' projected date of release is July 19, 2013.

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