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WESLEY SNIPES (Sheridan) reunites with producer Arnold Kopelson following his top­billed role as a detective investigating a crime in the nation's capital in the recent action­thriller "Murder at 1600."

Snipes has displayed his versatility and commanding screen presence through a succession of memorable performances in widely varied roles, such as Spike Lee's interracial love story, "Jungle Fever"; the street­smart basketball hustler in "White Men Can't Jump"; the ruthless Harlem drug lord Nino Brown in "New Jack City"; one of a trio of drag queens stranded in a small midwestern town in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar"; and the diabolical Simon Phoenix in the futuristic adventure, "Demolition Man," opposite Sylvester Stallone.

Born in Florida, Snipes moved to the South Bronx as an infant and later attended New York's famous High School for the Performing Arts, studying dancing and acting. He completed his secondary education in Orlando, Florida, then teamed up with friends to form a traveling puppet troupe that performed in public parks and schools.

In 1980, he returned to New York to attend college at SUNY/Purchase, winning an audition into its competitive theatre arts program. He subsequently landed roles on Broadway in such productions as "The Boys of Winter," "Executive of Justice" and the Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka's "Death and the King's Horsemen" before venturing into movies.

Snipes' film career began in 1985, playing a high school football player for coach Goldie Hawn in "Wildcats." He followed his debut with a role in the Michael Jackson music video "Bad," directed by Martin Scorsese, then won the part of jazz saxophonist Shadow Henderson in Spike Lee's "Mo' Better Blues."

He continued to showcase his broad range as a dramatic and comedic actor in such diverse projects as "Money Train," "Major League," "The Waterdance," "The King of New York," "Passenger 57," "Drop Zone," "Sugar Hill," "Rising Sun," "The Fan" and "Streets of Gold." He recently won the Best Actor prize at the 1997 Venice Film Festival for his role in Mike Figgis' drama, "One Night Stand," and will next be seen in New Line Cinema's "Blade," which he also produced through his own production company, Amen Ra Films.

On television, Snipes won the CableACE Award for his role as Sgt. Bookman in HBO's "Vietnam War Story" and will executive produce the ABC pilot "Futuresport." The actor recently appeared in the Maya Angelou­directed feature "Down in the Delta" for Showtime, a project developed by his production company.

Amen Ra Films is creating a varied slate of films, and Snipes will also finance and narrate a series of documentaries entitled "African Scholars," the first profiling Dr. John Henrik Clarke.

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