WESLEY SNIPES has distinguished himself as one of the most talented and respected leading men, as evidenced by his starring roles in numerous box office hits. He has starred opposite such notable actors as Robert De Niro and Sean Connery.
Born in Orlando, Florida, Snipes moved to the South Bronx as an infant and went on to attend the High School for the Performing Arts. His family later moved back Orlando, where he completed high school and teamed up with friends to form Struttin' Street Stuff, a traveling puppet troupe that performed in public parks and schools. In 1980, Snipes returned to New York to attend SUNY/Purchase, where he was "to be a well-trained actor for the classical American stage."
Snipes' big break came in 1985 when he starred opposite Goldie Hawn in the comedy hit Wildcats. In 1987, he appeared as Michael Jackson's rival gang leader in the Martin Scorsese-directed music video Bad and the feature film Streets of Gold, which brought him to the attention of Spike Lee and whom he has since worked with in Mo' Better Blues and Jungle Fever. He then went on to star in a succession of audience and critical hits such as Major League, starring opposite Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen, New Jack City, White Men Can't Jump, Passenger 57, The Waterdance, Rising Sun, Demolition Man, Sugar Hill, Drop Zone, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, Money Train, The Fan, One Night Stand (winning him the Best Actor Volpi Cup at the 1997 Venice Film Festival) and US Marshals.
Recent feature credits include The Art of War (which he also executive produced), the prison drama Undisputed and a cameo role in ZigZag, directed by
the writer of Blade and Blade II, David Goyer. Snipes also served as a Producer on Blade II. He will next be seen in the features Seven Seconds and Chaos.
As well as acting, in 1991 Snipes formed his own independent production company Amen Ra Films and its subsidiary Black Dot Media, which have since produced a number of documentaries including the 1997 Sundance hit, John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk.
Snipes is a seasoned, trained martial artist in a number of different disciplines including Karate, Kung Fu and Capoeira, an African/Brazilian martial art.
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