Wesley Trent Snipes is a famous actor known for his incredible action roles in films such as Passenger 57 and Blade and for the charges he faced over the unpaid taxes. Wesley was born on July 31, 1962, in Orlando, Florida.
His grandmother and mother raised him. He has three sisters whom they grew up together in the South Bronx. Wesley attended a Professional Performing Arts High School in New York City.
Even though he doesn’t acknowledge often, Snipes attended the State University of New York at Purchase. Being the most famous alumni of this institution, he joins the list of other notable personalities who attended SUNY Purchase attendees including Stanley Tucci, Parker Posey, Melissa Leo, Sherry Stringfield, producers Todd Baker and Bob Gosse, and directors Nick Gomez & Hal Hartley. He transferred to a school in Florida after he left Purchase. He eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1985.
After graduating, he started to pursue his acting career earnestly. Snipes made his acting debut in American sports comedy film: Wildcats in 1986 and was featured in Mo’ Better Blues in 1990. In 1991, Wesley took the starring role in a 1991 American romance drama film written: Lee’s Jungle Fever and also played one of his most memorable characters—a fictional drug lord Nino Brown, a stylish, ruthless, and charismatic king of the New York crack trade in the 1980s.
Throughout the 90s, Wesley remained one of the greatest Hollywood movie actors thanks to subsequent turns in successful films such as the comedy White Men Can’t Jump, the big-budget action flick Passenger 57, and the emotionally wrought The Waterdance.
Although audiences might well remember him in action adventures such as 1998’s Blade and 1993’s Rising Sun, Wesley has worked very hard to explore other directions that broaden his career with such films as Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (where he played an over-the-top drag queen), One Night Stand in 1997, for which he won an award for best actor at the Venice Film Festival, To Wong Foo, and Waiting to Exhale in 1995.
Do you want to know more about Wesley Snipes? We would like to help you learn more about this famous actor with these interesting facts you probably didn’t know about him.
- He was jailed for tax evasion. In 2008, the court sentenced Snipes to a maximum of three years in prison on tax evasion charges. This event has colored his acting career since. The actor failed to file tax returns, a situation that landed him in deep trouble. He ended up in prison after being convicted of tax evasion. A jury ruled that Wesley deliberately failed to file his returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001. Additionally, he was convicted of conspiracy against the government. The court believed that Snipes was in cahoots with his tax advisers Douglas P. Rosile Eddie Ray Kahn and. Through his lawyers, he made an appeal to the court arguing that he was being targeted falsely because of his star status and his advisers had tricked him. The court dropped conspiracy charges leveled against him.
- In 1985, he married April Snipes. Five years later, the couple separated. They had one kid, Jelani Snipes, in 1988. In 2003, he married Nakyung ‘Nikki’ Park, an artist/painter from South Korea, and has four kids with her. The actor had requested for postponement of his incarceration to the New Year to allow him to spend time with his wife and five kids during Christmas. Unfortunately, the request was declined and began serving his prison sentence on December 9, 2010.
- He was put under house arrest. Snipes was released from federal prison in Pennsylvania on April 2, 2013, and transferred to the New York Community Corrections Office where he was put under home confinement to serve the rest of his sentence, which ended on July 19, 2013.
- On April 18, 2005, Wesley sued the production of Blade: Trinity in a wide-ranging lawsuit seeking more than $5 million in damages. He claimed that New Line Cinema had not paid him the balance of his fixed rate for Blade: Trinity and that was not given a chance to approve the director as per terms of his contract.
- The collapse of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers destroyed Wesley’s apartment. Luckily, he wasn’t at home that moment as he delayed at the gym.