Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News.
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
social
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Wesley Snipes

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Famous For:
New Jack City, White Men Can't Jump, Blade Series
Networth:
$1 Million
Currently Known For:
Actor, Film Producer, Martial Artist and Author
Famous Years:
1991 - 2004
Birthdate:
July 31, 1962
Wesley Snipes


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  famous for:
New Jack City, White Men Can't Jump, Blade Series

  networth:
$1 Million

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“No one can train you to be famous. How do you deal with the loss of anonymity, the loss of privacy? You have to be disciplined.” Although many believed he would become a preacher after spending so much of his childhood in church, Wesley Snipes had other plans for his future when he made his acting debut in the 1986 film Wildcats. Months later, he snagged a cameo in Miami Vice but didn’t truly know he was on the path to stardom until he auditioned for and won a part in Michael Jackson’s music video for “Bad.” Snipes caught the attention of Spike Lee and made a name for himself in New Jack City and White Men Can’t Jump. By the late 1990s, he joined the Marvel Comics Universe in the Blade film trilogy before years of tax evasion left him imprisoned for three years. Released in 2013, let’s take a look at how the 55-year-old Snipes has earned his way back into Hollywood’s good graces! Advertisements:

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Wesley Trent Snipes was born on July 31, 1962 in Orlando, Florida to an aircraft engineer and a teacher’s assistant. With his parents later settling down in the Bronx, New York, Snipes grew up in the Big Apple and attended the High School of Performing Arts at LaGuardia High School before moving back to Florida where he graduated from Orlando’s Jones High School. As a child, Snipes’ family believed he was well on his way to becoming a preacher after spending most of his time in the church pew but, as he later admitted, he had little interest in preaching and more interest in the opposite sex. “There was definitely a couple of people that I definitely wanted to see,” he admitted. “Oh, man, some of the most beautiful ladies in the world are in church.”

With no intentions of becoming a minister, Snipes returned to New York to study at the State University of New York at Purchase before he moved to Los Angeles where he enrolled at Southwest College. It wasn’t long, however, before his academics took a backseat to his career when, at 23 years old, he was discovered by a talent agent during a local competition. Invited to appear in the 1986 film Wildcats starring Goldie Hawn, he earned a bit part in an episode of Miami Vice before finally hitting it big and winning the part of Michael Jackson’s nemesis in his 1987 music video, “Bad,” which was directed by Martin Scorsese.

Shocked he even landed an audition, Snipes had a strategy in mind as he later recalled, “I knew that Scorsese and De Niro had a relationship. De Niro had done a number of films with Scorsese [and] I could sense that Scorsese liked a particular tone and style of acting, so I chose to do my audition in that style and tone, and that’s how I think I got the role.” While working with Scorsese was incredible, Snipes was awed when Jackson himself befriended him saying, “To be around a master of the art form like that, to have the opportunity to sit and learn and watch his process was amazing, life changing, artistically life changing.”

With his performance in “Bad” catching the attention of director Spike Lee, Snipes starred as Willie Mays Hayes in Major League before catching a huge break in 1991 when he was cast as drug lord Nino Brown in New Jack City. From there, he became known as an action star with credits in Passenger 57, Demolition Man and Money Train. He starred in comedies like White Men Can’t Jump and found commercial success in 1998 when he joined Marvel Comics as the star of Blade, which grossed over $150 million at the box office and was expanded into a trilogy.

At the height of his career, Snipes fell out of Hollywood’s good graces in 2006 when he was charged with tax fraud after falsifying tax documents from 1999 to 2004. Although he was acquitted of felony charges, he was found guilty on three misdemeanor counts and sentenced to three years in prison beginning in December 2010 at the McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania. With his appeal denied, he was released on April 2, 2013 and completed his house arrest on July 19, 2013. Making headlines during and after his release, Snipes shared his experience saying, “People on the inside know that they’re in prison, right? So, there’s no illusion there. So, then they model their lives based on the value of time that they’ve learned, the value of consequences of your actions. Yeah? Most people on the outside don’t do that. You know, they waste time. They figure they can move through life without consequences.”

Realizing the consequences of his actions, Snipes returned to Hollywood determined to rekindle his fame and made a huge comeback in The Expendables 3 in 2014. Since then, he’s earned credits in Armed Response and The Recall but has most recently turned heads with the release of his 2017 sci-fi fantasy book, Talon of God, which he co-wrote with Ray Norman. A supernatural adventure surrounding the war between angels and demons on the streets of Chicago, Snipes’ recent creative endeavor has been widely praised.

“My English teachers are going to be very, very proud,” Snipes said. Diving into an entirely new thought process, Snipes gave audiences a glimpse into his thoughts as he asked himself, “What are the limits and boundaries of my creativity? How can I express the god within me in other ways through my creativity? And what kind of challenge would it be to try to do something like writing a book? Do I have the discipline? Do I have the words?”

Obviously having the words, Snipes has plenty more up his sleeve as he hints at a future on the stage. “Doing movies was cool but it still wasn’t fulfilling what I wanted to do—even to this day,” he says. “If I have a choice between doing a movie or doing a dance show, I’ll do the dance show first.” It looks like we’ll have to keep an eye on the stage for Snipes’ next appearance!

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