Wesley Snipes, one of the most prolific actors of African-American descent, is also a film producer, director, author, and martial artist. He has been nominated for and won various awards for his work in many movies in his career.
Snipes has been nominated seventeen times in the course of his career while he has won eight times. Wesley Snipes’s net worth is estimated at $10 million, which includes all his property and his present earnings.
Wesley Snipes Early Life
Wesley Trent Snipes was born on July 31, 1962, to Marian (née Long), a teacher’s assistant, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer in Orlando, Florida.
He had his childhood in the Bronx, New York, and attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, but moved back to Florida before he could graduate. He returned to Jones High school, Orlando, where he stayed till graduation.
Snipes then returned to New York, where he attended the State University of New York at Purchase and also attended Southwest College in Los Angeles, California.
How Wesley Snipes Got into Acting
Wesley Snipes, who was acting in a competition, was discovered by an agent at the age of 23. He then made his movie debut in Goldie Hawn’s 1986 movie Wildcats. Still, in 1986, he showcased his raw talent as a drug-dealing pimp on the TV show Miami Vice in the episode Streetwise.
In 1987, he appeared with Michael Jackson as his nemesis in a music video of Bad directed by Martin Scorsese. His portrayal of Willie Mays Hayes in the movie Major League opened a succession of box-office hits for him.
Snipes has since then acted in action movies such as Demolition Man, Passenger 57, and White Men Can’t Jump. In 1997, his work on the movie One Night Stand was recognized at the 54th Venice Film Festival, where he won the Best Actor Volpi Cup.
The following year, he had his most significant commercial success with Blade, which to date has grossed over $150 million worldwide, and the movie was turned into a series.
Still, in that year, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an honorary doctorate in humanities and fine arts from his Alma mater.
In 2005, after reprising his role in the Blade series Trinity, which he also produced, Snipes sued New Line Cinema as well as David S. Goyer, the film’s studio and director, respectively.
In the suit, 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 appearance was reduced while that of his co-stars Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel was increased.
The suit was later settled. After taking some time off acting, he made a comeback performance in the movie Brooklyn’s Finest as Casanova “Caz” Phillips, a supporting character; it was his first theatrical release film since 2004.
In conjunction with his brother, Snipes started a security firm dedicated to providing VIPs with bodyguards trained in martial arts and law enforcement.
The firm was established in the late 1990s and was named the Royal Guard of Amen-Ra. Amen-Ra was also the name of his film production company whose first movie was A Great and Mighty Walk, produced in 1996.
Wesley Snipes Personal life
Snipe’s martial arts training started when he was 12 years old. He is a decorated master in various forms of art such as Shotokan Karate and Hapkido.
He brushed up his fighting skills while he was in New York under his friend and mentor, Brooke Ellis.
Snipes has been married twice. He got married first to April Snipes formerly Dubois in 1985 with whom he had a son Jelani. He stayed married to April for five years and divorced her in 1990.
In 2003, he remarried Nakyung “Nikki” Park, who is a painter. Together, they have four children making the total number of his children to be five.
In 1978, Snipes, who was raised a Christian, converted to Islam but left Islam in 1998. During an interview with him, Snipes claimed that “Islam made me more conscious of what African people have accomplished, of my self-worth, and gave me some self-dignity.
He has also experienced some devastation as his house was destroyed during the collapse of the World Trade Centre’s Twin Towers. Fortunately, he was on the West Coast at the time of the collapse.
Issues with the Law
On October 12, 2006, Snipes and two others were charged with a one-count charge of conspiring to dupe the United States and one count of deliberately making or aiding and abetting the making of a fraudulent claim for payment against the United States.
He was further charged with another six-count charge of willfully failing to file federal income tax returns by their filing dates. The charge against him claimed that he filed a fraudulent amended tax return, including a wrong tax refund claim of over $4 million for the year 1996, including a false tax refund claim of over US$7.3 million for the year 1997.
However, on February 1, 2008, Snipes was found guilty of three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income tax returns alongside but was acquitted on his felony charges, which were conspiracy to defraud the government and filing a false claim with the government.
His co-defendants, Douglas P. Rosile and Eddie Ray Kahn, were, however, found guilty of the conspiracy and false claim charges in connection with the income tax refund claims filed for Snipes.
Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for willful failure to file federal income tax returns on April 24, 2008. In the same vein, his co-defendants Kahn and Rosalie were sentenced to 10 years and four and half years in prison, respectively. He was later released from federal prison on April 2, 2013.
Wesley Snipes Nominations and Awards
Snipes has been nominated for, and he has won various awards for his roles in movies throughout his acting career. He has been nominated seventeen times in the course of his career while he has won eight times. See a full list of his awards here.
Wesley Snipes Net worth
He has earned a lot from his acting profession. Wesley Snipes net worth is estimated at $10 million. This includes all his property and his present earnings.
Wesley Snipes earned about $37.9 million between 1996 and 2004 from his acting career but apparently did not pay any taxes during that time. He also allegedly filed $12 million worth of false tax returns dating back to 1996.
This led to problems with the law in which he got convicted. Wesley Snipes was required to pay $17 million in back taxes and penalties to the IRS in addition to his prison sentence. This significantly affected his net worth.