Born: 31 July 1962
Birthplace: Orlando, Florida
Best known as: Star of the Blade vampire movies
Wesley Snipes is best known as the star of the vampire revenge movie Blade (1998) and its sequels Blade II (2002) and Blade Trinity (2004). Snipes became a prominent leading man in the early 1990s, after he broke out in the films Mo' Better Blues (1990, directed by Spike Lee), New Jack City (1991) and Jungle Fever (1991, also directed by Lee). In the next few years he played both heroes and villains in a number of respectable action pictures, including the airline thriller Passenger 57 (1992), Demolition Man (1993, as the quick-frozen tormentor of Sylvester Stallone), Boiling Point (1993, co-starring Viggo Mortensen) and Drop Zone (1994, with Gary Busey). Snipes also took comic roles in White Men Can't Jump (1992) and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995), but his most successful turn has been as the half-man, half-vampire Blade, a vampire hunter inspired by the Marvel comics character of the same name. Snipes was arrested in December of 2006 and accused of tax fraud by the United States Internal Revenue Service. He was convicted in 2008 of failing to file tax returns during the years 1999-2004, and sentenced to three years in jail. He began serving his sentence in December of 2010.
Extra credit: Snipes had a small role as a bad guy in the Michael Jackson video for the song "Bad" (1987, directed by Martin Scorsese).
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