Wesley Snipes Net Worth

Wesley Snipes

Age: 60
Born: 31 July 1962
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Country of Origin: United States of America
Source of Wealth: Actor


Wesley Snipes is a prominent actor, film producer, and martial artist who has had a successful career in Hollywood spanning several decades. Known for his commanding screen presence and impressive martial arts skills, Snipes has starred in a wide range of films, from action thrillers like “”Blade”” and “”Passenger 57″” to dramas like “”Jungle Fever”” and “”One Night Stand””. Despite encountering legal troubles in the mid-2000s, Snipes has continued to act in numerous films and television shows, cementing his status as a respected figure in the entertainment industry.

This profile will explore Snipes’ early life and career, his iconic roles, his legal troubles and comeback, and his impact on Hollywood and society at large.

Table of Contents

1. Early Life and Career of Wesley Snipes

Childhood and Family

Wesley Snipes was born on July 31, 1962, in Orlando, Florida. He is the son of Maryann and Wesley Rudolph Snipes. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he was raised by his mother and grandmother. Snipes attended Jones High School in Orlando, where he showed a talent for sports and art.

Early Career in Theatre and Film

After high school, Snipes attended the State University of New York at Purchase, where he studied drama. He made his film debut in 1986 in the Goldie Hawn comedy “”Wildcats.”” Soon after, he appeared in “”Streets of Gold”” and “”Major League.”” Snipes also made a name for himself in the theatre world, starring in the critically acclaimed play “”The Boys of Winter.”” His early film and theatre work caught the attention of Hollywood, and he began to land more prominent roles.

2. Breakthrough Role in “”New Jack City””

Overview of the Film

“”New Jack City”” is a 1991 crime drama film directed by Mario Van Peebles. The film follows the rise and fall of drug kingpin Nino Brown (played by Snipes) in New York City. The film also stars Ice-T, Judd Nelson, and Vanessa A. Williams.

Snipes’ Performance and Impact

Snipes’ performance in “”New Jack City”” was a breakthrough moment in his career. He portrayed the ruthless and charismatic drug lord Nino Brown with a chilling intensity. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Snipes was praised for his performance. “”New Jack City”” cemented his status as a leading man in Hollywood and opened doors for him to take on more complex and challenging roles.

3. Iconic Roles in “”Blade”” and “”Passenger 57″”

Overview of the Films

“”Blade”” is a 1998 action-horror film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Snipes stars as Blade, a half-human, half-vampire superhero who fights to protect humanity from the undead. The film was a critical and commercial success and spawned two sequels.

“”Passenger 57″” is a 1992 action-thriller film in which Snipes plays John Cutter, a former police officer who becomes the only hope for a group of passengers when the plane they are on is hijacked by terrorists.

Snipes’ Characters and Performances

Snipes’ portrayal of Blade in the “”Blade”” trilogy is one of his most iconic roles. He brought an intensity and physicality to the character that made him a fan favorite. In “”Passenger 57,”” Snipes proved he could hold his own as an action star, delivering a charismatic performance as John Cutter.

4. Legal Troubles and Tax Evasion Conviction

Background and Charges

In 2006, Snipes was indicted on eight counts of tax evasion, accused of failing to file tax returns or pay taxes between 1999 and 2004, despite earning millions of dollars. Snipes maintained that he was a tax protester and that he did not believe he was required to pay federal income tax. He was also charged with conspiring to defraud the government.

Trial and Sentencing

In 2008, Snipes was found guilty on three counts of willful failure to file a tax return. He was acquitted on the more serious charges of tax fraud and conspiracy. Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison, but he remained free on bail while he appealed his conviction. In July 2010, a federal appeals court upheld his conviction and sentence, and Snipes began serving his prison term in December of that year. He was released in 2013.

5. Return to Acting and Recent Projects

Overview of Snipes’ Return to Acting

After serving a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion, Wesley Snipes made a comeback to acting. He began by taking on smaller roles in independent films and made a significant return to mainstream cinema in 2010 with the film ‘Brooklyn’s Finest.’

Recent Films and TV Shows

Since his return to acting, Snipes has been focused on staying active in the industry. He has starred in various action and dramatic films, including ‘The Expendables 3,’ ‘Armed Response,’ and ‘Cut Throat City.’ He has also appeared in several TV series, including ‘The Player’ and ‘What We Do in the Shadows.’ Snipes is also set to star in the upcoming film, ‘Coming 2 America,’ which is set to release in 2021.

6. Martial Arts Training and Philosophy

Snipes’ Martial Arts Background

Snipes began training in martial arts at the age of 12 and holds black belts in Shotokan karate, Hapkido, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has also trained in Capoeira and Kung-Fu. Snipes has said that martial arts has taught him discipline, focus, and respect.

Incorporation of Martial Arts into His Roles

Snipes has incorporated his martial arts background into many of his iconic roles, including Blade and Simon Phoenix from ‘Demolition Man.’ He has also used his martial arts expertise to perform his own stunts, adding authenticity to his action scenes.

7. Philanthropy and Activism

Overview of Snipes’ Philanthropic Efforts

Snipes has been actively involved in philanthropy over the years. He has worked with the USO and performed for U.S. troops stationed overseas. He has also donated money to various charities, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases.

Activism and Political Views

Snipes has been politically active and has spoken out about issues that matter to him, including police brutality and civil rights. He has also been vocal about his religious beliefs and credits his spirituality for helping him overcome life’s challenges.

8. Legacy and Influence in Hollywood

Impact on Diversity in Hollywood

Snipes has paved the way for diversity in Hollywood by breaking stereotypes and playing leading roles in action films. He has also actively sought to create opportunities for other actors of color and has stated that he believes in promoting unity and diversity in the industry.

Influence on Action and Martial Arts Films

Snipes’ martial arts skills have made him a standout in the action genre. He has inspired a new generation of actors and filmmakers to incorporate martial arts into their films. His legacy as one of Hollywood’s most iconic action stars will continue to inspire generations to come.In conclusion, Wesley Snipes’ career has been marked by both personal challenges and professional triumphs. From his early days in theatre to his breakout role in “”New Jack City”” and his iconic turn as the vampire hunter Blade, Snipes has left an indelible mark on Hollywood. Despite facing legal troubles and a hiatus from acting, he has continued to make an impact in recent years through his philanthropy and activism. As one of the few black action stars to achieve mainstream success, Snipes’ legacy in Hollywood and influence on the film industry will undoubtedly endure for generations to come.


1. What was Wesley Snipes’ most successful film?

Snipes’ most successful film was “”Blade II”” (2002), which grossed over $155 million worldwide.

2. What martial arts style does Wesley Snipes practice?

Snipes is a trained martial artist who has studied Shotokan karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and capoeira.

3. What is Wesley Snipes’ political affiliation?

Snipes has described himself as a Libertarian and has spoken out against police brutality and government surveillance.

4. What has Wesley Snipes been doing in recent years?

Since his release from prison in 2013, Snipes has continued to act in films and television shows, including “”The Expendables 3″” (2014), “”Armed Response”” (2017), and the Netflix series “”Dolemite Is My Name”” (2019). He has also been involved in philanthropic work and has spoken out about social justice issues.

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Last Updated: 2nd April 2023