Jul. 18th, 1967
New York City, New York, USA
Vin Diesel's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair Vincent; July 18, 1967) is an American actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He came to prominence in the late 1990s, and first became known for appearing in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan in 1998. He is most known for his portrayals of Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy (2001–present), and of Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious film series (2001–present), two franchises in which he also acted as producer.
Diesel was born in New York City. His mother, Delora Sherleen (Sinclair) Vincent, is an astrologer. Diesel has stated that he is "of ambiguous ethnicity". His mother's background includes Scottish, English, and German. He has never met his biological father, and has stated that "all I know from my mother is that I have connections to many different cultures". Diesel has self-identified as "definitely a person of colour". Diesel has stated that his parents' relationship was illegal in some parts of the United States due to anti-miscegenation laws. He was raised by his Caucasian mother and African-American stepfather, Irving H. Vincent, an acting instructor and theater manager.
He made his stage debut at age seven when he appeared in the children's play Dinosaur Door, written by Barbara Garson. The play was produced at Theater for the New City in New York's Greenwich Village. His involvement in the play came about when he, his brother, and some friends had broken into Theater for the New City's space on Jane Street with the intent to vandalize it. They were confronted by the theater's artistic director, Crystal Field, who, instead of calling the police, handed them scripts and offered them parts in the upcoming show.
Diesel remained involved with the theater throughout adolescence, going on to attend the city's Hunter College, where his creative writing studies led him to begin screenwriting. He has identified himself as a "multi-faceted" actor as a result of early difficulties finding roles due to his mixed heritage. He changed his name to Vin Diesel while working as a bouncer at the New York nightclub Tunnel, because one's real name is not usually given out in that business. The name "Vin" is simply a shortened version of "Vincent". He received the nickname "Diesel" from his friends, who said he ran off diesel fuel, referring to his non-stop energy.
In 2011, Diesel returned for Fast Five, the fifth film in the series, and reprised the role again in Fast & Furious 6 (2013). He reprised his role as Riddick again in the third installment simply titled Riddick, which released in September 2013. In April 2013, Diesel announced that Fast & Furious 7 would be released in July 2014, with production scheduled to begin in August 2013. Diesel will be voicing Groot in upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians of the Galaxy. In August 2013, Diesel earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Diesel is noted for his recognizably deep voice; he has said that his voice broke at around age 15, giving him a mature sounding voice on the telephone. He has a twin brother, Paul, a younger brother, Tim, and a sister, Samantha. Around 2001, Diesel dated his Fast and the Furious co-star, Michelle Rodriguez.
Diesel has a daughter, Hania Riley (born 2008), and a son with his girlfriend, Mexican model Paloma Jimenez. Speaking to An tEolas, an Irish newspaper, Diesel stated he has been seen as a hard man, but is in touch with his soft side as a father. Diesel claims that he prefers dating in Europe, where he is less likely to be recognized and where celebrities are not romantically linked to each other. He prefers to maintain his privacy regarding his personal life: "I'm not gonna put it out there on a magazine cover like some other actors. I come from the Harrison Ford,'Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino code of silence".
Diesel has expressed his love for the Dominican Republic, and how he relates to its multicultural facets. He is also acquainted with its president, Leonel Fernández, and appeared in one of Fernández's earlier campaign ads. Los Bandoleros, a short film directed by Diesel, was also filmed in the Dominican Republic. Diesel has played Dungeons & Dragons for over 20 years, and wrote the foreword for the commemorative book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. In the 30th anniversary issue of Dragon magazine, it was revealed that Diesel had a fake tattoo of his character's name, Melkor, on his stomach while filming xXx.
- Has a younger sister, Samantha and a younger brother in addition to his fraternal twin, Paul.
- He worked as a bouncer in New York at the famous nightclubs Tunnel (which has since closed) and Mars.
- He's an admitted fan of "Dungeons and Dragons", and, according to an interview on _"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993)_ (qv) that he played for 24 years.
- Once worked as a telemarketer, selling light bulbs.
- During his teens, he performed breakdancing in an instructional video on the subject.
- Vin Diesel wrote a three page letter to director Steven Spielberg expressing his admiration for his work, particularly Schindler's List (1993). Spielberg was impressed with the heart felt prose, which prompted him to invite Diesel into the star studded cast of Saving Private Ryan (1998).
- He is bi-racial, being half African-American and half Italian American
- Credits the book "Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices" by Rick Schmidt as the one resource above all upon which he built his career. This book, according to Diesel, gave him the tools, knowledge, and most importantly, the inspiration to develop his short film _Multi-Facial (1995)_ (qv), which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in.