Wesley Snipes: From Martial Artist to Hollywood Star
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 350
Among his many accomplishments, Wesley Snipes is known as an actor, producer, martial artist, and businessman. Since the age of 12, he has trained in martial arts, earning a black belt in Shotokan karate and a dan in Hapkido.
Some of Snipes' most prominent film roles include "New Jack City" (1991), "White Men Can't Jump" (1992), "Passenger 57" (1992), "Rising Sun" (1993), "Demolition Man" (1993), "U.S. Marshals" (1998), "The Expendables 3" (2014), "Coming to America" (2021), and the "Blade" film trilogy from 1998 to 2004, in which he portrays the character Blade.
On television, Snipes is known for his role in the "Players" series in 2015. He has won the Volpe Cup for Best Actor for his performance in the film "One Night Stand," and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Snipes has an estimated net worth of $10 million.
Snipes was born on July 31, 1962, in Orlando, Florida, and grew up in the Bronx, New York.
He is the son of Marion Long, an assistant teacher, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer. Snipes has a half-brother, A.D. Snipes, who is also an entertainer and comedian living in San Antonio, Texas. Snipes attended Fiorello H.
LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts but moved back to Florida before graduating. After graduating from Jones High School in Orlando, he returned to New York and attended the State University of New York at Purchase.
Snipes also attended Southwest College in Los Angeles, California. He began training in martial arts at the age of 12 and has a fifth-degree black belt in Shotokan karate and a second-degree black belt in Hapkido. In addition to these disciplines, Snipes has also trained in capoeira, kung fu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and kickboxing.
Snipes has been married twice. From 1985 to 1990, he was married to April Dubois Snipes, with whom he has a son, Jelani Sarr Snipes, who was born in 1988. Jelani had a cameo role in Snipes' 1990 film "Mo Better Blues." In 2003, Snipes married South Korean painter and artist Nikki Park, with whom he has four children: daughter Setjawati Snipes, who was born in 2001; and sons Alaafia Jehu T Snipes, who was born in 2004, Alimayu Moa T Snipes, who was born in 2007; and Akhenaten Kihwa T Snipes, who was born in 2012.
Snipes, who was raised as a Christian, converted to Islam in 1978 but left Islam in 1988. In a 1991 interview, Snipes said that Islam made him more conscious of what African people have accomplished, and gave him a sense of self-worth and self-dignity.
Snipes' apartment in New York City was destroyed during the September 11 attacks, but he was on the west coast at the time. In 2005, Snipes entered into negotiations to fight "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan in an Ultimate Fighting match, but the deal fell through.