Vin Diesel is an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter.
His birth name is Mark Sinclair.
He was born on July 18, 1967 in in Alameda County, California.
Diesel was raised by his astrologer/psychologist mother, Delora Sherleen (Sinclair), and adoptive father, Irving H. Vincent, an acting instructor and theater manager, in an artists’ housing project in New York City‘s Greenwich Village.
His mother has English, German, Scottish and Irish ancestry, while his biological father’s identity and background are not publicly known. He has described himself as “definitely a person of color”.
Diesel has a younger sister, Samantha Vincent, and a younger brother, in addition to his fraternal twin Paul.
His first break in acting happened by chance, when at the age of seven he and his friends broke into a theatre to vandalize it. They were confronted by the theater’s artistic director, Crystal Field, who offered them roles in the upcoming show instead of calling the police.
At age seventeen and already sporting a well-honed physique, he became a bouncer at some of New York’s hippest clubs to earn himself some extra cash. It was at this time that he changed his name to Vin Diesel.
Following high school, Vin enrolled as an English major at Hunter College, but dropped out after three years to go to Hollywood to further his acting career.
Diesel’s first film role was a brief uncredited appearance in the drama film Awakenings (1990).
He then wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the short drama film Multi-Facial (1994) which was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival.
Afterwards, Vin returned to Los Angeles and raised almost $50,000 through telemarketing to fund the making of his first feature, Strays (1997). Six months after shooting, the film was accepted for the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, and although it received a good reception, it did not sell as well as hoped.
Diesel got his big break when director Steven Spielberg, who had seen Multi-Facial, cast him in the award-winning Saving Private Ryan (1998).
Multi-Facial (1995) earned Vin more work, when the director of The Iron Giant (1999) saw it and decided to cast Vin in the title role.
From there, Vin’s career steadily grew, with him securing his first lead role, as Richard B. Riddick in the sci-fi film Pitch Black (2000). The role has earned him a legion of devoted fans and the public recognition he deserves.
Diesel attained action hero stardom with two box office hits: the street racing action film The Fast and the Furious (2001), and the action thriller xXx (2002).
In 2003 he starred in the vigilante action film A Man Apart.
He reprised the role of Richard Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick (2004).
He turned to more-humorous fare with The Pacifier (2005) and Sidney Lumet’s mob comedy Find Me Guilty (2006).
In 2007, Diesel was set to produce and star as Agent 47 in the film adaptation of the video game Hitman, but eventually pulled back and served as executive producer on the film instead.
In 2008, he starred in the science-fiction action thriller Babylon A.D.
Diesel skipped appearing in 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and had only a cameo in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). However, he returned to the franchise, both a star and a producer, for Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015) and The Fate of the Furious (2017).
He reprised his role as Riddick in the third film of The Chronicles of Riddick series, simply titled Riddick (2013).
In 2014, Diesel lent his distinctive voice to the character of Groot in the sci-fi adventure Guardians of the Galaxy.
In 2015, he starred with Elijah Wood and Michael Caine in the supernatural action film The Last Witch Hunter.
In 2016, Diesel appeared as a supporting character in the war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
In 2017, Diesel reprised his roles as Xander Cage in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Vin Diesel has an estimated net worth of $160 million.
Diesel and his current partner, Mexican model Paloma Jimenez, have three children: daughter Hania Riley (born 2008), son Vincent Sinclair (born 2010), and daughter Pauline (born 2015).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard on August 26, 2013.
Diesel is producing partner with George Zakk. Their company is called One Race Productions.
He also owns a record label called Racetrack Records and video game company Tigon Studios.
Diesel is noted for his recognizably deep voice; he has said that his voice broke around age 15, giving him a mature-sounding voice on the telephone.
He worked as a bouncer in New York at the famous nightclubs Tunnel (which has since closed) and Mars.
Diesel said in 2006 that he prefers to maintain his privacy regarding his personal life, stating: “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.”
His fraternal twin brother, Paul Vincent, who is a film editor.
Diesel has played Dungeons & Dragons for over 25 years, and wrote the foreword for the commemorative book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons.
He once worked as a telemarketer, selling light bulbs.