Wesley Trent Snipes is a famous American actor, producer, and director. He debuted together with Woody Harrison in Wildcats, directed by Michael Ritchie and this paved the way to a successful career for him. Wesley Snipes is well known for his role in the “Blade” franchise movies that were a big success at the Box Office.

Wesley Snipes, actor/producer
Wesley Snipes, actor/producer

As of 2020, Wesley Snipes’ net worth is estimated around $12 million. He earned his money through his career as an actor, movie producer, and business owner. Below are some facts about Snipes’ life and career you should know:

Early Life And Education

Wesley Snipes was born on the 31st of July, 1962 in Orlando, Florida, US. He finished Jones High School in his hometown although he attended High School of Performing arts in New York City where he was raised. Snipes continued his education at State University of New York at Purchase where he received Victor Borge Scholarship. He attended Southwest College at Los Angeles as well.


Career Beginnings

Snipes started a bus-n-truck theatre company with two friends and his drama teacher. Musical theatre was something he wanted to do, so he played in soap operas and in Broadway theatre where an agent discovered him on stage at the age of 23. That’s when he got an invitation for an audition.

Snipes movie debut was in the sports comedy, Wildcats in 1986. He played alongside Goldie Hawn and Woody Harrison. The next year, he performed in Michael Jackson’s music video for the song “Bad” which was directed by Martin Scorsese. Spike Lee, a movie director noticed him also and hired him in the musical comedy movie Mo’Better Blues in 1990. This was followed by other action movies like Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone in 1993, Money Train with Woody Harrison and Jennifer Lopez in 1995, Rising sun with Sean Connery in 1993, etc.

Snipes in his first movie, 'Wildcats'
Snipes in his first movie, ‘Wildcats’

Other Wesley Snipes’ Movies

Snipes also played with Woody Harrison in the comedy White men can’t jump in 1992 and in Major League, where he starred as a baseball player alongside Corbin Bernsen and Charlie Sheen. Even though the movie was a success, Snipes was against repeating the role although his co-stars wanted to and did reprise their roles in Major League 2. Snipes did not play in it.

In 1997, he played in One night stand for which he received Best actor award at the 54th Venice film festival. The next year, he made great success with the first movie from “Blade” franchise which earned $150 million worldwide. In 2002 the second movie of the Blade franchise was released, the third in 2004, and Snipes was behind the production of them all. For the last installment which was the worst film in the series, he filed a lawsuit against New Line Cinema for violating his contract, for racism and for money debt. Ryan Reynolds who worked with him on the last “Blade” movie didn’t have a good experience and in one occasion he said that he is not considering working on another movie with him in the future. It was obvious that Snipes’ behavior annoyed the cast and crew.

Brooklyn’s Finest was a crime drama with Snipes in the supporting role alongside Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, and Don Cheadle. After serving his jail sentence, he came back in The Expendables 3 in 2014. Last year, he played in the biographical comedy movie Dolemite is my name with Eddie Murphy in the lead role. The movie portrays the filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore and was nominated in two categories at Golden Globe Awards.

Marvel studios revealed that “Blade” project is planned in the future, as a movie or TV series. Snipes discussed with the studio for reprising his role, but no further information has been announced.

Wesley Snipes playing in 'Blades'
Wesley Snipes playing in ‘Blades’

Snipes’ 2020 Movies

Wesley Snipes’ 2020 movies include Throat City, an upcoming movie with Snipes in the cast. The movie is set in New Orleans, after the hurricane Katrina, where four friends accept an offer for a dangerous robbery. He also features in Coming 2 America which is expected at the end of the year, its premiere having been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coming 2 America

In Coming 2 America, Snipes features as General Izzi, a ruler of a country next to Zamuda which is Prince Akeem’s homeland. It is not yet clear as to extent of his supporting role in the movie, although Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are in the lead.

This would be Snipes’ first appearance in the Coming to America franchise. The first movie was released in 1988 and many of the actors reprise their roles in the upcoming second installment.
Back then, the movie was a huge success and the upcoming one includes many famous American actors. Fans of the romantic comedy are awaiting the premiere this year ending and hope it would follow in the same success.

TV Series

In 1986 Snipes appeared in an episode of the popular TV Series Miami Vice, playing a drug dealer. He played in all episodes from the first season of the drama series H.E.L.P. (1990). Snipes was a pit boss in the action crime drama in 2015 titled The Player which aired 9 episodes and one season.


What Are Wesley Snipes’ Income Sources?


Wesley Snipes has a net worth of about $12 million currently which he amassed mostly through acting. For his first movie, Wildcats, Snipes received $30 million, $7 million from Drop Zone, $5.5 million for Money Train, $7 million for The Fan, amongst others. For Blade: Trinity, he received $13 million. Besides acting, Snipes works as a movie producer. He also owns a security company and a film company.


Snipes founded a production company named “Amen-Ra” in 1991 and Black Dot Media, a company to promote projects for movies and television. He also owns a security firm, providing bodyguards to VIPs.

Wesley Snipes Book

Three years ago, Snipes published an urban fantasy book Talon of God. hoping it would be a trilogy of books. However, no other book has been published since then. The book was written with Ray Norman, an author. At the book promotion, Snipes said that writing a book was his longtime desire and the collaboration was an exciting experience.

Personal Life

Snipes has married two times. His first marriage was in 1985 to April Dubois. They were together for 5 years and had a son together. The second time, he married the painter Nakyung Park in 2003 and they have four children.

Snipes with his wife and some of his kids
Snipes with his wife and his kids

Snipes was a Christian, but in 1978 he converted to Islam. Although it lasted for 10 years, he emphasized that it made him more conscious of his self-worth and self-dignity. He was also a training Shotokan karate and has 5th degree black belt, 5th Dan in Ju Jitsu and studied Kung Fu and kickboxing as well.

Problems With Law

In 1991, while driving his company’s car, Snipes was stopped by the LA Police and was arrested. He described the whole experience as a racist act and humiliating. The reason for the arresr was that the car was listed as a stolen one, which later was confirmed as a mistake. However, he spent some time in custody.

In 1993, Snipes got two years of unsupervised probation, because he was carrying a loaded semi-automatic pistol after a motorcycle accident in Hollywood. He had to pay also $2700.

In 2006, he was charged for failing to file tax returns. He was convicted in 2008 and went to jail in 2010 for 3 years in federal prison in Pennsylvania. Findings revealed that he avoided $7 millions in taxes. His accountant and advocate were also convicted and served longer prison terms than Snipes. Snipes did earn lots of money at the time, so avoiding taxes was easily noticeable.

Actor Wesley Snipes
Actor Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes tried to resolve his tax debts with the Internal Revenue Service, but they didn’t make a deal. He accused IRS of abusing its discretion and took it to court. But in 2018 the United States Tax Court rejected Snipes’ claims.

Due to his tax problems, Snipes couldn’t play in some movies. In 2010 he turned down a role in The Expendables because he couldn’t leave the country. Miracle at St. Ana was another movie from Spike Lee in which Snipes was planned to play one of the main roles, but he had to turn it down.

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