Vin Diesel's Biography
Vin Diesel was born Mark Vincent on 18 July 1967 in New York.
Vin Diesel grew up with his twin brother and two younger sisters in an artists' community and lived in a government subsidised building for artists.
Vin Diesel got an early taste for acting. His father had taught theatre before he had to raise a family and get better paid. Although Vin Diesel had started acting at seven it took a long time for him to break through. He supported himself and his acting ambitious by earning a crust as a nightclub bouncer in New York.
Here are two revealing quotes from Vin Diesel's interview with BBC's Film 2002 which describe his frustration at the length of time it took him to break through:
"You spend your life working on your craft - I started acting as a seven-year-old - and then, all of a sudden, you're an 'overnight success'."
"If it were up to me, I would have just landed roles as a teenager. I got to my mid to late 20s frustrated, and had to become an auteur in order to be a successful actor and that's where the independent film-making came from..."
Eventually the 'indie' route worked. Vin Diesel wrote, starred, produced, directed and wrote the score for two films: 'Multi-Facial' (1994) and 'Strays' (1997).
Vin Diesel describes his mother as 'the most supportive mother in the world, she's magical'. It was after he had returned disappointed once from Los Angeles that his mother gave him a book called "Feature Films for Used-Car Prices". Diesel says that the book lacked practical advice, but it gave him motivation.
This exposure led Vin Diesel to be spotted by Steven Spielberg, who offered him a part as Private Caparzo in 'Saving Private Ryan' (1989).
Various major roles in mainstream films followed including parts as Richard B. Riddick in 'Pitch Black' and 'The Chronicles of Riddick' and as Xander Cage in 'xXx'.
In 2006, Vin Diesel played Jackie DiNorscio in Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty; and he continued work - producing, directing and acting in Hannibal.
He also starred in the family comedy The Pacifier.
In April 2008 Vin Diesel and his partner, the model Paloma Jimenez, had a baby girl.
Diesel's sci-fi film Babylon A.D. was scheduled for release in the USA in August 2008.
In April 2009, the Vin Diesel film Fast & Furious topped the North American box office chart.
In 2011, Vin Diesel reprised his role as Dom Toretto in the box office success Fast Five.
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