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Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair Vincent; July 18, 1967) is an American actor, writer, director and producer. He became known in the early 2000s, appearing in several successful Hollywood films, including The Fast and the Furious and xXx. He founded the production companies One Race Films, Tigon Studios and Racetrack Records.

Early life

Vin Diesel was born in New York Citymarker, the son of Delora, a psychiatrist and astrologer. Diesel is biracial and has Italian and black ancestry. He has described himself as "definitely a person of color" and stated that he is "of ambiguous ethnicity - Italian and a lot of other stuff". Diesel has never met his biological father, and was raised by his African-American stepfather, Irving, an acting instructor and theatre 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 Citymarker in New York's Greenwich Villagemarker. His involvement in the play came about when he, his brother and some friends had broken into Theater for the New Citymarker'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. He remained involved with the theatre throughout adolescence, going on to attend the city's Hunter Collegemarker, where his creative writing studies led him to begin screenwriting. Diesel became an active film-maker in the early 1990s, first earning notice for the short film Multi-Facial, which was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festivalmarker. Diesel has identified himself as a "multi-faceted" actor as a result of early difficulties finding roles due to his mixed heritage.

In an interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he said that he changed his name to "Vin Diesel" while working as a bouncer at the New York City nightclub Tunnelmarker, because in that business one's real name is not usually given out. The name "Vin" is simply a shortened version of "Vincent". He received the nickname "Diesel" from his friends who said he ran off diesel, referring to his non-stop energy.

He has a fraternal twin brother named Paul, a younger brother named Tim, and a sister named Samantha.


Diesel at a premiere for Fast & Furious in March 2009
Diesel's first film role was an uncredited appearance in the 1990 film Awakenings. He then produced, directed, and starred in the 1994 short film Multi-Facial, a short semi-autobiographical film which follows a struggling actor stuck in the audition process, because he is regarded as either "too black" or "too white", or not black or white enough. He made his first feature-length film, 1997's Strays, an urban drama in which he was self-cast as a gang boss whose love for a woman inspires him to try to change his ways. Written, directed and produced by Diesel, the film was selected for competition at the 1997 Sundance Festival, leading to an MTV deal to turn it into a series.

He was then cast in Steven Spielberg's 1998 Oscar-winning film Saving Private Ryan on the poignancy of his performance in Multi-Facial. He earned critical acclaim for voice work as the title character in the animation film The Iron Giant (1999). He followed it up with a major role in Boiler Room (2000) and then got his breakthrough role as the anti-hero Riddick in Pitch Black (2000). He attained action hero super stardom with the box office hits The Fast and the Furious (2001) and xXx (2002).

In 2004, he reprised his role as Pitch Black's Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick which did moderately well at the box office. In 2005 he played a lighthearted role in the comedy film The Pacifier, a surprise box office success. In 2006 he chose a dramatic role playing real-life mobster Jack DiNorscio in Find Me Guilty. Although he received critical acclaim for his performance, the film did poorly at the box office. Later that year he made a cameo appearance in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, reprising his role from The Fast and The Furious. Diesel was originally offered the lead in 2 Fast 2 Furious but turned it down. He was also offered the chance to reprise his role from xXx in xXx: State of the Union but turned it down as well. In March 2006, Diesel stated that he was working on a sequel to The Chronicles of Riddick.

In 2007, he 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..

He again played Dominic Toretto in the fourth film of The Fast and The Furious series, titled Fast & Furious and released in April, 2009.

Personal life

Diesel is noted for his recognizable deep voice, he has said that his voice broke naturally at around age 15, giving him a mature sounding voice on the telephone.

Around 2001, Diesel dated his The Fast and the Furious co-star, Michelle Rodriguez.

While Diesel was visiting the Dominican Republicmarker in October 2005, a 23-year-old architecture student accused Diesel of trying to have her kicked out of the bar for refusing to go back to his hotel room. Diesel denied the allegations, citing the club's history of problems unrelated to him. Despite the incident, Diesel has expressed his love for the Dominican Republic, and how he relates to its multicultural facets. He is also acquainted with President Leonel Fernandez, and has since appeared in one of his earlier campaign ads. "Los Bandoleros", a short film directed by Diesel, was also filmed in the Dominican Republic.

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:

Diesel has played Dungeons & Dragons for over twenty years and wrote the foreword for the commemorative book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. In the 30th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons issue of Dragon Magazine, they examine the fact that Diesel played Dungeons & Dragons, and reveal that he had a fake tattoo of his character's name, "Melkor," on his stomach while filming xXx.

Diesel has an interest in the online MMORPG World of Warcraft as seen in interviews with Jonathan Ross and Curt Schilling, and also as evidenced by the installation of a computer game system on one of his cars.

Diesel has a daughter, Hania Riley, born April 2, 2008, with his girlfriend, model Paloma Jimenez. Speaking to An tEolas, an Irish newspaper, Diesel spoke of how he has been seen as a hard man, but is in touch with his soft side as a father.



Year Movie Role Other notes
1990 Awakenings Orderly Uncredited role
1994 Multi-Facial Mike
1997 Strays Rick
1998 Saving Private Ryan Private Adrian Caparzo
1999 The Iron Giant The Iron Giant (voice) Animated
2000 Boiler Room Chris Varick
Pitch Black Richard B. Riddick
2001 The Fast and the Furious Dominic Toretto
Knockaround Guys Taylor Reese
2002 xXx Xander Cage
2003 A Man Apart Sean Vetter
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick Richard B. Riddick
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury Richard B. Riddick (voice) Straight-to-DVD; animated
The Pacifier Lieutenant Shane Wolfe
2006 Find Me Guilty Jack DiNorscio Gained 30 pounds for the role
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Dominic Toretto Cameo appearance
2008 Babylon A.D. Hugo Cornelius Toorop
2009 Fast & Furious Dominic Toretto
2010 xXx: Return of Xander Cage Xander Cage Pre-Production
2011 The Fast and the Furious: Fifth Gear Dominic Toretto In Development
2011 Hannibal the Conqueror Hannibal Pre-Development


Film Title Year Description
Multi-Facial 1994 Producer
Strays 1997 Executive Producer, Producer
xXx 2002 Executive Producer
A Man Apart 2003 Producer
Chronicles of Riddick 2004 Executive Producer
Life is a Dream 2004 Documentary, Executive Producer
Find Me Guilty 2006 Producer
Hitman 2007 Executive Producer
Fast & Furious 2009 Producer
Hannibal the Conqueror 2011 Producer


Film Year
Multi-Facial 1994
Strays 1997
Hannibal the Conqueror 2011


  1. Multi-Facial (1994)
  2. Strays (1997)


  1. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004)
  2. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (2009)
  3. The Wheelman (2009)


  1. Vin Diesel Biography (1967-)
  2. - Vin Diesel: From nightclub bouncer to action hero - August 12, 2002
  3. Diesel is running hot
  4. The Multicultural Mysteries of Vin Diesel
  5. Vin Diesel Shifts Acting Career Into High Gear In `The Fast And The Furious' - Brief Article | Jet | Find Articles at
  7. New Zealand Herald
  8. Fear crua ar an scáileán mór ach athair cineálta sa bhaile, An tEolas ,

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