Wesley Snipes continues to personify black cool on the movie screen.
He was the first dark-skinned man to become a leading man in Hollywood since the heyday of Sidney Poitier. Indeed, on July 31, 1962, a superstar was born in Orlando Florida. His mother would move him and his three sisters to the South Bronx where he was raised by his grandmother and mother.
His signature swagger with which he amazed movie audiences was first honed at the famed High School for the Performing Arts, the New York City school which was featured in the ’80s TV series “Fame”.
Dreamers who stopped dreaming would attest to how negative self-talk can derail even the most well-laid plans. From the South Bronx, and through his time at the State University of New York at Purchase and Southwest College in Los Angeles, California, self-confidence carried him.
In 1986, at the age of 23, he made his film debut in Wildcats, starring Goldie Hawn. That same year, he also appeared on the hit television show Miami Vice.
For the first short film for one of five consecutive record-breaking No. 1 hits from Bad, Michael Jackson and director Martin Scorsese created an epic 18-minute tale of urban and racial challenges in the 1980s. “Bad” was named the second greatest of Michael’s short films by Rolling Stone in 2014.
A year later, his face became known to millions when he starred in Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video, which was directed by Martin Scorcese.
Soon after, Snipes was under consideration for the role of Geordi La Forge in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, a role that eventually was awarded to LeVar Burton. But his presence in the “Bad” video caught the eye of Spike Lee, who offered him a small role in Do The Right Thing.
Snipes opted for a larger role as Willie Mays Hayes in the film Major League, but he eventually worked with Spike, appearing in leading roles as jazz saxophonist Shadow Henderson in Mo’ Better Blues in 1990 and as architect Flipper Purify in Jungle Fever.
Major League movie clips: http://j.mp/1LnJxxf BUY THE MOVIE: http://amzn.to/saxtSH Don’t miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/1u2y6pr CLIP DESCRIPTION: Hayes (Wesley Snipes) leads off the season with a hit, but then gets picked off when trying to steal second.
His star began to shine brighter than most in Hollywood when he followed those up by playing Thomas Flanagan in the cult classic King of New York opposite Christopher Walken, and then ruthless drug kingpin Nino Brown in New Jack City, soon followed by his portrayal of Romello Skuggs, a bright Harlem drug dealer who was once awarded a scholarship to Georgetown University that later enters the family business.
Just a short clip of where it all started
White Men Can’t Jump, Passenger 57, Rising Sun and the Blade trilogy of films are just a brief smattering of his diverse, bold and daring works, relative to what the mainstream expected of black male characters. He didn’t degrade himself, never “shuck and jived”.
Whether as a drag queen in To Wong Foo, to a basketball hustler in White Men Can’t Jump, to a lethal killing machine in Rising Sun, Snipes has acted with skill and respect for the subject matter.
Blade movie clips: http://j.mp/1uunT5v BUY THE MOVIE: http://j.mp/uATvv5 Don’t miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/1u2y6pr CLIP DESCRIPTION: Inside the vampire club, Quinn (Donal Logue) starts a fight and demands that Blade (Wesley Snipes) be hurt badly. FILM DESCRIPTION: British director Stephen Norrington helmed this David S.
Despite a hiatus from acting while serving three years in prison for willful failure to file federal income tax returns, Snipes is still one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, having appeared in over 64 films and television shows thus far in a wide-ranging career.
Happy Birthday to the dude that popularized dark skin cool for the modern era, Wesley Snipes.