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Vin Diesel is globally recognized for his leading role in the Fast and Furious franchise, starring in the action-packed films (he did not appear in the second one) and is set to appear in the 2017 production, Furious 8.
But beyond his recognition as a deep-voiced, tough-guy actor, The Hollywood Reporter looks at five facts you probably didn’t know about Diesel.
Real name: Mark Sinclair
The California native was given the name Mark Sinclair at birth by his single mother, Delora Sherleen (Sinclair), but changed his name in his mid-teen years when he became a bouncer for New York night clubs.
He’s a twin
A surprise to many, Diesel is a fraternal twin whose brother, Paul Vincent, works as a film editor and in the sound department.
Ethnicity is a mystery
Though the actor knows his mother’s ethnicity, — of English, German, Irish and Scottish ancestry — Diesel never knew his father, nor his father’s heritage and background. “I am truly multi-racial,” he said, according to IMDB. “I never knew my biological father. I’ve always had less information than I would have liked to have had. All I know from my mother is that I have connections to many different cultures.”
Steven Spielberg wanted Diesel for Saving Private Ryan
After receiving no breaks in his career, Diesel took acting into his own hands and wrote and starred in short film Multi-Facial, which was featured at the Cannes Film Festival. Spielberg was impressed by the short, and the three-page letter Diesel wrote him sharing his admiration of the director’s work, and called Diesel for a role in Saving Private Ryan, later opening doors to his successful Hollywood career.
Father of three
Diesel is the father of three children with girlfriend Paloma Jimenez: two girls and one boy. His first daughter, Hania Riley, was born in 2008, followed two years later by a son, Vincent Sinclair, born in 2010. His third child, daughter Pauline, was named after the actor’s late Fast and Furious franchise co-star, Paul Walker.
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