Wesley Snipes Net Worth – How Rich Is The Popular Celebrity?

Wesley Snipes net worth is $10 million which he has accumulated over his career as an actor, producer, and martial artist. Wesley Snipes is from Florida and he is well-known as one of the most prominent actors of the 90s. Snipes starred in many beloved and well-known movies, but he has also branched out into other industries.


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Snipes owned his own production company, dabbled in martial arts, and is also a recognized author. All of his endeavors helped contribute to Wesley Snipes net worth which is significant.

Who is Wesley Snipes?


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Wesley Trent Snipes is an American actor and producer with some experience in martial arts as well. He actually started practicing martial arts at the age of seven because he was small in stature and needed to be able to defend himself. His career as an actor kicked off shortly after at the young age of twelve when he landed a role in an off-Broadway stage production.

After his small role in The Me Nobody Knows at age twelve, Snipes decided that his future lay in the performing arts. During his high school years, he studied the arts and made his film debut as an adult in 1986. Snipes is well-respected as a film actor but has also appeared in several television productions as well as on the theatre stage.

Wesley Snipes Net Worth Estimate

Wesley Snipes net worth estimate currently stands at $10 million. As Snipes is now almost sixty years old, he has built up this considerable sum over a lifetime dedicated to the performing arts. A great deal of it is due to his lifetime work as an actor, but a significant number is due to his work as a producer and the owner of his own production company.

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Wesley Snipes Early Life

Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando in Florida and this is where he lived before his family moved to New York. Snipes spent most of his formative years in the Bronx in New York where he was a student at the High School of Performing Arts of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art and Performing Arts. It was here that his lifetime dedication to the performing arts would begin.

However, Snipes would never finish his schooling at that particular school of the performing arts. Before his graduation, he returned to Florida and finished his schooling at Jones High School in his hometown of Orlando.

Once he had successfully graduated from Jones High School, Snipes once again moved to New York to attend the State University of New York. He was also enrolled at Southwest College in Los Angeles California, which would round out his tertiary education.

Musical Theatre and Acting in Wesley Snipes Early Life

After attending the High School for the Performing Arts, which was made popular by the film Fame, Snipes believed that musical theatre was his calling. However, when his mother moved to Orlando, Florida before his graduation, these dreams started to fade.

However, Snipes and two friends along with his Drama teachers Mr. K Rugerio and Mr. S Porro started a theatre company called Struttin Street Stuff. His high school was indicted into the International Thespian Society for the Orlando Chapter as a result and this laid the foundation not only for Snipes’ future career in acting but also for the Dr. Phillips High Schools’ theatre arts program.

Musical theatre was really where Wesley Snipes got his start in the performing arts. He performed puppetry, song and dance, and acrobatics in dinner clubs, city parks, and performing arts centers around Florida.

When he left Orlando, he entered the well-known professional theatre arts program at SUNY Purchase in New York under the Victor Borge Scholarship. This would be where he honed his theatrical performance skills alongside his martial arts skills.

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Wesley Snipes Height and Weight

Wesley Snipes has always been in good shape and today he stands tall at 5’10” (178 cm) and weighs in at 178 pounds (81 kg). Over the course of his career, Snipes has always made it a point to keep himself in excellent physical shape. This is because a lot of his movies feature him as some sort of action hero, such as his work in the films Blade and Destroyer.

The reason why Wesley Snipes is able to keep his body in such good physical shape is thanks to martial arts. He has been practicing martial arts from a very young age and it has come in useful in helping him portray physical fights on the silver screen.

Wesley Snipes Martial Arts Background

Often when action heroes are portrayed in movies, they need to be trained in some form of martial arts. Alternatively, film stars often use body doubles that are experienced and trained in martial arts to perform their physical stunts. However, when film stars are trained in martial arts themselves, they can portray an action character themselves, thus giving a more realistic performance.

Wesley Snipes, having trained in martial arts since a young age, attributes a lot of his success in landing action roles to his experience in martial arts. Snipes has said in many interviews that he does not consider himself to have above-average acting talent. However, his talent and training in martial arts are what he says helped land him some blockbuster roles.

Wesley Snipes is trained in many different disciplines of martial arts. He is skilled in Escrima, which is a martial art hailing from the Philippines. This type of martial art involves fighting with two sticks.

He is also experienced in the Brazilian martial art style known as capoeira and has trained in kung fu and karate as well. Snipes even has a fifth dan which is a high-level achievement in Shotokan karate in which you obtain a black belt, and a second dan in Hapkido, which is also a black belt level.

Although Snipes does say that his martial art experience is a hobby, he did think that it may come in useful in the film industry later in life. True enough, later Snipes exclusively used his training for his acting work. He found the fight scenes easier to do because of his training.

Wesley Snipes Career


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Wesley Snipes may have started martial arts training as a child, but it wasn’t until early adulthood that he made his acting debut. Snipes was discovered at the age of 23 by an acting agent when he performed in a competition.

The Start of Wesley Snipes Acting Career

A lot of Wesley Snipes’ net worth can be attributed to his acting career. After an agent discovered him at age 23, Wesley Snipes made his acting debut in a Goldie Hawn film titled Wildcats in 1986. After that, he was briefly seen as an extra in the television show Miami Vice. He played a pimp embroiled in the depths of drug dealing in an episode that aired on 5 December 1986 titled Streetwise.

The following year he played in a Martin Scorsese music video portraying Michael Jackson’s nemesis in Bad and later on in the film Streets of Gold. Also in that year, he suffered his first defeat when he was an option for  Star Trek: The Next Generation television series for the role of Geordi La Forge. However, he lost that role and LeVar Burton ended up portraying the character.

The Highlights of Wesley Snipes Acting Career

Fortunately enough, his performance in Bad drew the attention of Spike Lee, a well-known director at the time. And this would start the upwards trajectory of Snipes’ acting career.

He chose to turn down a very small role for the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing in favor of a bigger role which he could portray for the film Major League directed by Willie Mays Hayes. This would be the beginning of a succession of successful films and box-office hits for Wesley Snipes.

Spike Lee, still interested in the talents of Snipes, cast him as a jazz saxophonist named Shadow Henderson in Mo’ Better Blues. He also landed the lead role in a romance drama focused on an interracial relationship titled Jungle Fever. This film turned out so successful that a writer for Washington Post named Snipes “the most celebrated new actor of the season”.

After this shining review, Snipes was cast as Thomas Flanagan, a character in the film King of New York which he played alongside Christopher Walken. Snipes also played a drug lord named Nino Brown as seen in the film New Jack City. This role was written for Snipes specifically, which is a high honor in the acting world. In 1994 he portrayed another drug dealer as seen in the film titled Sugar Hill.

Even though he was often cast as a drug dealer or other notorious character in his early days of acting, he soon branched out into action movies. Snipes soon landed several roles playing in action movies including Demolition Man opposite Sylvester Stallone, Passenger 57, The Fan, Money Train, Rising Sun, and U.S. Marshals.

He also expanded his repertoire to include some comedies such as White Men Can’t Jump and his role as a drag queen in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. He rounded out his acting genres by playing in dramas such as Disappearing Acts and The Waterdance.

The Acting Accolades of Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes not only has an impressive filmography as an actor, but he has also won numerous awards. He was awarded Best Actor in 1997 for the Volpi Cup in the 54th Venice Film Festival. This accolade was won on the back of his portrayal in One Night Stand.

His biggest commercial success, however, was the movie Blade in which he portrayed Blade himself, title character of the film. The movie came out in 1998 and grossed more than $150 million across the globe. The movie would soon be adapted and they made it a series. This had, no doubt, a big hand in earning Snipes a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He would also receive a prestigious honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the renowned SUNY/Purchase, for the Blade series. His honorary doctorate was in fine arts and humanities.

In 2004, Wesley Snipes took up his role again as Blade in Blade: Trinity which was the third consecutive film in the series. This film was also the first film that he produced. And after a lawsuit in which he argued that he did not receive the full salary owed to him by the studio. This would mark the end of theatrical releases in the US until 2010.

Wesley Snipes Return to Acting

Wesley Snipes staged a comeback in 2012 with a performance in the film The Contractor which was produced in Bulgaria. However, his comeback performance in the US was in a film titled Brooklyn’s Finest in which he portrayed a supporting character named Casanova Phillips, or “Caz”.

In 2014 he was also cast in The Expendables 3 and his performance in the comedy Dolemite is my Name saw him receive several award nominations and positive reviews.

Wesley Snipes Other Ventures

Wesley Snipes not only used his martial arts in acting but in other ventures as well. He founded a security company with his brother in the late 1990s, the Royal Guard of Amen-Ra. The purpose of the firm was to provide bodyguards to VIPs. The bodyguards would be trained in martial arts and general law enforcement.

Snipes also gave the same name, Amen-Ra, to his production company which produced A Great and Mighty Walk – Dr. John Henrik Clarke as its first film.

Wesley Snipes Personal Life and Family

Wesley Snipes was raised as a Christian but in 1978 he converted his religion to Islam. However, in 1988 he left the Islam faith. When asked about his Islamic history, Snipes has said that Islam helped him see the accomplishments and abilities of the African people as well as some in-depth insight into his own self-worth and self-dignity.

Wesley Snipes was also a victim of the World Trade Center disaster when his New York City apartment was completely destroyed when the Twin Towers collapsed in the 9/11 attacks. Fortunately for Snipes, he had traveled to the West Coast when the attacks occurred and he suffered no personal injury.

Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando Florida and is the child of Marian Long and Wesley Rudolph Snipes. His mother was a teacher’s assistant and his father was an aircraft engineer.

Wesley Snipes is currently married to a painter named Nakyung “Nikki” Park and the couple has four children together. However, he has been married twice and his first marriage was to April Snipes (née Dubois). April and Wesley had a son together named Jelani and he had a cameo role in the 1990 film Mo’ Better Blues along with Snipes.

Wesley Snipes Run-in with the Law

Unfortunately, as an actor, Wesley Snipes is in the limelight and any alleged illegal activity would therefore be very public. Snipes had his own run-in with the law when he received a charge of six counts of income tax fraud. He was charged with deliberate failure of filing federal income tax returns as was expected by the filing dates.

It was alleged that Snipes filed a falsified amended return which included a falsified claim for a tax refund of more than $4 million. This occurred for the tax year of 1996. For the tax year of 1997, he was charged with an alleged false tax return fund claim of more than $7.3 million.

The government was convinced of Snipes’ guilt and alleged that he had tried to defraud the government using the protestor theory known as the 861 argument with reference to fraudulent tax refund claims.

Essentially this means that any domestic income as is obtained by any US citizen or resident cannot be taxed. Also, the government alleged that Snipes had turned in three worthless and fictitious bills of exchange to the value of $14 million to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

It was also alleged by the government that Wesley Snipes had from the years 1999 to 2004 failed to file his tax returns. Snipes is a birthright US citizen but he said in 2006 that he declares himself a non-resident and alien in the US.

Wesley Snipes Time in Prison

In 2008 however, Snipes was absolved of the felony counts pertaining to conspiring to defraud the government along with the false filing claims. He had gotten Robert Barnes on retainer as his defense attorney. Unfortunately, Snipes received a guilty verdict for three counts as it pertains to failure when filing tax returns for federal income.

This meant that in 2008 Wesley Snipes was sentenced to prison time of three years for willfully failing to file federal income tax returns. On 9 December 2010, he went to federal prison in order to start his sentence of three years. He was detained in a Pennsylvania federal prison called the McKean Federal Correctional Institution. The United States Supreme Court then declined his appeal in 2011.

Wesley Snipes served his time and got out of prison on 2 April 2013 and completed a house arrest sentence thereafter which ended on 19 July 2013.

Wesley Snipes Net Worth Estimate and Bio Summary

Wesley Snipes is a well-known and established actor with an impressive filmography under his belt. His experience in martial arts training meant that he landed several big action hero film roles and helped him perform his own stunts. This meant that he was high in demand as an action hero because of his physical stature and abilities.

Snipes is an accomplished actor with several awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to his name. His career history and several successful box-office hits mean that Wesley Snipes’ net worth estimate is very impressive.
Wesley Snipes net worth estimate stands at $10 million and despite convictions and prison time for tax fraud, he remains successful to this day.


NameWesley Snipes
Real NameWesley Trent Snipes
Place of BirthOrlando, Florida
OccupationActor, Producer
Net Worth Estimate$10 Million