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"Vin Diesel's" Bio

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  • multiracialbookclub
    VIN DIESEL BIOGRAPHY Born: 18 July 1967 Where: New York City, New York USA Awards: No major awards Height: 6 3 Filmography: Complete List
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 10, 2006

      VIN DIESEL BIOGRAPHY

      Born: 18 July 1967
      Where: New York City, New York USA
      Awards: No major awards
      Height: 6' 3"
      Filmography: Complete List

      Every new generation demands its own action heroes.

      The Seventies had Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood:
      the Eighties brought Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson:
      the Nineties gave us Costner and Cruise.

      Then came the Noughties, complete with computer-generated
      super-SFX and anti-establishment, skateboard-slacker attitudes.

      A new kind of hero was called for, a man with the
      physique for the new extremes of stunt-filled action.

      He must have a true heart but have his morals warped and emotions hammered
      by the soul-destroying deceit of what passes for civilisation today.

      And he must, in a Western society gradually
      driving racism to the peripheries, be multi-ethnic.

      Step forward Vin Diesel:
      -- muscle-man thespian of no distinct ethnic origin--
      the first new cinematic superstar of the new Millennium.

      vin-diesel-find-me-guilty.jpg

      He was born Mark Vincent on the 18th of July, 1967, in New York City .

      Never knowing his biological father, he was told by
      his … mother Delora (holder of a master's degree in
      psychology) that he had many different cultural roots -
      African-American, Italian and possibly Cuban, amongst others.

      "I've always had less information than I would like to have had", he said later.

      Matters of identity were further confused by his twin brother,
      Paul, now a film editor, being blonde with blue eyes.

      Young Mark was raised, along with Paul and two younger siblings, in the Westbeth
      project in Greenwich Village , a government-funded block peopled only by artists.
      Here he received a major grounding in the imaginative arts, not
      least from his adoptive father, Irving, an actor and drama teacher.

      The kids would go swimming down at the Carmine Street pool, and
      play hide and seek on the broken-down piers on the Hudson River .
      And they'd get involved in the project's various projects.
      Mark made his starring debut onstage when only 5.
      He wasn't supposed to be the star, he was supposed
      to be a horse in a kids' production of Cinderella.
      But Paul, cast as Prince Charming, suffered stage fright after the first
      act and Mark, never slow in coming forward, stepped into the lead role. …

      At school, Mark was troubled by an ongoing
      identity crisis, not fitting into any particular group.

      He'd find some relief, by fluke, at age 7.
      With friends, he'd broken into Manhattan 's Theatre for
      the New City , intent upon vandalism and a few laughs.
      After busting and scrawling a little, they were messing
      around in the mezzanine when, suddenly, a heavyset
      woman appeared onstage, under a spotlight.
      Convinced she'd call the cops, the kids froze in horror.
      But, instead, she handed each of them a
      script and some money, with the words
      "If you guys want to play here, come every day at 4 o'clock.
      Here's $20 a week.
      Know your lines".

      The woman was Crystal Field, artistic director of the theatre, and dedicated
      to developing artists from low income groups and minority communities.
      It was she who'd be directly responsible for Mark's future development.
      He did turn up every day at 4, and took to stage-life with glee.
      "That was the first time I was ever able to make a whole audience
      laugh", he later recalled "without getting sent to the Dean's office".
      Perhaps more importantly, he enjoyed slipping into character.
      "I found there was something refreshing
      about having my identity be crystal clear".

      In the meantime, Mark picked up a penchant for
      extreme sports that would also serve him well later.
      Along with the other kids, he'd strap on his
      rollerblades and hang on to the fenders of the city's
      notorious taxi-cabs, often achieving speeds of over 50mph.

      Like many men with a confused sense of self,
      Mark looked for confidence in body-building.

      Up until the age of 15, he was just a tall kid with a big Afro and
      a bigger mouth, seeking attention wherever he could find it.

      At 15, though, he began lifting weights and hanging with an older crew.
      "I've worked out for years", he explained later
      "For a long time it was my only sense of gratification".

      Click to view full size image

      He began to go out clubbing, attending
      Studio 54 and, later, the Danceteria.
      And it was clubbing that gave him the connections
      to get his first job - at 17, as a bouncer.

      This would provide cash while he acted with Irving 's repertory
      company and in off-Off-Broadway productions.
      It would also give him his stage name.
      It was traditional for bouncers to
      choose rock-hard monikers for themselves.
      Vin Diesel was as good as any.

      Hoping to make his acting education official, Vin now applied
      for an elite drama course at the State University of New York
       at New Paltz, north of the metropolis, near Poughkeepsie
      (the town immortalised by Gene Hackman's
      feet-picking line in The French Connection).
      He was turned down, the first of many set-backs.

      Instead, he enrolled at Hunter College in New York City ,
      majoring in English, but he wouldn't see out the full course,
      preferring to spend his days acting on stage and on local TV,
      and his nights bouncing at the hip likes of Mars and The Tunnel.

      By the late Eighties, though, times had changed on the door.
      Gangsta culture had sprung up and now it was
      necessary for bouncers to wear bullet-proof vests.
      Where before his peers had been college guys, keen and able to talk art and
      philosophy, now Vin's bouncer-brothers were less intellectually inclined.
      After 9 years on the job, having seen one friend shot and another have his
      throat cut with a razor (he survived, thankfully), Vin would jack it in for good.

      Ever ambitious, he decided that his future lay in Hollywood ,
      so he took off for LA, telling everyone he'd return a star.
      It wouldn't be that easy.

      For a start, he later explained, his years as a bouncer had given him a
      measured confidence that worked against him at interviews and auditions.
      Physically intimidating, focused and intense, he inadvertently gave people the
      impression that, if he didn't get the part, someone was going to get hurt.
      No one reacted well to THAT.

      Beyond this, that question of race was raised again.
      Vin was deemed too black to play Italian, too white to be a homeboy.


      Supporting himself by using his natural charm to sell light-bulbs
      and gardening implements over the phone, he struggled on for a while.
      But it proved to be no good.
      He returned to New York , not a star at all.

      Back home, he lived with his mum and dad, building himself what he
      called "a hobbit hole" on the landing between the first and second floors.
      Realising that he would have launch himself, rather than
      rely on some lucky break, he spent his days immersing
      himself in cinema, studying the work of Clark Gable (he loves
      It Happened One Night), Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier.

      He devoured all the new art movies, all the independents,
      too, gaining new confidence all the while.
      "If a Henry Jaglom film doesn't make you feel confident
      enough to make films", he joked later "I don't know what will".

      Eventually, his mother stepped in with a little common-sense help.
      Presenting him with a copy of Rick Schmidt's book
      `Feature Films At Used Car Prices',
      she set him on the path to self-help.

      With an idea for a short screenplay, he bought a word
      processor, wrote the piece inside 30 days, and took the WP
      back to the shop, it still being within the guaranteed return period.

      On a budget of $3000, Multi-Facial was shot in 3 days.
      In it, Vin starred as, well, as himself, really, playing a
      multi-ethnic actor who, deemed suitable for neither black nor white
      roles, tries a different ethnicity for each audition and fails every time.

      Released in 1994, Multi-Facial was shown the next year
      at the Cannes Film Festival, causing something of a stir.

      Click to view full size image

      On the strength of this, Vin returned to LA and, telemarketing once more,
      managed to raise $50,000 for his next effort, a study in misogyny
      called Strays, once more starring and directed by Vin himself.
      The movie was accepted by and shown at the
      Sundance Film Festival in 1997, but did not sell well.

      Vin returned to New York once more,
      wondering what the hell he had to do to make it.

      Then, out of the blue, a call came
      through, a dream call from Steven Spielberg.

      Spielberg, impressed by a viewing of Multi-Facial, said he was
      writing a part for Vin in his next epic, to be titled Saving Private Ryan.

      Thus 1998 saw Vin employed in Tom Hanks' Band of Brothers
      (alongside fellow newcomers Barry Pepper and Giovanni Ribisi)
      as they crossed war-torn France in search of Matt Damon.
      It was a brief part, Private Adrian Caparzo being the first of the
      platoon to die, but it was an absurdly impressive big feature debut.

      Vin's second major role, too, was Multi-Facial-inspired.

      Director Brad Bird was also taken by Vin's performance
      and had him provide the voice for the titular monster in
      The Iron Giant, an animation based on a story by Poet
      Laureate Ted Hughes, co-starring Jennifer Aniston.

      And it wasn't just Multi-Facial that was
      catching the eye of the industry's prime movers.
      Strays, too, had had an effect.
      Producer Ted Field had seen the movie
      at Sundance and made contact with Vin.
      He was particularly keen on Vin writing a screenplay
      based on his experiences as a bouncer.
      Vin, in turn, was interested in a movie Field was
      developing, a sci-fi thriller called Pitch Black.
      He hounded Field till allowed to audition -
      and thus won the part that would make his name.

      Having been turned down by Joel Schumacher for the part of Robert
      De Niro's transvestite voice coach in Flawless due to his physique
      (as he said himself: "I have obviously spent my life celebrating masculinity"),
      having turned down a villain-role in Shaft, and having walked off the
      Ben Affleck-starring Reindeer Games due to his part not being enlarged
      as promised, Pitch Black more than made up for the disappointment.

      Here he was Richard B. Riddick, a condemned murderer
      being transported between planets and jails.
      Unfortunately, the space-craft is hit by a meteor storm and
      forced to crash-land on a planet previously colonised, but where
      all the inhabitants mysteriously disappeared during an eclipse.
      Another eclipse is coming and, being as they last for years,
      things are not looking good, especially when the survivors
      realise there are creatures here that live and feed in the dark.

      It was a superior thriller, interesting in that it deliberately blurred the edges
      between good and evil, with none of the characters being obviously likeable.
      And Vin stood out, so much so that the script, which originally had him
      die in the finale, was changed to allow Riddick to appear in a sequel.
      This made all the pain of the shoot worthwhile.
      With Riddick having had his eyes polished and lasered in jail, Vin
      had to wear contact lenses that gave off a weird metallic glow.
      After the first day's shoot, lasting 14 hours, the lenses fused
      to his eyes, forcing the producers to fly in a specialist from a
      town three hours away - the shoot taking place in the Australian
      outback, where Mad Max had been filmed two decades before.

      Despite the Reindeer Games fiasco, Vin now found himself
      starring alongside Ben Affleck (and Ribisi) in Boiler Room.
      Here Ribisi played a young hustler who gets drawn into a shady
      world of illegal brokers, led by Affleck, who's playing much
      the same character as Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenn Ross.
      Diesel shone once more as one of the young stars of the firm.
      Drunk, violent and a bad, bad lad, he's
      nevertheless the only one with any honour.
      A complicated character, as all
      Diesel's characters would henceforth be.

      Pitch Black and Boiler Room were released on the same
      day in 2000, immediately marking Vin as one to watch.
      Critic Roger Ebert noted his potential in his review of Boiler Room,
      saying "Diesel is interesting. Something will come of him".
      How right he was.

      For a start, New Line, noticing the inroads made by Vin and by his
      Private Ryan co-star Barry Pepper with We Were Soldiers, released
      Knockaround Guys, a movie completed in 1999 and then shelved.

      Here several sons of Brooklyn mafia bosses attempt to
      recover a bag of money lost in a small Montana town.
      Vin put in another unusual performance.
      Though a tough guy and a fighter, his Taylor Reese
      also possesses a "wise sadness about human nature".

      Knockaround Guys wasn't a hit, but it didn't need to be.

      By the time New Line released it, Vin had already
      carried his first mega-hit, The Fast And The Furious.

      Here Paul Walker played an undercover cop who infiltrates
      a street gang prone to stealing and racing flash cars at
      improbable speeds, trying to out-do rival gangs.
      Vin was Dominic Toretto, gang leader, who befriends
      Walker , thinking him to be a new kid on the block.
      Packed with super-stunts and concerning love and
      loyalty, it was like Point Break with cool motors.

      And it was a monster.

      Taking $41 million in its first weekend, surpassing
      its $38 million budget immediately, it crushed the
      challenge of Dr Dolittle 2 to take the US Number One spot.

      Director Rob Cohen was quick to praise
      Diesel's input, telling the Toronto Sun:
      "He has the power and physicality but what
      I didn't know, when I cast him in The Fast
      And The Furious
      , (was) how deep he could
      take things and how a kind of charm emerges.

      In the past, action heroes have basically
      been killing machines who can make a joke.

      Vinny, on the other hand, has the courage to be overwhelmed
      and uncertain and sometimes to be almost nakedly needy".

      High praise for a guy who wasn't even in the lead role.

      Now Vin was in the big league, and he knew it.

      Approached to play the lead in another SFX-fest, he went on holiday,
      telling his agents not to call him unless the producers offered $10 million.

      They did, and so he came to star in xXx.

      Here he was Xander Cage, a charismatic extreme sports
      obsessive who sells videos of himself performing
      outrageous stunts - one being where he steals a
      Corvette from a right-wing senator, and drives
      it off a cliff, making his escape by parachute.

      Recruited by government agent Samuel L. Jackson (who he might
      earlier have encountered in Shaft), he's ordered to gather information
      on a nihilist cell possibly plotting the downfall of everything.
      Of course, he hates the government, but loves the danger, and rather
      fancies his boss's girlfriend, played by the excellent Asia Argento.

      Again, he was a hero far more complicated than the norm.

      It was a rough shoot, made rougher by the death of stunt-man Harry
      O'Connor, killed when he hit the pillar of a bridge in Prague .

      But xXx was another major hit and, with his name first above the credits
      for the first time, Diesel was made, his reputation boosted still further
      when xXx sold 5 million DVDs in its first week alone.

      He followed it with A Man Apart where he played a DEA agent who,
      having busted a cartel kingpin, finds his home attacked and his
      beloved wife killed, forcing him into a personal mission of revenge.

      It was mostly action, but the plotline did allow Diesel to
      exhibit grief for his lost spouse, an opportunity he took
      with some aplomb, much as Mel Gibson had in Lethal Weapon.

      As long suspected, his excellent performance in Pitch Black now led
      to a spin-off franchise, beginning with The Chronicles Of Riddick.

      Here he reprised his character - still cynical, still ambiguously heroic -
       now being chased by interstellar bounty hunters and battling undead
      cult the Necromongers on the scorched planet Crematoria.

      Delivering an ongoing explanation of the action would be
      Judi Dench, Diesel having seen her onstage in The Breath
      Of Life and demanded the producers secure her services.

      After this, Diesel would attempt to widen his appeal with
      The Pacifier, an action comedy where he played a former
      Navy SEAL who fails to protect an endangered government
      scientist and tries to redeem himself by looking after the dead geek's kids.

      The long-mooted xXx 2 would earn him $20 million plus a percentage
      of gross, shooting him up there next to Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford.

      Yet it wouldn't just be action, not for a guy this smart.

      After The Pacifier, Diesel would also plan to star beside Nicole Kidman in
      the musical Guys And Dolls, while his production company, the pointedly
      titled One Race, would develop a script from Ross Leckie's book, Hannibal .

      Having spent years suffering professionally due to his multi-ethnic
      background, Diesel now found it a natural advantage.
      He could play Italian, black, even the great general of Carthage .
      Stats proved that his audience came
      from across the cultures - a very rare feat.


      Life was good in all areas ...

      Diesel had been quoted as saying that Xander Cage would be a James Bond
      for the next generation, and then met Menounos at an ET interview,
      just as Bond-star Pierce Brosnan had met his partner, Keely Shaye Smith.

      Incredibly, he was even a hero in real life.

      In 2002, he pulled his motorbike over on Hollywood 's
      highway 101 when he saw a car turn over and catch fire.
      He pulled the kids out from the back seat and managed
      to get the panicking driver to crawl out through the
      passenger side, saving them all from fiery death.

      The Pitch Black and xXx franchises will keep
      Vin Diesel on top well into the 2000s.
      But expect the unexpected, too, from this most unusual of superstars.

      Click to view full size image

      SOURCE:

      http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/vin_diesel_biog.html  
      http://www.vindiesel.hu/vindiesel/biography.htm  

      RELATED LINK(S):

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/988 

      LINKS TO MORE PIX:

      http://vindieselgallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=37&pos=53
      http://vindieselgallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=35&pos=17
      http://vindieselgallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=35&pos=16
      http://vindieselgallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=37&pos=5
      http://vindieselgallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=35&pos=0  

    • tlbaker1
      You are on a roll, keep em comin L. _____ From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of multiracialbookclub
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 10, 2006

        You are on a roll, keep em comin'

         

        L.

         


        From: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com ]
        On Behalf Of
        multiracialbookclub
        Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 7:08 PM
        To: Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Generation-Mixed] "Vin Diesel's" Bio

         

        VIN DIESEL BIOGRAPHY

        Born: 18 July 1967
        Where: New York City , New York USA
        Awards: No major awards
        Height: 6' 3"
        Filmography: Complete List

        Every new generation demands its own action heroes.

        The Seventies had Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood:
        the Eighties brought Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson:
        the Nineties gave us Costner and Cruise.

        Then came the Noughties, complete with computer-generated
        super-SFX and anti-establishment, skateboard-slacker attitudes.

        A new kind of hero was called for, a man with the
        physique for the new extremes of stunt-filled action.

        He must have a true heart but have his morals warped and emotions hammered
        by the soul-destroying deceit of what passes for civilisation today.

        And he must, in a Western society gradually
        driving racism to the peripheries, be multi-ethnic.

        Step forward Vin Diesel:
        -- muscle-man thespian of no distinct ethnic origin--
        the first new cinematic superstar of the new Millennium.

        vin-diesel-find-me-guilty.jpg

        He was born Mark Vincent on the 18th of July, 1967, in New York City .

        Never knowing his biological father, he was told by
        his … mother Delora (holder of a master's degree in
        psychology) that he had many different cultural roots -
        African-American, Italian and possibly Cuban, amongst others.

        "I've always had less information than I would like to have had", he said later.

        Matters of identity were further confused by his twin brother,
        Paul, now a film editor, being blonde with blue eyes.

        Young Mark was raised, along with Paul and two younger siblings, in the Westbeth
        project in Greenwich Village , a government-funded block peopled only by artists.
        Here he received a major grounding in the imaginative arts, not
        least from his adoptive father, Irving, an actor and drama teacher.

        The kids would go swimming down at the Carmine Street pool, and
        play hide and seek on the broken-down piers on the Hudson River .
        And they'd get involved in the project's various projects.
        Mark made his starring debut onstage when only 5.
        He wasn't supposed to be the star, he was supposed
        to be a horse in a kids' production of Cinderella.
        But Paul, cast as Prince Charming, suffered stage fright after the first
        act and Mark, never slow in coming forward, stepped into the lead role. …

        At school, Mark was troubled by an ongoing
        identity crisis, not fitting into any particular group.

        He'd find some relief, by fluke, at age 7.
        With friends, he'd broken into Manhattan 's Theatre for
        the New City , intent upon vandalism and a few laughs.
        After busting and scrawling a little, they were messing
        around in the mezzanine when, suddenly, a heavyset
        woman appeared onstage, under a spotlight.
        Convinced she'd call the cops, the kids froze in horror.
        But, instead, she handed each of them a
        script and some money, with the words
        "If you guys want to play here, come every day at 4 o'clock.
        Here's $20 a week.
        Know your lines".

        The woman was Crystal Field, artistic director of the theatre, and dedicated
        to developing artists from low income groups and minority communities.
        It was she who'd be directly responsible for Mark's future development.
        He did turn up every day at 4, and took to stage-life with glee.
        "That was the first time I was ever able to make a whole audience
        laugh", he later recalled "without getting sent to the Dean's office".
        Perhaps more importantly, he enjoyed slipping into character.
        "I found there was something refreshing
        about having my identity be crystal clear".

        In the meantime, Mark picked up a penchant for
        extreme sports that would also serve him well later.
        Along with the other kids, he'd strap on his
        rollerblades and hang on to the fenders of the city's
        notorious taxi-cabs, often achieving speeds of over 50mph.

        Like many men with a confused sense of self,
        Mark looked for confidence in body-building.

        Up until the age of 15, he was just a tall kid with a big Afro and
        a bigger mouth, seeking attention wherever he could find it.

        At 15, though, he began lifting weights and hanging with an older crew.
        "I've worked out for years", he explained later
        "For a long time it was my only sense of gratification" .

        Click to view full size image

        He began to go out clubbing, attending
        Studio 54 and, later, the Danceteria.
        And it was clubbing that gave him the connections
        to get his first job - at 17, as a bouncer.

        This would provide cash while he acted with Irving 's repertory
        company and in off-Off-Broadway productions.
        It would also give him his stage name.
        It was traditional for bouncers to
        choose rock-hard monikers for themselves.
        Vin Diesel was as good as any.

        Hoping to make his acting education official, Vin now applied
        for an elite drama course at the State University of New York
         at New Paltz, north of the metropolis, near Poughkeepsie
        (the town immortalised by Gene Hackman's
        feet-picking line in The French Connection).
        He was turned down, the first of many set-backs.

        Instead, he enrolled at Hunter College in New York City ,
        majoring in English, but he wouldn't see out the full course,
        preferring to spend his days acting on stage and on local TV,
        and his nights bouncing at the hip likes of Mars and The Tunnel.

        By the late Eighties, though, times had changed on the door.
        Gangsta culture had sprung up and now it was
        necessary for bouncers to wear bullet-proof vests.
        Where before his peers had been college guys, keen and able to talk art and
        philosophy, now Vin's bouncer-brothers were less intellectually inclined.
        After 9 years on the job, having seen one friend shot and another have his
        throat cut with a razor (he survived, thankfully), Vin would jack it in for good.

        Ever ambitious, he decided that his future lay in Hollywood ,
        so he took off for LA, telling everyone he'd return a star.
        It wouldn't be that easy.

        For a start, he later explained, his years as a bouncer had given him a
        measured confidence that worked against him at interviews and auditions.
        Physically intimidating, focused and intense, he inadvertently gave people the
        impression that, if he didn't get the part, someone was going to get hurt.
        No one reacted well to THAT.

        Beyond this, that question of race was raised again.
        Vin was deemed too black to play Italian, too white to be a homeboy.


        Supporting himself by using his natural charm to sell light-bulbs
        and gardening implements over the phone, he struggled on for a while.
        But it proved to be no good.
        He returned to New York , not a star at all.

        Back home, he lived with his mum and dad, building himself what he
        called "a hobbit hole" on the landing between the first and second floors.
        Realising that he would have launch himself, rather than
        rely on some lucky break, he spent his days immersing
        himself in cinema, studying the work of Clark Gable (he loves
        It Happened One Night), Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier.

        He devoured all the new art movies, all the independents,
        too, gaining new confidence all the while.
        "If a Henry Jaglom film doesn't make you feel confident
        enough to make films", he joked later "I don't know what will".

        Eventually, his mother stepped in with a little common-sense help.
        Presenting him with a copy of Rick Schmidt's book
        `Feature Films At Used Car Prices',
        she set him on the path to self-help.

        With an idea for a short screenplay, he bought a word
        processor, wrote the piece inside 30 days, and took the WP
        back to the shop, it still being within the guaranteed return period.

        On a budget of $3000, Multi-Facial was shot in 3 days.
        In it, Vin starred as, well, as himself, really, playing a
        multi-ethnic actor who, deemed suitable for neither black nor white
        roles, tries a different ethnicity for each audition and fails every time.

        Released in 1994, Multi-Facial was shown the next year
        at the Cannes Film Festival, causing something of a stir.

        Click to view full size image

        On the strength of this, Vin returned to LA and, telemarketing once more,
        managed to raise $50,000 for his next effort, a study in misogyny
        called Strays, once more starring and directed by Vin himself.
        The movie was accepted by and shown at the
        Sundance Film Festival in 1997, but did not sell well.

        Vin returned to New York once more,
        wondering what the hell he had to do to make it.

        Then, out of the blue, a call came
        through, a dream call from Steven Spielberg.

        Spielberg, impressed by a viewing of Multi-Facial, said he was
        writing a part for Vin in his next epic, to be titled Saving Private Ryan.

        Thus 1998 saw Vin employed in Tom Hanks' Band of Brothers
        (alongside fellow newcomers Barry Pepper and Giovanni Ribisi)
        as they crossed war-torn France in search of Matt Damon.
        It was a brief part, Private Adrian Caparzo being the first of the
        platoon to die, but it was an absurdly impressive big feature debut.

        Vin's second major role, too, was Multi-Facial- inspired.

        Director Brad Bird was also taken by Vin's performance
        and had him provide the voice for the titular monster in
        The Iron Giant, an animation based on a story by Poet
        Laureate Ted Hughes, co-starring Jennifer Aniston.

        And it wasn't just Multi-Facial that was
        catching the eye of the industry's prime movers.
        Strays, too, had had an effect.
        Producer Ted Field had seen the movie
        at Sundance and made contact with Vin.
        He was particularly keen on Vin writing a screenplay
        based on his experiences as a bouncer.
        Vin, in turn, was interested in a movie Field was
        developing, a sci-fi thriller called Pitch Black.
        He hounded Field till allowed to audition -
        and thus won the part that would make his name.

        Having been turned down by Joel Schumacher for the part of Robert
        De Niro's transvestite voice coach in Flawless due to his physique
        (as he said himself: "I have obviously spent my life celebrating masculinity" ),
        having turned down a villain-role in Shaft, and having walked off the
        Ben Affleck-starring Reindeer Games due to his part not being enlarged
        as promised, Pitch Black more than made up for the disappointment.

        Here he was Richard B. Riddick, a condemned murderer
        being transported between planets and jails.
        Unfortunately, the space-craft is hit by a meteor storm and
        forced to crash-land on a planet previously colonised, but where
        all the inhabitants mysteriously disappeared during an eclipse.
        Another eclipse is coming and, being as they last for years,
        things are not looking good, especially when the survivors
        realise there are creatures here that live and feed in the dark.

        It was a superior thriller, interesting in that it deliberately blurred the edges
        between good and evil, with none of the characters being obviously likeable.
        And Vin stood out, so much so that the script, which originally had him
        die in the finale, was changed to allow Riddick to appear in a sequel.
        This made all the pain of the shoot worthwhile.
        With Riddick having had his eyes polished and lasered in jail, Vin
        had to wear contact lenses that gave off a weird metallic glow.
        After the first day's shoot, lasting 14 hours, the lenses fused
        to his eyes, forcing the producers to fly in a specialist from a
        town three hours away - the shoot taking place in the Australian
        outback, where Mad Max had been filmed two decades before.

        Despite the Reindeer Games fiasco, Vin now found himself
        starring alongside Ben Affleck (and Ribisi) in Boiler Room.
        Here Ribisi played a young hustler who gets drawn into a shady
        world of illegal brokers, led by Affleck, who's playing much
        the same character as Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenn Ross.
        Diesel shone once more as one of the young stars of the firm.
        Drunk, violent and a bad, bad lad, he's
        nevertheless the only one with any honour.
        A complicated character, as all
        Diesel's characters would henceforth be.

        Pitch Black and Boiler Room were released on the same
        day in 2000, immediately marking Vin as one to watch.
        Critic Roger Ebert noted his potential in his review of Boiler Room,
        saying "Diesel is interesting. Something will come of him".
        How right he was.

        For a start, New Line, noticing the inroads made by Vin and by his
        Private Ryan co-star Barry Pepper with We Were Soldiers, released
        Knockaround Guys, a movie completed in 1999 and then shelved.

        Here several sons of Brooklyn mafia bosses attempt to
        recover a bag of money lost in a small Montana town.
        Vin put in another unusual performance.
        Though a tough guy and a fighter, his Taylor Reese
        also possesses a "wise sadness about human nature".

        Knockaround Guys wasn't a hit, but it didn't need to be.

        By the time New Line released it, Vin had already
        carried his first mega-hit, The Fast And The Furious.

        Here Paul Walker played an undercover cop who infiltrates
        a street gang prone to stealing and racing flash cars at
        improbable speeds, trying to out-do rival gangs.
        Vin was Dominic Toretto, gang leader, who befriends
        Walker , thinking him to be a new kid on the block.
        Packed with super-stunts and concerning love and
        loyalty, it was like Point Break with cool motors.

        And it was a monster.

        Taking $41 million in its first weekend, surpassing
        its $38 million budget immediately, it crushed the
        challenge of Dr Dolittle 2 to take the US Number One spot.

        Director Rob Cohen was quick to praise
        Diesel's input, telling the Toronto Sun:
        "He has the power and physicality but what
        I didn't know, when I cast him in The Fast
        And The Furious
        , (was) how deep he could
        take things and how a kind of charm emerges.

        In the past, action heroes have basically
        been killing machines who can make a joke.

        Vinny, on the other hand, has the courage to be overwhelmed
        and uncertain and sometimes to be almost nakedly needy".

        High praise for a guy who wasn't even in the lead role.

        Now Vin was in the big league, and he knew it.

        Approached to play the lead in another SFX-fest, he went on holiday,
        telling his agents not to call him unless the producers offered $10 million.

        They did, and so he came to star in xXx.

        Here he was Xander Cage, a charismatic extreme sports
        obsessive who sells videos of himself performing
        outrageous stunts - one being where he steals a
        Corvette from a right-wing senator, and drives
        it off a cliff, making his escape by parachute.

        Recruited by government agent Samuel L. Jackson (who he might
        earlier have encountered in Shaft), he's ordered to gather information
        on a nihilist cell possibly plotting the downfall of everything.
        Of course, he hates the government, but loves the danger, and rather
        fancies his boss's girlfriend, played by the excellent Asia Argento.

        Again, he was a hero far more complicated than the norm.

        It was a rough shoot, made rougher by the death of stunt-man Harry
        O'Connor, killed when he hit the pillar of a bridge in Prague .

        But xXx was another major hit and, with his name first above the credits
        for the first time, Diesel was made, his reputation boosted still further
        when xXx sold 5 million DVDs in its first week alone.

        He followed it with A Man Apart where he played a DEA agent who,
        having busted a cartel kingpin, finds his home attacked and his
        beloved wife killed, forcing him into a personal mission of revenge.

        It was mostly action, but the plotline did allow Diesel to
        exhibit grief for his lost spouse, an opportunity he took
        with some aplomb, much as Mel Gibson had in Lethal Weapon.

        As long suspected, his excellent performance in Pitch Black now led
        to a spin-off franchise, beginning with The Chronicles Of Riddick.

        Here he reprised his character - still cynical, still ambiguously heroic -
         now being chased by interstellar bounty hunters and battling undead
        cult the Necromongers on the scorched planet Crematoria.

        Delivering an ongoing explanation of the action would be
        Judi Dench, Diesel having seen her onstage in The Breath
        Of Life and demanded the producers secure her services.

        After this, Diesel would attempt to widen his appeal with
        The Pacifier, an action comedy where he played a former
        Navy SEAL who fails to protect an endangered government
        scientist and tries to redeem himself by looking after the dead geek's kids.

        The long-mooted xXx 2 would earn him $20 million plus a percentage
        of gross, shooting him up there next to Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford.

        Yet it wouldn't just be action, not for a guy this smart.

        After The Pacifier, Diesel would also plan to star beside Nicole Kidman in
        the musical Guys And Dolls, while his production company, the pointedly
        titled One Race, would develop a script from Ross Leckie's book, Hannibal .

        Having spent years suffering professionally due to his multi-ethnic
        background, Diesel now found it a natural advantage.
        He could play Italian, black, even the great general of Carthage .
        Stats proved that his audience came
        from across the cultures - a very rare feat.


        Life was good in all areas ...

        Diesel had been quoted as saying that Xander Cage would be a James Bond
        for the next generation, and then met Menounos at an ET interview,
        just as Bond-star Pierce Brosnan had met his partner, Keely Shaye Smith.

        Incredibly, he was even a hero in real life.

        In 2002, he pulled his motorbike over on Hollywood 's
        highway 101 when he saw a car turn over and catch fire.
        He pulled the kids out from the back seat and managed
        to get the panicking driver to crawl out through the
        passenger side, saving them all from fiery death.

        The Pitch Black and xXx franchises will keep
        Vin Diesel on top well into the 2000s.
        But expect the unexpected, too, from this most unusual of superstars.

        Click to view full size image

        SOURCE:

        http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/vin_diesel_biog.html  
        http://www.vindiesel.hu/vindiesel/biography.htm  

        RELATED LINK(S):

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/988 

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      • Tyrone Anderson
        Vin s stepfather is African-American multiracialbookclub wrote: VIN DIESEL BIOGRAPHY Born: 18 July 1967 Where: New York City,
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 11, 2006
          Vin's stepfather is African-American

          multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...> wrote:
          VIN DIESEL BIOGRAPHY

          Born: 18 July 1967
          Where: New York City, New York USA
          Awards: No major awards
          Height: 6' 3"
          Filmography: Complete List

          Every new generation demands its own action heroes.

          The Seventies had Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood:
          the Eighties brought Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson:
          the Nineties gave us Costner and Cruise.

          Then came the Noughties, complete with computer-generated
          super-SFX and anti-establishment, skateboard-slacker attitudes.

          A new kind of hero was called for, a man with the
          physique for the new extremes of stunt-filled action.

          He must have a true heart but have his morals warped and emotions hammered
          by the soul-destroying deceit of what passes for civilisation today.

          And he must, in a Western society gradually
          driving racism to the peripheries, be multi-ethnic.

          Step forward Vin Diesel:
          -- muscle-man thespian of no distinct ethnic origin--
          the first new cinematic superstar of the new Millennium.
          vin-diesel-find-me-guilty.jpg

          He was born Mark Vincent on the 18th of July, 1967, in New York City .

          Never knowing his biological father, he was told by
          his … mother Delora (holder of a master's degree in
          psychology) that he had many different cultural roots -
          African-American, Italian and possibly Cuban, amongst others.

          "I've always had less information than I would like to have had", he said later.

          Matters of identity were further confused by his twin brother,
          Paul, now a film editor, being blonde with blue eyes.

          Young Mark was raised, along with Paul and two younger siblings, in the Westbeth
          project in Greenwich Village , a government-funded block peopled only by artists.
          Here he received a major grounding in the imaginative arts, not
          least from his adoptive father, Irving, an actor and drama teacher.

          The kids would go swimming down at the Carmine Street pool, and
          play hide and seek on the broken-down piers on the Hudson River .
          And they'd get involved in the project's various projects.
          Mark made his starring debut onstage when only 5.
          He wasn't supposed to be the star, he was supposed
          to be a horse in a kids' production of Cinderella.
          But Paul, cast as Prince Charming, suffered stage fright after the first
          act and Mark, never slow in coming forward, stepped into the lead role. …

          At school, Mark was troubled by an ongoing
          identity crisis, not fitting into any particular group.

          He'd find some relief, by fluke, at age 7.
          With friends, he'd broken into Manhattan 's Theatre for
          the New City , intent upon vandalism and a few laughs.
          After busting and scrawling a little, they were messing
          around in the mezzanine when, suddenly, a heavyset
          woman appeared onstage, under a spotlight.
          Convinced she'd call the cops, the kids froze in horror.
          But, instead, she handed each of them a
          script and some money, with the words
          "If you guys want to play here, come every day at 4 o'clock.
          Here's $20 a week.
          Know your lines".

          The woman was Crystal Field, artistic director of the theatre, and dedicated
          to developing artists from low income groups and minority communities.
          It was she who'd be directly responsible for Mark's future development.
          He did turn up every day at 4, and took to stage-life with glee.
          "That was the first time I was ever able to make a whole audience
          laugh", he later recalled "without getting sent to the Dean's office".
          Perhaps more importantly, he enjoyed slipping into character.
          "I found there was something refreshing
          about having my identity be crystal clear".

          In the meantime, Mark picked up a penchant for
          extreme sports that would also serve him well later.
          Along with the other kids, he'd strap on his
          rollerblades and hang on to the fenders of the city's
          notorious taxi-cabs, often achieving speeds of over 50mph.

          Like many men with a confused sense of self,
          Mark looked for confidence in body-building.

          Up until the age of 15, he was just a tall kid with a big Afro and
          a bigger mouth, seeking attention wherever he could find it.

          At 15, though, he began lifting weights and hanging with an older crew.
          "I've worked out for years", he explained later
          "For a long time it was my only sense of gratification" .

          Click to view full size image

          He began to go out clubbing, attending
          Studio 54 and, later, the Danceteria.
          And it was clubbing that gave him the connections
          to get his first job - at 17, as a bouncer.

          This would provide cash while he acted with Irving 's repertory
          company and in off-Off-Broadway productions.
          It would also give him his stage name.
          It was traditional for bouncers to
          choose rock-hard monikers for themselves.
          Vin Diesel was as good as any.

          Hoping to make his acting education official, Vin now applied
          for an elite drama course at the State University of New York
           at New Paltz, north of the metropolis, near Poughkeepsie
          (the town immortalised by Gene Hackman's
          feet-picking line in The French Connection).
          He was turned down, the first of many set-backs.

          Instead, he enrolled at Hunter College in New York City ,
          majoring in English, but he wouldn't see out the full course,
          preferring to spend his days acting on stage and on local TV,
          and his nights bouncing at the hip likes of Mars and The Tunnel.

          By the late Eighties, though, times had changed on the door.
          Gangsta culture had sprung up and now it was
          necessary for bouncers to wear bullet-proof vests.
          Where before his peers had been college guys, keen and able to talk art and
          philosophy, now Vin's bouncer-brothers were less intellectually inclined.
          After 9 years on the job, having seen one friend shot and another have his
          throat cut with a razor (he survived, thankfully), Vin would jack it in for good.

          Ever ambitious, he decided that his future lay in Hollywood ,
          so he took off for LA, telling everyone he'd return a star.
          It wouldn't be that easy.

          For a start, he later explained, his years as a bouncer had given him a
          measured confidence that worked against him at interviews and auditions.
          Physically intimidating, focused and intense, he inadvertently gave people the
          impression that, if he didn't get the part, someone was going to get hurt.
          No one reacted well to THAT.

          Beyond this, that question of race was raised again.
          Vin was deemed too black to play Italian, too white to be a homeboy.


          Supporting himself by using his natural charm to sell light-bulbs
          and gardening implements over the phone, he struggled on for a while.
          But it proved to be no good.
          He returned to New York , not a star at all.

          Back home, he lived with his mum and dad, building himself what he
          called "a hobbit hole" on the landing between the first and second floors.
          Realising that he would have launch himself, rather than
          rely on some lucky break, he spent his days immersing
          himself in cinema, studying the work of Clark Gable (he loves
          It Happened One Night), Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier.

          He devoured all the new art movies, all the independents,
          too, gaining new confidence all the while.
          "If a Henry Jaglom film doesn't make you feel confident
          enough to make films", he joked later "I don't know what will".

          Eventually, his mother stepped in with a little common-sense help.
          Presenting him with a copy of Rick Schmidt's book
          `Feature Films At Used Car Prices',
          she set him on the path to self-help.

          With an idea for a short screenplay, he bought a word
          processor, wrote the piece inside 30 days, and took the WP
          back to the shop, it still being within the guaranteed return period.

          On a budget of $3000, Multi-Facial was shot in 3 days.
          In it, Vin starred as, well, as himself, really, playing a
          multi-ethnic actor who, deemed suitable for neither black nor white
          roles, tries a different ethnicity for each audition and fails every time.

          Released in 1994, Multi-Facial was shown the next year
          at the Cannes Film Festival, causing something of a stir.
          Click to view full size image

          On the strength of this, Vin returned to LA and, telemarketing once more,
          managed to raise $50,000 for his next effort, a study in misogyny
          called Strays, once more starring and directed by Vin himself.
          The movie was accepted by and shown at the
          Sundance Film Festival in 1997, but did not sell well.

          Vin returned to New York once more,
          wondering what the hell he had to do to make it.

          Then, out of the blue, a call came
          through, a dream call from Steven Spielberg.

          Spielberg, impressed by a viewing of Multi-Facial, said he was
          writing a part for Vin in his next epic, to be titled Saving Private Ryan.

          Thus 1998 saw Vin employed in Tom Hanks' Band of Brothers
          (alongside fellow newcomers Barry Pepper and Giovanni Ribisi)
          as they crossed war-torn France in search of Matt Damon.
          It was a brief part, Private Adrian Caparzo being the first of the
          platoon to die, but it was an absurdly impressive big feature debut.

          Vin's second major role, too, was Multi-Facial- inspired.

          Director Brad Bird was also taken by Vin's performance
          and had him provide the voice for the titular monster in
          The Iron Giant, an animation based on a story by Poet
          Laureate Ted Hughes, co-starring Jennifer Aniston.

          And it wasn't just Multi-Facial that was
          catching the eye of the industry's prime movers.
          Strays, too, had had an effect.
          Producer Ted Field had seen the movie
          at Sundance and made contact with Vin.
          He was particularly keen on Vin writing a screenplay
          based on his experiences as a bouncer.
          Vin, in turn, was interested in a movie Field was
          developing, a sci-fi thriller called Pitch Black.
          He hounded Field till allowed to audition -
          and thus won the part that would make his name.

          Having been turned down by Joel Schumacher for the part of Robert
          De Niro's transvestite voice coach in Flawless due to his physique
          (as he said himself: "I have obviously spent my life celebrating masculinity" ),
          having turned down a villain-role in Shaft, and having walked off the
          Ben Affleck-starring Reindeer Games due to his part not being enlarged
          as promised, Pitch Black more than made up for the disappointment.

          Here he was Richard B. Riddick, a condemned murderer
          being transported between planets and jails.
          Unfortunately, the space-craft is hit by a meteor storm and
          forced to crash-land on a planet previously colonised, but where
          all the inhabitants mysteriously disappeared during an eclipse.
          Another eclipse is coming and, being as they last for years,
          things are not looking good, especially when the survivors
          realise there are creatures here that live and feed in the dark.

          It was a superior thriller, interesting in that it deliberately blurred the edges
          between good and evil, with none of the characters being obviously likeable.
          And Vin stood out, so much so that the script, which originally had him
          die in the finale, was changed to allow Riddick to appear in a sequel.
          This made all the pain of the shoot worthwhile.
          With Riddick having had his eyes polished and lasered in jail, Vin
          had to wear contact lenses that gave off a weird metallic glow.
          After the first day's shoot, lasting 14 hours, the lenses fused
          to his eyes, forcing the producers to fly in a specialist from a
          town three hours away - the shoot taking place in the Australian
          outback, where Mad Max had been filmed two decades before.

          Despite the Reindeer Games fiasco, Vin now found himself
          starring alongside Ben Affleck (and Ribisi) in Boiler Room.
          Here Ribisi played a young hustler who gets drawn into a shady
          world of illegal brokers, led by Affleck, who's playing much
          the same character as Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenn Ross.
          Diesel shone once more as one of the young stars of the firm.
          Drunk, violent and a bad, bad lad, he's
          nevertheless the only one with any honour.
          A complicated character, as all
          Diesel's characters would henceforth be.

          Pitch Black and Boiler Room were released on the same
          day in 2000, immediately marking Vin as one to watch.
          Critic Roger Ebert noted his potential in his review of Boiler Room,
          saying "Diesel is interesting. Something will come of him".
          How right he was.

          For a start, New Line, noticing the inroads made by Vin and by his
          Private Ryan co-star Barry Pepper with We Were Soldiers, released
          Knockaround Guys, a movie completed in 1999 and then shelved.

          Here several sons of Brooklyn mafia bosses attempt to
          recover a bag of money lost in a small Montana town.
          Vin put in another unusual performance.
          Though a tough guy and a fighter, his Taylor Reese
          also possesses a "wise sadness about human nature".

          Knockaround Guys wasn't a hit, but it didn't need to be.

          By the time New Line released it, Vin had already
          carried his first mega-hit, The Fast And The Furious.

          Here Paul Walker played an undercover cop who infiltrates
          a street gang prone to stealing and racing flash cars at
          improbable speeds, trying to out-do rival gangs.
          Vin was Dominic Toretto, gang leader, who befriends
          Walker , thinking him to be a new kid on the block.
          Packed with super-stunts and concerning love and
          loyalty, it was like Point Break with cool motors.

          And it was a monster.

          Taking $41 million in its first weekend, surpassing
          its $38 million budget immediately, it crushed the
          challenge of Dr Dolittle 2 to take the US Number One spot.

          Director Rob Cohen was quick to praise
          Diesel's input, telling the Toronto Sun:
          "He has the power and physicality but what
          I didn't know, when I cast him in The Fast
          And The Furious
          , (was) how deep he could
          take things and how a kind of charm emerges.

          In the past, action heroes have basically
          been killing machines who can make a joke.

          Vinny, on the other hand, has the courage to be overwhelmed
          and uncertain and sometimes to be almost nakedly needy".

          High praise for a guy who wasn't even in the lead role.

          Now Vin was in the big league, and he knew it.

          Approached to play the lead in another SFX-fest, he went on holiday,
          telling his agents not to call him unless the producers offered $10 million.

          They did, and so he came to star in xXx.

          Here he was Xander Cage, a charismatic extreme sports
          obsessive who sells videos of himself performing
          outrageous stunts - one being where he steals a
          Corvette from a right-wing senator, and drives
          it off a cliff, making his escape by parachute.

          Recruited by government agent Samuel L. Jackson (who he might
          earlier have encountered in Shaft), he's ordered to gather information
          on a nihilist cell possibly plotting the downfall of everything.
          Of course, he hates the government, but loves the danger, and rather
          fancies his boss's girlfriend, played by the excellent Asia Argento.

          Again, he was a hero far more complicated than the norm.

          It was a rough shoot, made rougher by the death of stunt-man Harry
          O'Connor, killed when he hit the pillar of a bridge in Prague .

          But xXx was another major hit and, with his name first above the credits
          for the first time, Diesel was made, his reputation boosted still further
          when xXx sold 5 million DVDs in its first week alone.

          He followed it with A Man Apart where he played a DEA agent who,
          having busted a cartel kingpin, finds his home attacked and his
          beloved wife killed, forcing him into a personal mission of revenge.

          It was mostly action, but the plotline did allow Diesel to
          exhibit grief for his lost spouse, an opportunity he took
          with some aplomb, much as Mel Gibson had in Lethal Weapon.

          As long suspected, his excellent performance in Pitch Black now led
          to a spin-off franchise, beginning with The Chronicles Of Riddick.

          Here he reprised his character - still cynical, still ambiguously heroic -
           now being chased by interstellar bounty hunters and battling undead
          cult the Necromongers on the scorched planet Crematoria.

          Delivering an ongoing explanation of the action would be
          Judi Dench, Diesel having seen her onstage in The Breath
          Of Life and demanded the producers secure her services.

          After this, Diesel would attempt to widen his appeal with
          The Pacifier, an action comedy where he played a former
          Navy SEAL who fails to protect an endangered government
          scientist and tries to redeem himself by looking after the dead geek's kids.

          The long-mooted xXx 2 would earn him $20 million plus a percentage
          of gross, shooting him up there next to Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford.

          Yet it wouldn't just be action, not for a guy this smart.

          After The Pacifier, Diesel would also plan to star beside Nicole Kidman in
          the musical Guys And Dolls, while his production company, the pointedly
          titled One Race, would develop a script from Ross Leckie's book, Hannibal .

          Having spent years suffering professionally due to his multi-ethnic
          background, Diesel now found it a natural advantage.
          He could play Italian, black, even the great general of Carthage .
          Stats proved that his audience came
          from across the cultures - a very rare feat.


          Life was good in all areas ...

          Diesel had been quoted as saying that Xander Cage would be a James Bond
          for the next generation, and then met Menounos at an ET interview,
          just as Bond-star Pierce Brosnan had met his partner, Keely Shaye Smith.

          Incredibly, he was even a hero in real life.

          In 2002, he pulled his motorbike over on Hollywood 's
          highway 101 when he saw a car turn over and catch fire.
          He pulled the kids out from the back seat and managed
          to get the panicking driver to crawl out through the
          passenger side, saving them all from fiery death.

          The Pitch Black and xXx franchises will keep
          Vin Diesel on top well into the 2000s.
          But expect the unexpected, too, from this most unusual of superstars.

          Click to view full size image

          SOURCE:

          http://www.tiscali. co.uk/entertainm ent/film/ biographies/ vin_diesel_ biog.html  
          http://www.vindiese l.hu/vindiesel/ biography. htm  

          RELATED LINK(S):

          http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Generation -Mixed/message/ 988 



          "Man would rather be a little higher than the apes, than a little lower than the angels." -"I am Black & I am White, and know there is no difference. Each one casts a shadow, and all shadows are dark." -Walter White:
           
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