Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Vin Diesel - Biography

The Fast and Furious star was born in 1967

Vin Diesel smiling for a red carpet photo wearing sunglasses
Updated: 27 July 2023
Share this:

Early life

Vin Diesel was born Mark Sinclair in Alameda County, California on July 18, 1967. Raised in New York's trendy Greenwich Village district by his astrologer-psychiatrist mother Delora, and drama teacher step-father Irving. His biological father exited the scene while Delora was still pregnant with Vin and his twin brother Paul. 

Career beginnings

The future Hollywood star got his unlikely start as a child actor through Manhattan's Theatre for the New City after its artistic director Crystal Field caught him and a group of friends vandalizing the theatre's props when he was just seven. Crystal encouraged the youngsters to take to the stage rather than beat up the furnishings with a bribe of $20 a week, and in so doing put the now globally famous actionman on the road to stardom. 

Vin went on to study Creative Writing at New York's Hunter College, where he polished up his screenwriting skills before dropping out to concentrate on an acting career. He supplemented his studies by working as a bouncer at trendy New York nightclubs, and this was where he first began using his stage name. Today he also credits this dual life as nightclub doorman and struggling theatre actor for helping develop his on-screen combination of intimidation and compassion. 

Breakout roles

Vin's first big break came through a 20-minute short called Multi-Facial, which he produced, directed and starred in. The short feature about an actor of mixed ethnic heritage which was based on his own experiences with casting directors, was screened at Cannes in 1995. Vin went on to produce and star in his own feature-length film Strays, but it was Multi-Facial which proved to be his Hollywood calling card. 

After seeing the it, Steven Spielberg cast him as tough Italian New Yorker Private Caparzo in 1998's Saving Private Ryan. Later Vin lent his gruff vocals to the title character in animated kiddies piece The Iron Giant, before he returned to his onscreen form in the futuristic action-thriller Pitch Black. The latter scored a surprise hit and transformed Vin into a cult sensation. 

Suddenly Vin's brand of bad-boy cool charisma was hugely in demand, and the success of his later roles in the Fast and Furious movies only greatened this popular reputation. Vin has since also found star roles in XXX, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

Personal life

Vin Diesel has always been very private about his personal life. However, it is known that that since 2007 he has been in a relationship with Paloma Jimenez, a Mexican model. They have three children: two daughters, Hania, born in April 2008, and Pauline, born in March 2015, and one son, Vincent, who was born in 2010.

More Profiles

See more