He is best known for his portrayals of Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious film series and Richard B. Riddick in The Chronicles of
Riddick trilogy. He also was a producer on sequels in both franchises.
Diesel has also starred in films such as xXx (2002) and Find Me Guilty (2006). His voice acting work includes The Iron Giant (1999), the video
game spin-offs from The Chronicles of Riddick franchise, and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). He wrote, directed, produced,
and starred in a short film titled Multi-Facial and the feature-length drama film Strays. He is the founder of the production companies
One Race Films, Racetrack Records, and Tigon Studios.
Diesel was born in Alameda County, California, along with his twin brother, Paul. His mother, Delora Sherleen
(Sinclair) Vincent, is an astrologer Diesel has stated that he is “of ambiguous ethnicity”.His mother’s background includes
English, German, and Scottish He has never met his biological father, and has stated that “all I know from my mother is that
I have connections to many different culturesDiesel has self-identified as “definitely a person of colour”,and has stated that
his parents’ relationship would have been illegal in some parts of the United States due to anti-miscegenation laws He was raised
in New York City by his Caucasian mother and African-American stepfather, Irving H. Vincent, an acting
instructor and theater manager.
Diesel made his stage debut at age seven when he appeared in the children’s play Dinosaur Door, written by Barbara Garson.
The play was produced at Theater for the New City in New York’s Greenwich Village. His involvement in the play came about when he, his brother, and
some friends had broken into the Theater for the New City’s space on Jane Street with the intent to vandalize it.
They were confronted by the theater’s artistic director, Crystal Field, who offered them roles in the upcoming show instead of calling the police.
Diesel remained involved with the theater throughout adolescence, going on to attend the city’s Hunter College,
where his creative writing studies led him to begin screenwriting. He has identified himself as a “multi-faceted” actoras a result
of early difficulties finding roles due to his mixed heritage
Diesel at a premiere for Fast & Furious in 2009
Diesel’s first film role was a brief uncredited appearance in Awakenings (1990). He then wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the short film
Multi-Facial (1994), a short semi-autobiographical film which follows a struggling actor stuck in the audition process. The film was selected for
screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival. He made his first feature-length film, Strays (1997), an urban drama in which he played a
gang leader whose love for a woman inspires him to try to change his ways. Written, directed, and produced by Diesel, the film was selected for
competition at the 1997 Sundance Festival, leading to an MTV deal to turn it into a series. He was then cast in Steven Spielberg’s 1998 Oscar-winning
film Saving Private Ryan on the poignancy of his performance in Multi-Facial. In 1999, he provided the voice of the title character in the animated film
The Iron Giant.
Fast Five cast with Natalie Morales for NBC’s Today.
Diesel had a major role in the drama thriller Boiler Room (2000) appearing alongside Giovanni Ribisi and Ben Affleck. He got his breakthrough leading
role as the anti-hero Riddick in the science-fiction film Pitch Black later that year. Diesel attained action hero stardom with two box office hits: the street
racing action film The Fast and the Furious (2001), and the action thriller xXx (2002). In 2004, Diesel reprised his role as Riddick in The Chronicles of
Riddick, which was a box office failure considering the large budget. He also voiced the character in two spin-off video games. In 2005, he played a
lighthearted role in the comedy film The Pacifier, which became a box office success.
In 2006, he chose a dramatic role playing real-life mobster Jack DiNorscio in Find Me Guilty. Although he received critical acclaim for his
performance, the film did poorly at the box office.Later that year, Diesel made a cameo appearance in The Fast and the Furious:
Tokyo Drift, reprising his role from The Fast and the Furious.
In 2007, Diesel was set to produce and star as Agent 47 in the film adaptation of the video game Hitman, but eventually pulled back and served
as executive producer on the film instead. In 2008, he starred in the science-fiction action thriller Babylon A.D.. Diesel returned to the
The Fast and the Furious series, alongside all the actors from the original film, in Fast & Furious, which was released in April 2009.
Diesel reprised his role as Dominic Toretto in the fifth, sixth and seventh installments in The Fast and the Furious franchise, Fast Five (2011),
Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and Furious 7 (2015). He reprised his role as Riddick in the third film of the Riddick series, simply titled Riddick (2013).
In August 2013, Diesel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.He voiced Groot in the 2014 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians
of the GalaxyDiesel is the star of The Last Witch Hunter He is also set to appear in an updated version of Kojak In addition, Diesel is stated to
return to the starring role in a third xXx movie; as well as reprise his role as Dominic Toretto in Fast & Furious 8, which is scheduled to be released
on April 14, 2017and as the role of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017). Over the course of several years, Diesel has discussed playing two
within the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Diesel is noted for his recognizably deep voice; he has said that his voice broke at around age 15, giving him a mature sounding voice on the telephon
Around 2001, he dated his Fast and the Furious co-star, Michelle Rodriguez.
Diesel and his girlfriend, Mexican model Paloma Jimenez, have three children: daughter Hania Riley (born April 2008),son Vincent Sinclair (born 2010)
and daughter Pauline, whose undated arrival he announced in March 2015. She is named in honor of his friend and Fast & Furious franchise co-star,
Paul Walker, who died in November 2013He is also the godfather of Walker’s daughter, Meadow Rain Walker. His daughter Hania has an orange
belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.
Diesel said in 2006 that he prefers to maintain his privacy regarding his personal life, stating: “I’m not gonna put it out there on a magazine cover like some other actors … I come from the Harrison Ford, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino code of silence.” He has expressed his love for the Dominican Republic, and how he relates to its multicultural facets. He is acquainted with its former president, Leonel Fernández, and appeared in one of Fernández’s earlier campaign ads. Los Bandoleros, a short film directed by Diesel, was filmed in the Dominican Republic.
Diesel has played Dungeons & Dragons for over 20 years and wrote the foreword for the commemorative book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. In the 30th anniversary issue of Dragon magazine, it was revealed that Diesel had a fake tattoo of his character’s name, Melkor, on his stomach while filming xXx.