Name at birth: Mark Vincent
Vin Diesel is the muscular action star who co-starred with the late Paul Walker in the long-running The Fast and the Furious film series. Vin Diesel didn't start as an action hero: he wrote, directed and starred in the short film Multi-Facial (1995) and the indie feature Strays (1997), which was shown at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. Steven Spielberg took notice and cast him as a WWII dogface in Saving Private Ryan (1998, with Tom Hanks), and the following year Diesel was the voice of The Iron Giant. He also appeared in the sci-fi thriller Pitch Black (2000) and in The Boiler Room (2000, with Ben Affleck). But Vin Diesel really made his name co-starring with Paul Walker in the car-chase summer flick The Fast and the Furious in 2001, with Diesel as the charismatic leader of a gang of car thieves. Diesel skipped the sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) but then returned for the sequels The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011, with Dwayne Johnson) and Fast and Furious 6 (2013). Diesel moved into action-hero territory with XXX, a 2002 secret-agent flick that co-starred Samuel L. Jackson. Vin Diesel's other films include A Man Apart (2003), The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), The Pacifier (2005), Find Me Guilty (2006) and Riddick (2013).
Diesel did not appear in the first two sequels to The Fast and the Furious: 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). Walker appeared in the 2003 film, but not in Tokyo Drift.