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Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair Vincent in New York City, New York on the July 18, 1967) is an American actor, producer, writer, and director who plays Riddick in the sci-fi franchise. "Pitch Black" is recognized as Diesel's acting breakthrough. Diesel's first film role was an uncredited appearance in the 1990 film "Awakenings". He then produced, directed, and starred in the 1994 short film "Multi-Facial", a short semi-autobiographical film which follows a struggling actor stuck in the audition process, because he is regarded as either "too black" or "too white", or not black or white enough. He made his first feature-length film, 1997's "Strays", an urban drama in which he was self-cast as a gang boss 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". He earned critical acclaim for voice work as the title character in the animation film "The Iron Giant" (1999). He followed it up with a major role in "Boiler Room" (2000).
He became known in the early 2000s, appearing in several successful Hollywood films, including "The Fast and the Furious" and "xXx". He founded the production companies One Race Films, Tigon Studios and Racetrack Records. In 2004, he got together with David Twohy again for a second Riddick movie, "The Chronicles of Riddick". In 2005 he played a lighthearted role in the comedy film "The Pacifier", a surprise 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. In 2007, he 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.. He returned to the The Fast and The Furious series, alongside all the actors from the original 2001 film, in Fast & Furious, which released in April 2009. In 2011, he once again returned, for the fifth film in the series, titled Fast Five, and then the 6th movie in the series Furious 6. The third Riddick sequel, "Riddick" was released in 2013 and he is planning on two sequels.