Ving Rhames Biography

Ving Rhames is a well-known African-American actor. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and other facts about his life.

Quick Facts

Birthday: May 12, 1959

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors Black Actors

Age: 61 Years, 61 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Taurus

Born in: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Deborah Reed (m. 2000), Valerie Scott (m. 1994–1999)

father: Ernest Rhames

mother: Reather

children: Freedom Rhames, Reign Beau Rhames

City: New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers, African-American From New Yorkers

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Ving Rhames is a well-known African-American actor. Known for his distinctive baritone and bald head, this strikingly featured and muscular actor discovered his passion for acting at a young age. He studied acting and ventured into a successful acting career. In his career, Rhames not only did films, but worked in theatre and television as well. With his career spanning over three decades, the actor has made a major contribution to the American cinema through his tough and frightening characters. Many of the roles Rhames has played have been the prototypes of real-life criminals and thugs who were commonplace in the urban environment where he spent his childhood and early days. This Golden Globe Award-winning actor has also lent his voice to a few cartoon characters. This celebrated film artiste has been honored several times. Apart from the Golden Globes, the star has also been honored by The National Association of Theatre Owners. The Cinemania website has defined the star as a ‘character player of screen and stage who is known to embody credible and complex heavies as well as flawed men of authority’.

Childhood & Early Life
  • Ving Rhames first did a television film ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain’ in 1984. Later in the same year, he appeared on Broadway where he played a role in a play named ‘The Winter Boys’.
  • He then started working in television films and did promising roles on soap operas like ‘Guiding Light’, ‘Another World’ and ‘Miami Vice’.
  • In 1986, he moved to the big screen and was cast as ‘Jack’ in ‘Native Son’. After a few years, in 1989, he appeared in ‘Brian de Palma Vietnam War saga Casualties of War’ and made a gradual rise afterward.
  • In 1993, Rhames worked with Matt Dillon in ‘The Saint of Fort Washington’. The next year, in 1994, the star got considerable acclaim for his role as ‘Marsellus Wallace’ in ‘Pulp Fiction’. The Quentin Tarantino movie became a blockbuster.
  • He played the role of the ace computer hacker Luther Stickell in ‘Mission: Impossible’ in 1996. In this film, he was cast alongside superstar Tom Cruise. The same year he also did ‘Striptease’, playing the role of a wisecracking bodyguard.
  • In 1997, he starred in ‘Con Air’, portraying the role of Nathan 'Diamond Dog' Jones. He also played the lead role in ‘Don King: Only in America’ the same year.
  • He made appearances in two movies, ‘Entrapment’ and ‘Bringing Out the Dead’ in 1999.
  • *In 2000, he reprised the role of Luther Stickell in ‘Mission: Impossible II’. The same year, he played Johnnie Cochran in the flick ‘American Tragedy’.
  • Ving Rhames played a burly cop in ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and fought cannibal zombie hordes in 2004.
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  • In 2005, he was given a lead role in a new Kojak series which was aired on ITV4 in the UK and on the USA Network cable channel in America.
  • In 2006, the imposing star again appeared in the third sequel of ‘Mission Impossible.’
  • Ving Rhames’ extraordinary comedy skills were seen in ‘I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry’ in 2007. In this comedy film, the actor played the role of a homosexual firefighter.
  • In 2009, Rhames again flexed his comedy muscles in ‘The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard’. The following year, he changed genres and did a horror movie in Alexandre Aja's remake ‘Piranha 3D’.
  • In 2011, he was cast in ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ for a cameo appearance.
  • In 2015, he played a major role in the Mission Impossible series’ fifth installment, ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’. The same year, he did a series of advertisements for Arby's and The ADT Corporation.
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Major Works
  • Ving Rhames performed in the 1997 TV movie ‘Don King: Only in America’ where he portrayed the main role of Don King. The movie, which tells the story of how King became a famous fight promoter and boxing manager, was a critical success.
  • In addition to the big screen, Rhames also played major roles on the small screen. He did a medical series ‘ER’ in which he appeared as Peter Benton's brother-in-law, a role he played for three seasons.
  • In 2008, Rhames portrayed the character of an ex-con in ‘Saving God’. This film highlights the story of a con who after his release from the prison changes completely and takes over his father's old church.
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  • He also gave his contribution to ‘Phantom Punch’ – a biopic of the boxer Sonny Liston.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 1998, Ving Rhames received the ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film’ for ‘Don King: Only in America’.
  • He won “Special Mention” appreciation at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2001.
  • The actor was also paid tribute to by The National Association of Theatre Owners.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • In the year 1994, Rhames married a woman named Valerie Scott. On February 9, 1999, Rhames and Scott divorced.
  • The following year, in 2000, the star married Deborah Reed. The couple has a son and a daughter. They also have a daughter Tiffany who was born from Reed's previous marriage.
Net Worth
  • Ving Rhames has a net worth of $16 million.
  • One of Rhames’ college roommates Stanley Tucci suggested that the actor shorten his name to ‘Ving’.
  • Rhames is the only actor besides Tom Cruise to work in the five sequels of ‘Mission: Impossible.’
  • During 1998 Golden Globes ceremony, Rhames handed over his Best Actor award to his fellow nominee Jack Lemmon. The ‘Don King: Only in America’ star’s gesture brought him a standing ovation.
  • Rhames is also one of the narrators for The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
  • The actor grew up in the same neighborhood with gangsters and drug kings.
  • During the filming of ‘The Saint of Fort Washington’, Rhames was introduced to a homeless man by Matt Dillon. This stranger turned out to be the actor’s long-estranged older brother who had lost contact with the family several years ago. After that, Rhames invited his big brother to his apartment, got him a job and later on, also brought a home for him.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

  (Crime, Drama)

2. Bound by Honor (1993)

  (Crime, Drama)

3. Go Tell It on the Mountain (1984)


4. Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

  (Adventure, Thriller, Action)

5. Rosewood (1997)

  (History, Action, Drama)

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

  (Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure)

7. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)

  (Thriller, Adventure, Action)

8. Jacob's Ladder (1990)

  (Drama, Horror, Mystery)


Golden Globe Awards
1998 Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Don King: Only in America (1997)

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