Who is Vinnie Jones?
Vincent Peter Jones is a British actor and former pro football player. He played soccer for over a decade as midfielder for different professional football clubs including Chelsea, Wimbledon and Leeds United. He played more than 200 games for Wimbledon including winning the 1988 FA Cup Final. He also played international football as a Wales national, being qualified for that nationality via his maternal grandfather. His aggressive attitude on the field earned him an image of a “hard man” and such demeanour probably led him to land up and thrive in the world of acting, mostly portraying roles of ruffians and fiery lawbreakers. He forayed into acting in the late 1990s. His debut role was that of Big Chris in the British comedy-thriller, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’. It earned him several awards and paved way for other roles in both television and films. Some of his notable films are ‘She’s the Man’, ‘The Riddle’, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ and ‘Absolution’. His TV performances include working in different series like ‘The Cape’, ‘Arrow’, ‘Galavant’ and ‘Deception’.
Childhood & Early Life
Jones was born on January 5, 1965 in Watford, Hertfordshire, England to Peter Jones and Glenda Harris. His father was a gamekeeper.
He studied in north England at Dollis Junior School in Mill Hill where he became close to his Headteacher Sir Derek Heasman, who was conferred OBE. Jones would often visit the school, even after achieving fame, to meet Heasman.
After his family shifted to Hertfordshire, he studied at Chancellor's School in Brookmans Park.
He started playing football as a young boy that would see him playing for Bedmond football club from 1975 to 1977.
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Acting & Other Pursuits
Jones endeavoured into acting in films, making his debut with the British crime-comedy flick ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ that released on August 28, 1998. In the film, he essayed the role of Big Chris, a mob enforcer, proved successful both critically and commercially thus garnering him worldwide recognition and paving his way for other villainous and fiery roles.
He published his autobiography ‘Vinnie: The Autobiography’ in 1998 and republished it with added information in 1999. He was named “Man of the Year” by GQ Magazine in 1998.
While doing several other films like ‘Snatch’ (2000), Swordfish (2001) and EuroTrip (2004), Jones forayed into TV playing as himself in the British sitcom ‘Extras’ in 2005. He then featured in many other TV series over the years including ‘The Cape’ (2011), ‘Mind Games’ (2014), and ‘Galavant’ (2015-16).
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He featured in Celebrity Big Brother 7, a British reality TV series where he ended up at the third place. He will feature as Gunter Gastafsen in the upcoming American TV crime procedural drama ‘Deception’ in its 2017-18 season.
One of his notable film roles was that of Cain Marko/Juggernaut, a fictional super villain from the superhero film ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, based on Marvel Comics introduced X-Men superhero team.
‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ released in May 2006 starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry among others and emerged as the seventh highest grossing film of that year. Till present, it is the fourth highest grossing film in the series.
He gave voice over as Rommel in the American-British family comedy flick ‘Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties’ (2006) and as Freddie The Dog in the American 3D computer-animated comedy flick ‘Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted’ (2012).
The action-thriller flick ‘Escape Plan’ starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, released in October 2013, saw Jones essaying the sadistic and violent character of Drake.
Other films of Jones include ‘She's the Man’ (2006) ‘Fractured’ (2013), ‘Redirected’ (2014) and ‘The Midnight Man’ (2016) to mention a few.
His upcoming films include ‘Madness in the Method’ and ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’.
Personal Life & Legacy
On June 25, 1994, he married Tanya Terry in Watford. His son serves the British Army in the Life Guards.
He candidly supports the Conservative Party.
His “hard man” image followed him off the field as well, putting him on the wrong side of law more than once including being convicted of criminal damage and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in June 1998 for a November 1997 incident against a neighbour.
It came to light in November 2013 that he and his wife were undergoing treatment for skin cancer. They were cured of the illness sometime between 2014 and 2015.