Who is Taimak?
Taimak Guarriello was born on 27 June 1964, in Los Angeles, California, USA, of African-American and Italian descent He is an actor, stuntman, and martial artist, probably still best known for his inaugural leading role in the film “The Last Dragon”, which elevated him to fame. He’s also appeared in other acting projects, and is very active within the martial arts scene.
The Net Worth of Taimak
As of early-2020, Taimak’s net worth is estimated to be over $400,000, earned through success in his various endeavors which involve all of his passions. His love for martial arts has led him to numerous opportunities, including films and work with big sports organizations.
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He’s also been involved in various business ventures such as opening a gym.
Early Life and Martial Arts
Taimak grew up in Los Angeles, and at a young age developed a love for martial arts and began practicing various styles as he grew older. One of the earliest he learned was Goju Ryu, a form of Karate popularized in Okinawa, Japan which is typified by its soft and hard techniques. This form of karate employs a mix of closed fist (hard) and open fist (soft) attacks, using both circular and linear movements for fighting.
He earned a black belt in the arts but it was not enough for him – inspired by Bruce Lee and his pursuit of learning various martial arts, Taimak embarked on a similar path learning Jeet Kune Do, and in doing so learned Bruce Lee’s first martial art, Wing Chun. The Chinese style is a form of self-defense that employs strong legs and quick arm movements to defend against enemies. The style was popularized by Ip Man and his most popular student Bruce Lee. Over the years, he continued to earn black belts in various disciplines, including Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Jujutsu, and Hapkido.
The Last Dragon – Acting Breakthrough
Taimak’s skills and passion didn’t go unnoticed, leading him to be eventually cast in the lead role in “The Last Dragon”, a film inspired by the life of Bruce Lee. The film also stars Vanity, Faith Prince, Julius J. Carrry III, and Chris Murney. It tells the story of a man wanting to become a great martial artist, idolizing Bruce Lee who once pursued a mystical glow that meant the pinnacle of martial arts.
The film was a success at the box office despite mixed reviews. It also featured one of the first efforts of strong character development for a black hero, and his character Leroy would become a pop icon, referenced for years to come.
More acting opportunities followed, though it was not as significant as his first endeavor. He made a guest appearance in the show “A Different World” in which he played a date rapist, and afterwards starred in the drama film “The White Girl” released in 1990. He then made an appearance in the erotic series “Red Shoe Diaries” which was distributed by Playboy, discussing various stories involving the sexual awakening of a girl.
Later Acting Career and Other Endeavors
Taimak’s next notable project would be appearances in the show “Beverly Hills, 90210”, playing the role of the bartender.
— Taimak (@iamtaimak) March 23, 2019
The show is the originator of the 90210 franchise, following the lives of twin siblings who must adjust to a new life in Beverly Hills with new friends and potential romantic partners. The series tackled various sensitive topics for its time, such as homophobia, AIDS< sex, date rape, teenage pregnancy, suicide, domestic violence, and many more.
After working on various independent projects, he made a guest appearance in “Third Watch”, a crime series that aired on NBC, following characters who are members of either the New York City Police Department (NYPD) or the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). Other projects included appearances in music videos, such as a few for Debbie Allen and Janet Jackson.
His expertise in martial arts and connections in the entertainment industry led him to train other celebrities, one of his most notable clients being Madonna. In 2002, wanting to expand his reach, he created his own gym – Fitness Concepts – in Manhattan.
Taimak also endeavored to create a DVD fitness series, “Taimak FIT (Find Inner Transformation”. He was then invited to become an officiator of a few fights during the early years of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), participating in “UFC 6” and “UFC 7”. In the mid-2000s, he ventured into an interest in wrestling, appearing in the American professional wrestling promotion Ring of Honor (ROH), alongside Jimmy Yang who is also known for his time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
For his work and achievements, he was rewarded during the Urban Action Showcase & Expo held at HBO, getting the Fists of Legend Legacy Award, which he shared alongside Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who is also known for his contributions to film and martial arts. In 2016, he released his first book, an autobiography called “Taimak, The Last Dragon”.
His latest project is a return to film, as he starred in a similar project to “The Last Dragon”, the film “Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece” released in 2018, and directed by Sean Stone who is known for his acting work, being the son of film director Oliver Stone.
Taimak has never shown any signs of being in a romantic relationship nor has he talked publicly about these endeavors. Many of his fans assume that he is married with a family, but it has never been confirmed. In recent years, he’s been very active promoting his work on social media, and promoting various advocacies. He is a fan of music of decades ago, often recommending them to his fans. He is also a big lover of art, often going to various art exhibits, and poetry readings. He’s participated in marathons during his lifetime too, and competed in kickboxing professionally.