Actor named year's top action star

Vin Diesel will receive CinemaCon’s Action Star of the Year Award on Thursday.

“The Fast and the Furious” film series helped make Diesel an action star; the next installment, Universal Pictures’ “Fast Five,” is out April 29. Diesel also starred in “XXX,” “The Pacifier” and the “Chronicles of Riddick” pics. Another “Riddick” film and a sequel to “XXX” are in the works.

Diesel got his break when Steven Spielberg saw his 1995 short, “Multi-Facial,” which Diesel wrote, directed and starred in, and liked Diesel so much that he created a role for him in 1998′s “Saving Private Ryan.”

CinemaCon runs through Thursday at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

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