Who is Mike Vitar?
American firefighter and former actor Michael Anthony ‘Mike’ Vitar was born in Los Angeles, California USA, on 21 December 1978, making Sagittarius his zodiac sign. He appeared in three TV series and six movies prior to retiring from acting, and is perhaps still known best for playing the main character Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez in the 1993 family comedy “The Sandlot”, which David Mickey Evans wrote and directed, and which also starred Art LaFleur and Tom Guiry. It follows members of a baseball team who’ve taken the new kid in town under their wing, and the movie won a Young Artist Award for Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture.
Mike Vitar – 37
"Benny the Jet" – The Sandlot
LA Firefighter since 02. Plead not guilty to alleged assault in Mar pic.twitter.com/KvcR5k5G1o
— Where Are They Now? (@WATNCelebrity) June 26, 2016
Education and early life
Mike was raised alongside his older brother Pablo and sister Elizabeth, by their parents who prefer to stay away from media, thus not a lot about them has been disclosed; Pablo was also an actor prior to retiring and joining the Los Angeles Police Department, but died from colon cancer on 29 January 2008.
Mike fell in love with acting while attending a local elementary school, and was 12 when he made his debut film appearance, playing Arturo in the 1991 action thriller “Diplomatic Immunity”, directed by Peter Maris, and which starred Bruce Boxleitner, Billy Drago and Tom Bresnahan. It follows Marine Cole Hickel who’s trying to catch his daughter’s killer.
Mike enrolled at St. Francis High School in 1993, and simultaneously worked on his way up in the film industry, so after matriculating in 1997, he didn’t enroll at college.
Roles in movies
Mike appeared in the 1991 short family drama “Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty For Boys”, and the year 1993 saw him play Boy in the thriller “Sunset Grill”, directed by Kevin Connor, and which starred Peter Walker, Lori Singer and Stacy Keach. It follows a former police officer who’s now working as a private investigator.
In 1994, Mike was cast to play Luis in the popular family comedy “D2: The Mighty Ducks”, which Sam Weisman directed, and which starred Michael Tucker, Kathryn Erbe and Emilio Estevez. It follows an ice hockey team as they’re trying to win the Junior Goodwill Games.
Mike’s only other film role was portraying Luis once again in the 1996 action comedy “D3: The Mighty Ducks”, which Robert Lieberman directed, and which starred David Selby, Jeffrey Nordling and Emilio Estevez. It follows a group of ice hockey players who’ve received scholarships to a preparatory school; the film was nominated for two awards.
Roles in TV series
Mike’s debut TV series role was playing Anthony Gambuzza in the 1991 episode “Boys of Summer” of the drama “Brooklyn Bridge”, created by Gary David Goldberg, and which starred Marion Ross, Danny Gerard and Louis Zorich. It follows the lives of 14 years old Alan Silver, his parents George and Phyllis, brother Nate and grandparents Sophie and Jules; the series aired from 1991 through 1993 and won 13 of its 51 award nominations.
In 1996, Mike played Teenager in the episode “Girl Talk” of the crime mystery “NYPD Blue”, which starred Gordon Clapp, Dennis Franz and Jimmy Smits, and was created by David Milch and Steven Bochco. The series aired from 1993 through 2005, follows the detectives working for New York City Police Department, and won 108 of its 311 award nominations.
Mike’s only other TV series role was playing Carlo Lunes in the 1997 episode “Mother, May I?” of the mystery thriller “Chicago Hope”, which starred Mandy Patinkin, Adam Arkin and Hector Elizondo, and was created by David E. Kelley. The series aired from 1994 through 2000, follows the people working at a Chicago hospital, and won 31 of its 139 award nominations.
Awards and nominations
Mike won only a single award: the above mentioned 1994 Young Artist Award for Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture, for his and his colleagues’ performance in “The Sandlot”.
Career after acting
In 1996, Mike began working as an emergency medical technician (EMT) at Gerber Ambulance, and he began working as a firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department in 2002, a job which he’s been holding to this day.
Mike and two other firefighters wrongfully accused 22 years old Samuel Chang of handing out drug-laced candy on 31 October 2015; he was actually only giving candy to trick-or-treat children, but the firefighters chased Samuel down and held him in a chokehold, while he then ended up spending weeks at a hospital. The three men were charged with felony assault, Mike’s charge was reduced to misdemeanor battery, but he had to work without pay for half a year.
Love life and relationships
Mike rarely speaks about his love life in public, but his fans have spotted him spending time with his wife and children on many occasions.
He’s been married to non-celebrity American Kim Vitar since 27 January 2007, while it’s believed that they had dated for two years prior to exchanging vows; Kim’s today working as a photographer.
Their first son Eli was born on 12 March 2007, and Kim gave birth to their second son Wesley on 30 April 2009; on 31 January 2013, they welcomed their daughter Norah Paige.
Mike’s yet to speak of the women whom he had perhaps been with prior to meeting Kim, he’s married to Kim Vitar as of April 2023, and they have three children together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
While shooting for a movie scene in which he was being chased, Mike was bitten by a dog.
He and his brother Pablo P. Vitar both appeared in the movie “The Sandlot”, playing the same character but at a different age.
Mike has an Instagram account, but isn’t really active on the social media network as he’s posted only three pictures; he’s nevertheless followed by close to 3,000 people.
He works out at the gym on a daily basis, mostly because it’s important for a firefighter to stay in shape; he was passionate about sports during his high school years, and played both baseball and basketball for the school teams.
Mike likes to listen to rock ‘n’ roll music the most, and his favorite band is The Beatles.
Some of his favorite actors include Robert Downey Jr, Jim Carrey and Tom Hanks, and a couple of Mike’s favorite films are “Sherlock Holmes”, “Bruce Almighty” and “Cast Away”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Mike’s age is 44. His hair and eyes are brown, he’s 6ft (1.84m) tall and weighs around 195lbs (88kgs).
Mike’s net worth’s been estimated at over $300,000 as of April 2023.