Who is Mike Vitar?
A former child actor with nearly 10 acting credits to his name, Mike Vitar is probably still known best for his portrayal of Benjamin Franklin ‘Benny the Jet’ Rodriguez, in the family comedy-drama “The Sandlot”. After he retired from acting, people wondered what happened, and why Mike Vitar didn’t continue with his acting career.
If you’re one of those interested to know more about his life, his new career, and where this retired actor is now, let us tell you the naked truth about Mike Vitar.
Early life, family, and education
Born Michael Anthony Vitar under the zodiac sign of Sagittarius on 21 December 1978, in Los Angeles, California USA, he holds American nationality, and comes from a family of Latin descent. Mike was raised by his parents about whom nothing is known, alongside his two siblings, Pablo and Elizabeth – Pablo was also an actor.
Mike hadn’t dreamed of becoming an actor, however, after being spotted by a casting manager who invited him to come to an audition, he landed his first role, and Mike’s acting career began.
When it comes to his educational background, he attended St. Francis High School in La Cañada, California, and upon matriculating in 1997, he didn’t go to college, but began serving for Gerber Ambulance in Torrance as an emergency medical technician (EMT).
Mike made his acting debut playing Arturo in the 1991 movie “Diplomatic Immunity”. Later that year, he was seen in “Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty For Boys”, making his first TV series appearance as Antony Gambuzza in the episode of the series “Brooklyn Bridge”.
Two years later, Mike was cast to play a Boy in the thriller “Sunset Grill”, also starring Lori Singer, Stacy Keach and Peter Weller, which followed the story of a disgraced ex-police officer who is now a private detective.
Later in 1993, Mike was cast to play his most recognizable role as Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez in “The Sandlot”, which earned him and the rest of the cast an award for Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture.
The movie followed the story of a boy Scotty, who moves with his mom and step-father to a new neighborhood, and has one wish – to learn to play baseball. The character played by Mike Viter, Benny, is known for his skills, and takes Scotty under his wing. It was a story about friendship, adventures, and baseball, which the audience adored. Mike’s co-stars were Tom Guiry, Art LaFleur, Patrick Renna and Chauncey Leopardi, and the movie was written and directed by David Mickey Evans.
In the following year, Mike played Luis in the family comedy-drama “D2: The Mighty Ducks”, also starring Emilio Estevez, Michael Tucker and Kathryn Erbe, which although had no nomination was one of the favorite early ’90s movies.
Mike followed with his guest role as a Teenager in an episode of the popular crime drama series “NYPD Blue” in 1996, and later that year, reprised his role as Luis in the sequel “D3: The Mighty Ducks”, which was nominated for two Stinkers Bad Movie Awards for Worst Sequel and The Sequel Nobody Was Clamoring For.
Mike’s last role before he quit his acting career was his portrayal of Carlo Lunes in an episode of the series “Chicago Hope” in 1997.
How he became a firefighter
As mentioned, after his high-school graduation Mike served as an EMT, and since 2002, he’s been a firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department. In 2003, Mike’s name made the headlines after he was honored for rescuing his fellow firefighters from the house that was set on fire on New Year’s Eve. Reportedly, two of his colleagues were severely burnt when the roof of the house collapsed on them. Mike and the rest of his department responded quickly, so the two firefighters made it out alive.
Mike Vitar: The Former American Actor and a Firefighterhttps://t.co/ZAIKDFkvvx
— Celeb Critics (@celeb_critics) March 2, 2023
Nearly 15 years later, Mike’s name was again in the spotlight, after it was revealed that he was one of the three men who assaulted 22-year-old Samuel Chang. Allegedly, Mike and two of his neighbors, one of them also a firefighter, suspected that Samuel was giving drug-laced candy to trick-or-treaters in Mike’s neighborhood.
Mike and his friends chased Samuel Chang until they caught him, Mike and another firefighter assisted in pinning Samuel to the ground, while Mike’s neighbor, later identified as Eric Carpenter, choked him until he passed out.
Samuel was hospitalized for many weeks after they did CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until rescuers came. Mike and his co-defendants were charged with felony assault – Mike was allowed to plead not guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor battery, and was suspended without pay for six months, against the wishes of the Chang family. He has since been reinstated to full duty.
Love life and relationships
Although he’s been the subject of various rumors about his romantic life it is widely known that since 2006 he’s been married to Kimberly ‘Kim’ Vitar, and they have three children together – Kim gave birth to their first son Elias on 12 March 2007, second son Wesley was born on 30 April 2009, and their youngest child daughter Norah, was born on 31 January 2013.
As of June 2023, the family of five resides in their home in Los Angeles, California.
Age, height, and net worth
Mike is 44 years old, and judging by comments made by his fans, he’s still good-looking. The character he played in “The Sandlot”, Benny, was the kind of boy who was a role model for other boys, and all the girls wanted to be with him – it seems that Mike was the right person for that role.
If you have wondered how tall Mike is, he stands at a height of 6ft (1.84m) and weighs approximately 180lbs (82kgs). Mike takes care of his body by working out at the gym four to five times per week, and he’s also known for his extreme jogging sessions, and participation in several marathons.
According to sources, the average Los Angeles Fire Department salary ranges from $70,000 to $90,000 per year. Mike’s acting career certainly contributed to his bank account. As of June 2023, his net worth has been estimated at over $300,000.