Vincent is a name with a complex image; after being quietly used for centuries, it is suddenly seeming stylish, along wih other V names. Even the nickname Vince has been given a reprieve via actor Vince Vaughn and country singer Vince Gill. Vin Diesel was born with the more prosaic name Mark Vincent.
Vincent was popular during the Middle Ages, especially among the French, who brought it to England. There are a number of St. Vincents, most famous of whom is St. Vincent de Paul, a seventeenth century French priest who organized societies of laymen to help the poor.
Vincent has always been a favorite of Roman Catholic families, particularly in the Italian community. Its most notable bearer was Vincent Van Gogh, but there have also been philanthropist Vincent Astor, who gave it a patrician edge and actors Vincent Price and Vincent D'Onofrio.
Vincent/Vince/Vinny has appeared recently on screen as the central characters of "My Cousin Vinny" and "Entourage." John Travolta had two key Vin-roles, as Vinnie Barbarino in the TV series that launched him, "Welcome Back, Kotter," and as Vincent Vega in "Pulp Fiction." Vincent was the gentle giant on TV's "Beauty and the Beast," and Ethan Hawke played a Vincent in "Gattaca."