Apprenticed to the China Drama Academy (or "opera school") by his parents at the age of 6, Jackie Chan was rigorously trained in music, dance, and traditional martial arts. A visiting filmmaker offered Chan his first (tiny) role as a stunt player. Chan took the part, and soon left the Opera to pursue the world of film. Fellow Opera students Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo would also have careers in film, and the three would star in several films together in the following years. Chan's talent and enthusiasm soon saw him taking larger and more important roles, graduating first to stunt coordinator, and then to director.
Following the death of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, the search was on for an actor who could inspire audiences to the same degree; every young martial artist was given a chance. Chan decided that rather than emulating Lee (and thus living forever in his shadow), he would develop his own style of filmmaking. His directorial debut The Young Master (1980) was a milestone in martial arts films, being one of the first to effectively combine comedy with action. This set the tone for many of his future films, which combined slapstick humor with high-energy martial arts action. A self-confessed fan of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Chan performs all his own stunts, quite often at his own peril. His later films include outtakes of his on-set injuries run under the closing credits. He is understandably number one on the insurance blacklist.
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry.
Jackie was born "Kong-sang Chan" on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7, 1954, to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, and the family emigrated to Canberra, Australia, in early 1960. The young Jackie was less than successful scholastically, so his father sent him back to Hong Kong to attend the rigorous China Drama Academy, one of the Peking Opera schools. Chan excelled at acrobatics, singing and martial arts and eventually became a member of the "Seven Little Fortunes" performing troupe and began lifelong friendships with fellow martial artists / actors Sammo Hung Kam-Bo and Yuen Biao. Chan journeyed back and forth to visit his parents and work in Canberra, but eventually he made his way back to Hong Kong as his permanent home.
In the early 1970s Chan commenced his movie career and interestingly appeared in very minor roles in two films starring then rising martial arts superstar Bruce Lee: The Chinese Connection (1972), aka "Fist of Fury" aka "The Chinese Connection", and the Warner Bros. production Enter the Dragon (1973). Not long after Lee's untimely death Chan was often cast in films cashing in on the success of Bruce Lee by utilizing words like "fist", "fury" or "dragon" in their US release titles.
Chan's own film career was off and running and he swiftly appeared in many low-budget martial arts films that were churned out at a rapid fire pace by Hong Kong studios eager to satisfy the early 1970s boom in martial-arts cinema. He starred in Shao Lin mu ren xiang (1976) (aka "Shaolin Wooden Men"), Jian hua yan yu Jiang Nan (1977) (aka "To Kill With Intrigue"), Dian zhi gong fu gan chian chan (1980) (aka "Half A Loaf of Kung Fu") and Fei du juan yun shan (1978) (aka "Magnificent Bodyguards"), which all fared reasonably well at the cinemas. However, he scored a major breakthrough with the hit Drunken Master (1978) (aka "Drunken Master"), which has become a cult favorite among martial arts film fans. Not too long after this, Chan made his directorial debut with The Young Master (1980) (aka "The Young Master") and then "Enter the Dragon" producer Robert Clouse lured Jackie to the US for a film planned to break Jackie into the lucrative US market. The Big Brawl (1980) (aka "Battle Creek Brawl") featured Jackie competing in a "toughest street fighter" contest set in 1940s Texas; however, Jackie was unhappy with the end result, and it failed to fire with US audiences. In a further attempt to get his name known in the US, Jackie was cast alongside Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Dean Martin in the Hal Needham-directed car chase flick The Cannonball Run (1981). Regrettably, Jackie was cast as a Japanese race driver and his martial arts skills are only shown in one small sequence near the film's conclusion. Stateside success was still a few years away for Jackie Chan!
Undeterred, he returned to the Orient to do what he did best--make jaw-dropping action films loaded with amazing stunt work. Chan and his legendary stunt team were unparalleled in their ability to execute the most incredible fight scenes and action sequences, and the next decade would see some of their best work.
Chan paired with the dynamic Sammo Hung Kam-Bo to star in Winners & Sinners (1983) (aka "Winners & Sinners"), Project A (1983) (aka "Project "A"), Wheels on Meals (1984) (aka "Wheels On Meals"), Fuk sing go jiu (1985) (aka "Winners & Sinners 2"), Xia ri fu xing (1985) (aka "My Lucky Stars 2", aka "Winners & Sinners 3"(. Chan then journeyed back to the US for another shot at that market, starring alongside Danny Aiello in The Protector (1985),) filmed in Hong Kong and New York. However, as with previous attempts, Jackie felt the US director--in this case, James Glickenhaus--failed to understand his audience appeal and the film played to lukewarm reviews and box-office receipts. Jackie did, however, decide to "harden" up his on-screen image somewhat and his next film, Police Story (1985) (aka "Police Story") was a definite departure from previously light-hearted martial arts fare, and his fans loved the final product! This was quickly followed up with the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)-influenced Armour of God (1986) (aka "The Armour of God"), during filming of which Jackie mistimed a leap from a wall to a tree on location in Yugoslavia and fell many quite a few feet onto his head, causing a skull fracture. It was another in a long line of injuries that Chan has suffered as a result of doing his own stunt work, and he was soon back in front of the cameras.
Project A 2 (1987) (aka "Project A: Part 2"), Police Story 2 (1988) (aka "Police Story 2"), Miracles - Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (1989) (aka "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose)", Operation Condor (1991) (aka "Armour of God 2") and Supercop (1992) (aka "Police Story 3") were all sizable hits for Jackie, escalating his status to phenomenal heights in Asia, and to his loyal fan base around the globe. US success was now just around the corner for the the hard-working Jackie Chan, and it arrived in the form of the action film Rumble in the Bronx (1995) (aka "Rumble In The Bronx", though it was actually filmed in Canada) that successfully blended humor and action to make a winning formula in US theaters. Jackie did not waste any time and went to work on Jackie Chan's First Strike (1996) (aka "Police Story 4"), Mr. Nice Guy (1997) (aka "Mr. Nice Guy"), Jackie Chan's Who Am I? (1998) (aka "Who Am I"), which all met with positive results at the international box office. Jackie then went to work in the his biggest-budget US production, starring alongside fast-talking comedian Chris Tucker in the action / comedy Rush Hour (1998). The film was a bigger hit than "Rumble In the Bronx" and firmly established Jackie as a bona fide star in the US. Jackie then paired up with rising talent Owen Wilson to star in Shanghai Noon (2000) and its sequel, Shanghai Knights (2003), and re-teamed with Tucker in Rush Hour 2 (2001), as well as starring in The Tuxedo (2002), The Medallion (2003) and the delightful Around the World in 80 Days (2004).
Not one to forget his loyal fan base, Jackie returned to more gritty and traditional fare with New Police Story (2004) (aka "New Police Story") and The Myth (2005) (aka "The Myth"). The multi-talented Chan (he's also a major recording star in Asia) shows no sign of slowing down and has long since moved out of the shadow of Bruce Lee, to whom he was usually compared early in his career. Chan is truly one of the international film industry's true maverick actor / director / stuntman / producer combinations - he has done it the hard way, and always his way to achieve his dreams and goals to be an international cinematic star.
Off screen he has been directly involved in many philanthropic ventures providing financial assistance to schools and universities around the world. He is a UNICEF GoodWill Ambassador, and he has campaigned against animal abuse and pollution and assisted with disaster relief efforts to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami victims.
|Feng-Jiao Lin||(1 December 1982 - present) 1 child|
Cleverly utilizes everyday items as props in fight scenes (chairs, ladders, lamps, tables, et cetera)
Likes to give "thumbs up."
Mostly does his own stunts
Often has outtakes at the end of his films of failed stunts and other accidents.
In addition to spectacular stunts and action, his movies often contain scenes in which he is tortured or forced to undergo grueling physical activity (usually as punishment by a master or teacher).
Always plays the "Good Guy" except in Ru jing cha (1974) aka "Rumble in Hong Kong"
Kong Sang means "Born In Hong Kong."
Sing Lung means "Already a Dragon."
Prefers to do action films with strong humour streaks and physical clowning like Buster Keaton.
In the act of performing his own stunts, he has broken his nose three times, his ankle once, most of the fingers in his hand, both cheekbones and his skull.
Not only does he do his own stunts, but he is a lead-from-the-front kind of guy and expects the actors & actresses in his movies to do their own stunts as well.
Most often dubs his own voice for the English release of his Asian films. He also dubs his Asian films in Mandarin.
Was to star in a film entitled "Nosebleed", but the project was canceled after the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. He was to play a window-washer at the WTC who has to stop a terrorist plot.
In 1989, he was awarded an M.B.E.(Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to entertainment.
His fan club once topped 10,000 members, mostly young girls; one of them committed suicide after she discovered that he was married. Another female fan attempted suicide, but was saved.
Has a permanent hole in his head from a stunt accident.
Admits he did Cannonball Run II (1984) just to fulfill his contract with Warner Brothers.
He has his own stunt team, known as the Sing Ga Ban (Jackie Chan Stuntman Association). Members of the team appear as extras in his films. The team includes Andy Kay, Chung Cheng, Chung Chi Li (Nicky Li), and Bradley James Allan.
In 1990, he was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conferred the Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) upon him in 1999.
Despite the minimal formal education he received, he was made an honorary doctor of social science of the Hong Kong Baptist University, and an honorary fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
In his action scenes, his punches and kicks actually connect with their targets. He has his actors wear special padding in their feet and body to prevent serious injury.
Has a great, long-lasting relationship with Mitsubishi Motors. The company has donated many of their automobiles for his films.
Underwent plastic surgery in 1976 to re-shape his eyelids, giving him a more "Western" appearance. The final film with the old-look Chan is Shao Lin mu ren xiang (1976).
His parents worked at the American Embassy in Canberra, Australia. Jackie lived with them there for a while after one of his attempts in the movie business fell through.
According to his production diary on the official Shanghai Knights (2003) website, the producers of the film wanted to throw him a birthday party, but he asked them not to since his mother had recently died and Chinese tradition dictates that you should wait 3 to 12 months after a death to stop the mourning period. The producers threw the party anyway, and Chan did not object because, he said, "it is an important part of the American culture to celebrate birthdays".
He sings in the Chinese version of Mulan (1998). He sings the Chinese version of "I'll make a man out of you".
His role models are Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, all of whom were more important to him as a child than any martial arts star, the label he was basically forced into at a very young age.
Elaine Wu gave birth to a daughter, Etta Ng Chok Lam, on November 19, 1999. The Hong Kong media alleged that he was the father, but there has as yet been no verification by either party involved.
He worked with Bruce Lee as a stunt coordinator.
He was a stunt/fight coordinator for John Woo during his kung-fu phase.
He is also a talented singer. He has released numerous albums in Asia. His music is normally heard in the outtakes of his HK movies. Movies include: The Young Master Project A (not in us version) Police Story (not in us version) Armour of God (not in us version) Project A 2 Police Story 2 Dragons Forever Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (not in us version) Twin Dragons (not in us version) Police Story 3 (not in us version) Drunken Master 2 (not in us version) Rumble in the Bronx (not in us version) Jackie Chans First Strike (not in us version) Thunderbolt Nice Guy Who Am I? Twins Effect New Police Story
Is best friends with Sylvester Stallone.
Supporter of The Salvation Army's work in China.
Capable of speaking Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and Korean.
Appointed Honorary Ambassador of Peace for the Harvey Ball Foundation along with Brooke Shields, Jerry Lewis, A.V.T. Shankardass, Prince Albert of Monaco, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Phil Collins, Jimmy Buffett, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip, Heather Mills, Yoko Ono, Patch Adams, Sergei Khrushchev and Winnie Mandela.
Played a policeman in five movies in 1985 alone: Fuk sing go jiu (1985) ["My Lucky Stars"], The Protector (1985), Xia ri fu xing (1985) ["Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars"], Heart of a Dragon (1985) ["Heart of Dragon"], and Police Story (1985) ["Police Story"]. Ironically, Chan said that if he didn't become an actor, he would have become a police officer.
His family roots originate from the coastal port city of Ningbo, which is located on southern edge of Hangzhou Bay along the Eastern seaboard of Zhejiang province, China.
Received his name "Jackie" from fellow workers on a construction site in Canberra, Australia, who couldn't pronounce his real name.
Was first approached to play Sato in Black Rain (1989) but decided the role did not match his values/image.
There is a Chinese Take-away in Hyde Park, Leeds of the United Kingdom named 'Jackie Chan's'.
Lives in Beverly Hills, California.
He said the hardest thing about acting is speaking in English. Doing stunts are easy for him compared to speaking in English.
Despite his nearly innumerable injuries, he admits he still has a fear of needles.
While he's classed as a Martial Artist, he has little formal training, and doesn't hold any formal belt for any style. The fighting style he used during filming was a mix of different styles, primarily using Northern and traditional Kung-Fu as the base, then building on that with other fighting styles and slapstick to make the scene work is the most humorous way possible.
Don't try to be like Jackie. There is only one Jackie.... Study computers instead.
It's very important that I get hurt [when making a movie]
I'm crazy, but I'm not stupid.
I don't want to be an action star, action star's life is so short. I want my life to get longer. I want my career to get longer.
I have a few rules that I tell my manager: No sex scenes. No make love. The kids who like me don't need to see it. It would gross them out.
I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan.
The ads all call me fearless, but that's just publicity. Anyone who thinks I'm not scared out of my mind whenever I do one of my stunts is crazier than I am.
My wish is to bring my heroes to the big screen, and many of them have already appeared in my films. The firefighter is the only one I have yet to put in a film. I have dragged this idea on for so many years, even if I want to make it, now I feel that my age makes me unsuitable. If I do make this film, I would no longer play a firefighter, and would more likely be a firefighting captain. But if I were to be honest with you, the role I want to play most is the firefighter.
I hate violence, yes I do. It's kind of a dilemma, huh?
In Hollywood, they care more about comedy, relationship and so many things before action stunts. In Hong Kong, we go straight into stunts and action, but in America sometimes that's too much. So, now I'm making a film half and half - take some good things from Hollywood and some good things from Asia.
I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not. I'm really confused now. If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic. I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want.
[on making his last action movie, 2012] I'm not young anymore. I'm really, really tired. And the world is too violent right now. It's a dilemma - I like action but I don't like violence.
I have reasons to do each film, I have something to say. Unlike "Rush Hour" there was no reason [in making it], you just give me the money and I'm fine. I dislike "Rush Hour" the most, but ironically it sold really well in the U.S. and Europe.
|Shanghai Noon (2000)||$5,000,000|
|Rush Hour 2 (2001)||$15,000,000+ gross points|
|Rush Hour 3 (2007)||$15,000,000 + 15% gross|
(April 2008) On 25th April 2008 in Chennai(Madras), Tamil Nadu, Southern India to attend as the Chief guest for the audio release of a great Indian [Tamil] Star KamalaHassan's much awaiting movie Dasavatharam along with CM Mr K. Karunanidhi, Amitab Bachan, Mammootty, Vijay, Hemamalini, Jayaprada, Mallika Shravat, Asin etc.
(January 2012) Taitung, Taiwan: Filming for Chinese Zodiac (2012)
(April 2012) Jelgava, Latvia: Filming for Chinese Zodiac (2012)
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