Jackie Chan photo

Jackie Chan

Birth name:
Kong-sang Chan
Date of Birth:
7 April 1954 Hong Kong
5' 8½" (1.74 m)
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star 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 Chan was born "Kong-sang Chan" on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7th, 1954 to Charles & Lee-Lee Chan, and the family emigrated to Canberra, Australia in early 1960. The young Jackie Chan 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 life long friendships with fellow martial artists / actors Sammo Hung Kam-Bo and Biao Yuen. 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 he appeared in very minor roles in two films starring then rising martial arts superstar Bruce Lee, Jing wu men (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 1970's 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 Jui kuen (1978) aka "Drunken Master" which has become a cult favorite amongst martial arts film fans. Not too long after this, Jackie Chan made his directorial debut with Shi di chu ma (1980) aka "The Young Master" and then Enter the Dragon (1973) 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" style 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 USA, Jackie was cast alongside 'Burt Reynolds', Roger Moore and Dean Martin in the Hal Needham directed car chase flick _Cannonball Run, The (1981). Regrettably, Jackie was cast as a Japanese race driver and his martial arts skills are only shown in one small sequence near the films conclusion. Stateside success was still a few years away for Jackie Chan!Undeterred, Jackie returned to the Orient to do what he did best....make jaw dropping action films laden 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 Qi mou miao ji: Wu fu xing (1983) aka "Winners & Sinners", 'A' gai wak (1983) aka "Project "A", Kuai can che (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 United States for another shot at the US 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 James Glickenhaus failed to understand his audience appeal and the film played to luke warm reviews and box office receipts. Jackie did however decide to "harden" up his on screen image somewhat and his next film Ging chat goo si (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 "Indiana Jones" influenced Long xiong hu di (1987) aka "The Armour of God" during which at the time of filming, Jackie mistimed a leap from a wall to a tree in Yugoslavia and fell many metres onto his head, causing a skull fracture. It was another injury 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.'A' gai wak juk jap (1987) aka "Project A: Part 2", Ging chaat goo si juk jaap (1988) aka "Police Story 2", Ji ji (1989) aka "Mr Canton and Lady Rose", Fei ying gai wak (1991) aka "Armour of God 2" and Ging chat goo si 3: Chiu kup ging chat (1992) aka "Police Story 3" were all sizable hits for Jackie escalating his star 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 Hung fan kui (1995) aka "Rumble In The Bronx" - 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 Ging chaat goo si 4: Ji gaan daan yam mo (1996) aka "Police Story 4", Yat goh hiu yan (1997) aka "Mr Nice Guy", Wo shi shei (1998) aka "Who Am I", which all met with positive results at the international box office. Jackie then went to work in the largest US film production in which he had been involved, 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 Chan as a bona fide star in the United States. Jackie then paired up with rising talent Owen Wilson to star in Shanghai Noon (2000) and its sequel Shanghai Knights (2003), plus he returned with Chris 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 & traditional fare with Xin jing cha gu shi (2004) aka "New Police Story" and San wa (2005) aka "The Myth". The multi-talented Jackie 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 which he was usually compared early in his career. Chan is truly one of the international film industries 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 involving financial assistance to schools & universities around the world, he is a UNICEF GoodWill Ambassador, plus he has campaigned against animal abuse & pollution and assisted with disaster relief efforts to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami victims.
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