"Don't try to be like Jackie. There is only one Jackie. Study computers instead." Jackie Chan
One of the most recognized names in Kung Fu and action movies worldwide, Jackie Chan has built a reputation as a movie star with more than 90 productions on his plate from the 1960s until now. Already a star in Asia, Chan initially gained recognition from the American public with his 1996 box office smash hit Rumble in the Bronx. He received even more acclaimed when he starred opposite Chris Tucker in the action-comedy hit Rush Hour (1998), in which Chan nabbed a 1999 MTV Movie Award, as well as a Hollywood Film Festival Award. In a more recent film, Chan drew accolades for his work with Lucy Liu and Owen Wilson in another blockbuster film, Shanghai Noon (2000).
Starting out as a stunt man, Chan was launched as the prospective descendant to the late Bruce Lee fame (deceased), but he soon stood out with his own image as an action-comedic actor, appearing in such hits as the Eagle's Shadow (1978), Drunken Master (1978), The Fearless Hyena (1979), The Young Master (1980) Half a Loaf of Kung Fu (1980), Project A (1983), Wheels on Meals (1984), Police Story (1985), Armor of God (1986), Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (1989), and Crime Story (1993), among others.
Off screen, Chan is an avid philanthropist. He has actively taken part to champion many charity and causes. He frequently becomes the spokesperson, speaking up for conservation, against animal abuse and supporting disaster relief efforts like the 2004 Tsunami cause and the mainland China relief flood program. The highest paid actor in his genre, Chan has car factories, high-rise buildings, restaurants and a growing number of stores in China, as well as land in China, a home in Hong Kong and a $6.7 million home in Beverly Hills. In 2005, he reportedly sold his mansion in Beverly Hills after realizing he only spent four to six weeks a year in the city. As for his private life, Chan was once married to Taiwanese actress Lin Feng-Jiao, but the couple later became estranged. He and Lin Feng-Jiao share a son named J C Chan.
Chan was next romantically linked to former Miss Asia Elaine Ng, with whom he was rumored to have a baby daughter named Etta Ng Chok Lam (born in 1998).
Childhood and Family:
In Hong Kong, on April 7, 1954, Kong-Sang Chang, who would later be famous as Jackie Chan, was born to parents Charles Chan and Lee-Lee Chan. Living in poverty, his father worked as a cook at the French Embassy and his mother was a housekeeper. Chan’s parents once considered allowing baby Chan to be adopted by a British doctor. However, they soon declined the plan and opted instead to immigrate to Australia to find better jobs.
For his first seven years, Chan spent his time in Australia and was educated at Nan Hua Elementary Academy. The seven-year-old boy then moved back alone to his native country to attend the strict Chinese Opera Research Institute and Peking Opera School. From 1961-1971, he trained 19 hours a day in a variety of martial arts, drama, singing, mime dance and acrobatics, under the threat of corporal punishment and food deprivation.
During this time, Chan got his first taste in front of camera as a kid in the Cantonese motion picture Big and Little Wong Tin Bar (1962), and continued to appear in a number of musical films. He also became part of the sensational student performance group, Seven Little Fortunes. Upon graduation in 1971, he rejoined his parents in Australia, had various odd jobs and then returned to Hong Kong to launch a career in acting.
Jackie Chan, who carried nicknames Y´uen Lo, Sing Lung or Pao Pao, married Taiwan-born actress Lin Feng-Jiao in 1983 (many Asian sources mention he was married on December 1, 1982), but later, the couple announced their separation. With his estranged wife, Chan has a son named J C Chan. He also has a daughter named Etta Ng Chok Lam (born in 1998) from his relationship with ex-Miss Asia Elaine Ng.
Rumble in the Bronx
Jackie Chan began his career as a child. While training at the authoritarian Chinese Opera Research Institute, 8-year-old Chan made his debut performance in the Hong Kong film Big and Little Wong Tin Bar (1962). He went on to appear sporadically in films as a child, and became one seventh of the breathtaking Seven Little Fortunes after Chan (renamed Yuen Lou) and the other six of the Opera Master's pupils performed in an Opera of the same name. Completing his studies in 1971, Chan rejoined his parents in Australia for a while and earned a living by working as a dishwasher and bricklayer. He then moved back to Hong Kong and began his career as a stuntman, acrobatic and an extra in Chinese films.
At age 17, Chan landed his first adult role in Little Tiger of Canton (1971) and following his introduction to the film company Golden Harvest, he began making a name for himself as a fantastic stuntman, most notably in the popular Bruce Lee vehicle Fist of Fury (1972). The following years, Chan went on to pick up small roles and eventually landed larger roles in Little Tiger of Guanddong (1974) and John Woo's Hand of Death (1976).
However, when Bruce Lee suddenly died, Chan was promoted to stardom by popular producer/director Lo Wei as Lee’s potential successor. The two began working in the 1976 New Fist of Fury and followed it with five other Kung Fu movies, in which Chan was cast as a stone-cold serious type, determined to take revenge of Lee's death. Unfortunately, most of the films were disappointing and Chan decided to end the collaboration in the late 1970s.
The failure forced Chan to create his own image. Inspired by his idol Buster Keaton, he combined his martial art skills, impressive nerve, and a sense of eccentric physical comedy to create his own formula for his films. With producer Ng See Yuen, Chan first launched his first hit with Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) and soon became the Hong Kong star with his “kung fu comedy” in such film as the now-classic Drunken Master (1978), The Fearless Hyena (1979), The Young Master (1980) and Half a Loaf of Kung Fu (1980). Through the success of his films, Chan established himself as the highest-paid actor in Hong Kong and as a star in Asia.
Already popular among action-comedy fans in Asia, Chan tried to break into Hollywood film in 1980 with Golden Harvest-produced The Big Brawl, but the film was a disaster. Chan’s follow-up, The Cannonball Run (1981, starring Burt Reynolds), and its continuation in 1984 were also considered a flop. He then made his way back to Hong Kong, and scored his next success with Project A (1983), Wheels on Meals (1984), Police Story (1985), Armor of God (1986) and the hit period film Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (1989). Not only popular as a movie star, Chan was also known as a one-man film industry. He created his own production company, Golden Way, in 1986.
In the early 1990s, Chan proved that he was a versatile actor when he displayed an impressive dramatic performance in the Golden Horse Award-winning Crime Story (1993). He also made several installments to his hits Police Story and Drunken Master. But it was the 1996 Rumble in the Bronx that made the Hong Kong actor a Hollywood star. The film subsequently rocketed to No. 1 at the box office, grossing $10 million during its first week of release.
After a string of less successful films, including First Strike (1996), Mr. Nice Guy (1997) and Who Am I? (1998), Chan again turned the heads of American audiences and critics alike for his work in the American-produced action-comedy Rush Hour (1998), opposite Chris Tucker. In addition to becoming a blockbuster hit, the film won Chan a MTV Movie award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Tucker) in 1999. He was also honored at the Hollywood Film Festival for Actor of the Year in the same year.
Entering the new millennium, Chan had another triumph on his hands with the 2000 film Shanghai Noon. Costarring with Owen Wilson and Lucy Liu, Chan again gained box office exposure with the comedy Western film. He next rejoined Chris Tucker for the smash hit sequel Rush Hour 2 and costarred with Jennifer Love Hewitt in the action comedy The Tuxedo (2002). Also in 2002, Chan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was honored with the Innovator Award at American Choreography as well as the Taurus Honorary Award for Best Action Movie Star at World Stunt.
From 2003-2004, Chan dotted his impressive resume with such films as Shanghai Knights (2003), The Medallion (2003), Enter the Phoenix (2004), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Huadu Chronicles: Blade of the Rose (2004) and New Police Story (2004). He nabbed a Kids' Choice for Favorite Male Butt Kicker in 2003. In 2005, the 51-year-old actor portrayed Jack/General Meng-yi in The Myth (2005) and will soon play a role in Joe's Last Chance (2005). Chan is also set to return for Rush Hour 3 (2006). Recently, Chan was garnered with the Professional Spirit Award by Hong Kong Film and received an honorary medal from the City of Paris in recognition of his illustrious film career and his sense of humor.