Jackie Chan – Significant facts
Famous as: Actor/Producer/Director/Martial Arts Expert
Nickname: Pao-Pao, Y’uen Lo, Sing Lung
Date of Birth: April 7, 1954
Birthplace: Shandong, Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
Birth name: Chan Kong-sang
Father: Charles Chan
Mother: Lee-Lee Chan
Wife: Lin Feng-Jiao
The Asian superstar of world cinema
Jackie Chan perhaps does not need an introduction. He is one of the most popular Asian actor, director and stuntman in the world. He rose to fame through his stunning stunts. He has acted and produced several best movies based on martial arts action that remain the finest of all times.
Early Life of Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan was born as Chan Kong-sang to poor parents who were employed at the French Embassy in Hong Kong. His father Charles Chan was a cook and his mother Lee-Lee Chan was a housekeeper. When he was little, his father made him practice kung fu every morning. His father strongly believed that learning this martial art would definitely help build his son’s character by imparting important values such as courage, patience and strength.
Initially, Jackie Chan learned at the Nan Hua Elementary Academy. When he was seven, his father moved to Australia to serve the American embassy as the head cook. He did not take his son along with him. Therefore, he put him in the Chinese Opera Research Institute (China Drama Academy). Chan spent his next ten years (1961-1971) in the Institute. Then, owing to financial constraints, he was enrolled in the Peking Opera School. He acquired kung fu and acrobatics skills there. He also learned singing, acting and tumbling. The school did not treat its students kindly. It just offered enough food to survive. The school punished the students strictly if they disobeyed or made mistakes. Though it was a difficult life, Jackie Chan did not have a choice. In fact, he could not meet his parents for many years. It was in this Opera School that he became part of a group of students who went on to become the Seven Little Fortunes, the best students of the Opera School. The members of this group ultimately became his compatriots in the Hong Kong film industry! The group included Corey Yuen, Yuen Wah, Yueh Qiu, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung. Chan became best friends with Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung and the three later came to be known as The Three Dragons/Three Brothers.
Jackie Chan: Career Beginnings and Early Breakthrough
When Jackie Chan was at the China Drama Academy, he made his debut in acting at an early age of eight in a Cantonese movie named “Big and Little Wong Tin Bar.” He graduated from the Academy when he was 17. Unluckily for him, the Chinese Opera had not earned any popularity then; so, Chan had to find some other work. He found it very challenging as he was never taught to read or write at the school! The work available for Chan and his friends was stunt work or unskilled labor.
Every year, a lot of movies were produced in Hong Kong and the industry was always on the lookout for strong and young stuntmen. Jackie Chan took such jobs and quickly earned good reputation as a fearless young man. He would literally try anything. He started working as an extra or a stuntman in films made in Hong Kong. He even served as a stuntman in the most popular Bruce Lee films: Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon. In 1975, he appeared in adult films “All in the Family” and “Little Tiger of Canton”.
In 1976, Willie Chan, a film producer in Hong Kong made him play a role in “Lo Wei”. It was through this movie that he got an opportunity to act in the movie “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow” in 1978. It was during this time that Jackie Chan started establishing himself as a humorous kung fu actor. Ultimately, Chan got his big break in the classic movie “Drunken Master”. It was through this movie that he shot to international fame. The movie was a huge success and paved way for his other international hits.
Jackie Chan in Hollywood
It was in 1995 that his Rumble in the Bronx saw its release in the US. Jackie Chan’s splendid performance in the movie, especially from the martial arts and action point of view, started gaining Chan a cult following in the nation. Finally, in 1998, he shared screen space with Chris Tucker in Rush Hour. The movie was a block buster. Being an action comedy, it made him stamp a strong mark in Hollywood!
The movies of Jackie Chan most often feature three elements: Electrifying martial arts fights, incredible stunts that are not meant for the weak hearted, and comedy. The most popular movies of Jackie Chan include Drunken master, Rush Hour, Police Story, Legend of Drunken Master, who am I, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Wheels on Meals, Rumble in the Bronx, Project A, Police Story 2, The Forbidden Kingdom, Rush Hour 2, Operation Condor, Shanghai Noon, Rush hour 3, Snake and Crane Art of Shaolin, The Myth, The Karate Kid (2010), Shanghai Knights, Dragons Forever, New Police Story, Armour of God 2, Mr. Nice Guy, Rob-B-Hood, Armour of God, My Lucky Star, Shaolin Wooden Men, The tuxedo, Police Story 4, Crime Story, Police Story 3, The Young Master, Twin Dragons, Thunderbolt, The Fearless Hyena, The Medallion, The Spy Next Door, and Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow,
Personal Life of Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan married Lin Feng-Jiao, the famous Taiwanese actress in 1982. The couple has a son named Jaycee Chan. He is an actor and a singer. It has been suspected that Chan has a daughter with Elaine Ng Yi-Lei, former Asia Pageant winner, by the name of Etta Ng Chok Lam. However, this has not been confirmed till date.
- “The Canton Godfather” is the all time favorite movie of Jackie Chan.
- He is affectionately called the “Big Brother” in Hong Kong.
- He is popular for his philanthropic efforts; in fact, he has vowed to donate 50% of his wealth after his death.
- Chan is one of Asia’s richest artists. He once said the media that his son would probably never get any of his money.
- Jackie Chan is a multifaceted artist. Most people know him only as an actor. He is a great singer as well and he has 20 albums released!
- He can speak about ten languages fluently. Some of them include Cantonese, German, American Sign Language, Korean, and Japanese.
- When action scenes are shot, he insists his fellow actors to wear padding so as to prevent any serious injury because his kicks and punches make real impact!
- His latest movie ‘Chinese Zodiac’ has gifted Chan with two Guinness World Records: One for Most Stunts Performed by a Living Person and the other for Most Credits in a Film.
Popular Quotes of Jackie Chan
“Why did I become Jackie Chan? Mostly because I work very hard. When people were sleeping, I was still training.”
“Do not let circumstances control you. You change your circumstances.”