Jean-Claude Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Camille François van Varenberg in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium, to Eliana and Eugène van Varenberg, an accountant. “The Muscles from Brussels” started martial arts at the age of eleven. His father introduced him to martial arts when he saw his son was physically weak. At the age of 12, van Damme began his martial arts training at Centre National De Karate (National Center of Karate) under the guidance of Master Claude Goetz in Ixelles, Belgium. Van Damme trained for 4 years and earned a spot on the Belgium Karate Team. He won the European professional karate association's middleweight championship as a teenager, and also beat the 2nd best karate fighter in the world. His goal was to be number one but got sidetracked when he left his hometown of Brussels. In 1976 at the age of sixteen, Jean-Claude started his Martial Arts fight career. Jean-Claude retired from martial arts in 1982, following a knockout over Nedjad Gharbi in Brussels, Belgium. Jean-Claude posted a 18-1 (18 knockouts) kickboxing record, and a semi-contact record of 41-4. He came to Hong Kong at the age of 19 for the first time and felt insured to do action movies in Hong Kong. In 1981, van Damme moved to Los Angeles. He took English classes while working as carpet layer, pizza delivery man, limo driver, and thanks to Chuck Norris he got a job as a bouncer at a club. Norris gave van Damme a small role in the movie Missing in Action (1984), but it wasn't good enough to get anybody's attention. In 1984, he got his first significant role as a villain named Ivan in the low-budget movie, No Retreat, No Surrender (1986). Then one day, while walking on the streets, Jean-Claude spotted a producer for Cannon Pictures and showed some of his martial arts abilities which led to a role in Bloodsport (1988). The movie, filmed in Hong Kong, was so bad when it was completed, it was shelved for almost two years. It might have never been released if van Damme did not help them to re-cut the film and begged producers to release it. They finally released the film, first in Malaysia and France and then into the US shot on a meager 1.5 million dollar budget, it became a US box-office hit in the spring of 1988. It made about 30 million worldwide and audiences supported this film for its new sensational action star, Jean-Claude van Damme. His good looks led to starring roles in higher budgeted movies like Cyborg (1989), AWOL: Absent Without Leave (1990), Double Impact (1991) and Universal Soldier (1992). In 1994, he scored with his big breakthrough $100 million worldwide hit Timecop (1994). But in the meantime, his personal life was coming apart. A divorce, followed by a new marriage, followed by another divorce. It began to show up in his career when his projects began to tank at the box office: The Quest (1996), which he directed; Maximum Risk (1996) and Double Team (1997). The three films made less than $50 million combined. In 1999, he remarried his ex-wife, Gladys Portugues, and restarted his lost career to attain new goals. With help from his family, he faced his problems and made movies like Replicant (2001), Derailed (2002), and In Hell (2003).
    Known for
    Acting
    Place of birth
    Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium
    Birthday
    10/18/1960
Hard Target
Hard Target
6.4
Cyborg
Cyborg
5.7
Kickboxer
Kickboxer
6.8
Universal Soldier: The Return
Universal Soldier: The Return
5.9
Nowhere to Run
Nowhere to Run
6.4
Legionnaire
Legionnaire
5.7
Maximum Risk
Maximum Risk
5.7
Inferno
Inferno
6.1
Until Death
Until Death
5.9
Street Fighter
Street Fighter
4.6
Bloodsport
Bloodsport
7
The Shepherd: Border Patrol
The Shepherd: Border Patrol
5.9
Timecop
Timecop
6
Sudden Death
Sudden Death
6
The Quest
The Quest
6.1
Universal Soldier
Universal Soldier
6.3
Lionheart
Lionheart
6.5
Double Team
Double Team
5.1
Double Impact
Double Impact
6.1
The Hard Corps
The Hard Corps
6.1
JCVD
JCVD
6.6
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
5.6
Wake of Death
Wake of Death
6.1
Knock Off
Knock Off
5.3
The Order
The Order
5.1
Death Warrant
Death Warrant
6.2
Derailed
Derailed
5.1
Second in Command
Second in Command
5.6
In Hell
In Hell
6.5
Full Love
Full Love
7
Assassination Games
Assassination Games
6.3
Dragon Eyes
Dragon Eyes
5.1
Swelter
Swelter
5
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
5.5
6 Bullets
6 Bullets
6.1
Welcome to the Jungle
Welcome to the Jungle
5.1
Enemies Closer
Enemies Closer
5.3
Dans la peau de Jean-Claude Van Damme
Dans la peau de Jean-Claude Van Damme
7.8
Pound of Flesh
Pound of Flesh
5.6
Kill 'em All
Kill 'em All
5.1
Black Water
Black Water
5.6
The Bouncer
The Bouncer
6.3
We Die Young
We Die Young
6.9
The Making of Double Impact, Parts 1 & 2
6
Universal Soldier: A Tale of Two Titans
Universal Soldier: A Tale of Two Titans
4
JCVD's Day Out
JCVD's Day Out
8.8
The Last Mercenary
The Last Mercenary
6.5
Monsieur Jean-Claude
Monsieur Jean-Claude
0
Darkness of Man
Darkness of Man
0
Jean-Claude van Damme: Karate King
Jean-Claude van Damme: Karate King
7.3
Replicant
Replicant
5.8
No Retreat, No Surrender
No Retreat, No Surrender
6.2
Black Eagle
Black Eagle
5
Guns, Genes & Fighting Machines: The Making of 'Universal Soldier'
Guns, Genes & Fighting Machines: The Making of 'Universal Soldier'
10
Ultimate Fights from the Movies
Ultimate Fights from the Movies
4.9
Monaco Forever
Monaco Forever
3.6
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Kickboxer: Retaliation
5.4
The Unbeatable Bruce Lee
The Unbeatable Bruce Lee
8.4
The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films
The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films
6.3
U.F.O.
U.F.O.
4.3
Kickboxer: Vengeance
Kickboxer: Vengeance
5
Corporal vs. Napoleon
Corporal vs. Napoleon
3.4
Woman Between Wolf and Dog
Woman Between Wolf and Dog
5.6
Crossings: John Woo
0
Top Fighter
Top Fighter
6.4
Barbarous Street
Barbarous Street
4.8
Beur sur la ville
Beur sur la ville
4.3
Minions: The Rise of Gru
Minions: The Rise of Gru
7.3
The Expendables 2
The Expendables 2
6.3
All the Love You Cannes!
All the Love You Cannes!
6.4
Kung Fu Panda 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
7
Jian Bing Man
Jian Bing Man
5.2
Narco
Narco
5.8
Missing in Action
Missing in Action
5.8
Breakin'
Breakin'
6.8
In Search of the Last Action Heroes
In Search of the Last Action Heroes
6.9
The Curse of the Dragon
The Curse of the Dragon
7.1
The Best of the Martial Arts Films
The Best of the Martial Arts Films
8.8
Heist School
Heist School
5.9
Haters
Haters
3.7
Kung Fu Panda 3
Kung Fu Panda 3
6.9
Playboy Mansion Parties Uncensored
6.9
Voices That Care
8
Last Action Hero
Last Action Hero
6.4
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
7.2
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