Jean-Claude van Damme

Actor, Screenwriter, Director
An action movie hero and world-renowned martial artist hailing from Belgium, Jean-Claude Van Damme burst onto the Hollywood scene with classic martial arts films "Bloodsport" (1988) and "Kickboxer" (1989). Van Damme was ... Read more »
Born: 10/17/1960 in Belgium

Filmography

Actor (70)

Conan 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Pound of Flesh 2015 (Movie)

Deacon (Actor)

Enemies Closer 2014 (Movie)

Xander (Actor)

Swelter 2014 (Movie)

Big Willie Stillman (Actor)

The Hard Corps 2014 (Movie)

Patrick Sauvage (Actor)

Welcome to the Jungle 2014 (Movie)

Storm (Actor)

6 Bullets 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

Alien Uprising 2012 (Movie)

George (Actor)

Assassination Games 2012 (Movie)

Brazil (Actor)

Dragon Eyes 2012 (Movie)

Tiano (Actor)

The Expendables 2 2012 (Movie)

Vilain (Actor)

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

UFO 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning 2012 (Movie)

Luc Deveraux (Actor)

Kung Fu Panda 2 2011 (Movie)

Master Croc (Voice)

The Eagle Path 2010 (Movie)

(Actor)

Universal Soldier: Regeneration 2010 (Movie)

(Actor)

Robot Chicken 2009 (Tv Show)

Voice

Asterix at the Olympic Games 2008 (Movie)

Cornerdurus (Actor)

JCVD 2008 (Movie)

JCVD (Actor)

Sinav 2006 (Movie)

(Actor)

Til Death 2006 (Movie)

(Actor)

Wake of Death 2005 (Movie)

(Actor)

In Hell 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Las Vegas 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

World Music Awards 2003 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Order 2002 (Movie)

(Actor)

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Replicant 2001 (Movie)

Replicant (Actor)

Derailed 2000 (Movie)

Jacques Kristoff (Actor)

The 2000 World Music Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Universal Soldier: the Return 1999 (Movie)

Luc Deveraux (Actor)

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Desert Heat 1998 (Movie)

Eddie Lomax (Actor)

Knock Off 1998 (Movie)

Marcus Ray (Actor)

Legionnaire 1998 (Movie)

Alain (Actor)

Double Team 1997 (Movie)

Jack Quinn (Actor)

The Rodman World Tour 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ruby Wax Show 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Maximum Risk 1996 (Movie)

Alain (Actor)

The 1996 World Music Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Quest 1996 (Movie)

Chris Dubois (Actor)

Sudden Death 1995 (Movie)

McCord (Actor)

The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Street Fighter 1994 (Movie)

Colonel Guile (Actor)

Timecop 1994 (Movie)

Max Walker (Actor)

50th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Hard Target 1993 (Movie)

Chance Boudreaux (Actor)

Last Action Hero 1993 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Nowhere to Run 1993 (Movie)

Sam (Actor)

The 1992 MTV Video Music Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1993 World Music Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood Hotshots 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Universal Soldier 1992 (Movie)

Luc Devreux (Actor)

Double Impact 1991 (Movie)

Alex (Actor)

Lionheart 1991 (Movie)

Lyon Gaultier (Actor)

The 17th Annual People's Choice Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Movie Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Voices That Care 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Death Warrant 1990 (Movie)

Louis Burke (Actor)

Cyborg 1989 (Movie)

Gibson Rickenbacker (Actor)

Kickboxer 1989 (Movie)

Kurt Sloane (Actor)

Black Eagle 1988 (Movie)

Andrei (Actor)

Bloodsport 1988 (Movie)

Frank Dux (Actor)

Predator 1987 (Movie)

Predator (Actor)

No Retreat, No Surrender 1986 (Movie)

Karl Brezdin-- (Actor)

Monaco Forever 1985 (Movie)

The Homosexual (Actor)
Writer (8)

The Eagle Path 2010 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Order 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Legionnaire 1998 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Quest 1996 (Movie)

(From Story)

Double Impact 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Lionheart 1991 (Movie)

(From Story)

Lionheart 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Kickboxer 1989 (Movie)

(From Story)
Producer (7)

Pound of Flesh 2015 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Eagle Path 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)

JCVD 2008 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Universal Soldier: the Return 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

Desert Heat 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Legionnaire 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Double Impact 1991 (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (3)

The Eagle Path 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

The Quest 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Kickboxer 1989 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)
Physical Effects (2)

Double Impact 1991 (Movie)

fight choreography (Stunts)

Missing in Action 1984 (Movie)

(Stunts)
Editor (1)

The Eagle Path 2010 (Movie)

(Editor)
Other (1)

Kickboxer 1989 (Movie)

choreography(fight scenes) (Choreographer)

Biography

An action movie hero and world-renowned martial artist hailing from Belgium, Jean-Claude Van Damme burst onto the Hollywood scene with classic martial arts films "Bloodsport" (1988) and "Kickboxer" (1989). Van Damme was suddenly a star and broadened his fan base from fight film fanatics to general action film fans with critically panned, but commercially successful blockbusters like "Universal Soldier" (1992) and "Time Cop" (1994). Unlike his more popular counterparts, Van Damme projected a softer character who was not as invincible as Schwarzenegger nor as unrefined as Stallone. Van Damme's vehicles in the 1990s like "Sudden Death" (1995), "Maximum Risk" (1996) and "Double Team" (1997) were fairly formulaic, requiring him to speak little but display as much of his muscular physique as possible - all of which eventually turned the actor into a caricature of himself and demoted the actor to the straight-to-video bin. Meanwhile, Van Damme hit rock bottom in his personal life when he sought help for his cocaine addiction and was diagnosed with manic depression, which he began talking about openly in 1998. Though he was able to resurrect himself in private, Van Damme continued to struggle on the screen until he surprised everyone with a critically hailed performance as a fictional version of himself in the art house showbiz satire "JCVD" (2008). In the end, however, his appeal rarely went beyond his impressive physicality, as Van Damme continued trying to cross over to mainstream thrillers and dramas with little avail.

Relationships

Cynthia Derderian

Wife
Met while he was working in her father's carpet store Married Aug. 24, 1985 Divorced 1986

Darcy LaPier Actor

Wife
Married Feb. 3, 1994 Filed for divorce June 7, 1996, but reconciled Filed again for divorce Dec. 19, 1996; reconciled a second time Refiled divorce petition November 1997, alleging that Van Damme physically abused her and was addicted to drugs; divorced November 1997

Kylie Minogue Actor

Companion
Co-starred in "Street Fighter" (1994) In August 2012, van Damme revealed they had an affair during "Street Fighter" filming

Gladys Portugues Actor

Wife
Married Jan. 3, 1987 Separated July 1992 Divorced 1992 Reconciled after his separation from Darcy LaPier November 1997 Remarried in a civil ceremony June 25, 1999 and in a church ceremony June 26, 1999

Maria Rodriguez

Wife
Born c. 1954; Venezuelan Married Aug. 25, 1980 Separated 1981 when Van Damme moved to the U.S. Divorced 1984

Eugene Van Varenberg

Father

Eliana Van Varenberg

Mother

Bianca Van Varenberg

Daughter
Born October 1990; mother, Gladys Portugues

Kristopher Van Varenberg

Son
Born c. 1987; mother, Gladys Portugues

Nicholas Van Varenberg

Son
Born Oct. 10, 1995; mother, Darcy LaPier

Veronique Van Varenberg

Sister
Lived in Belgium

EDUCATION

studied ballet for five years after taking karate

studied karate with Dominique Valera

dropped out of school at age 16

Milestones

2004

Guest-stars as himself on an episode of NBC's "Las Vegas"

1999

Arrested in September for driving under the influence; in July 2000 placed on three years' probation and fined $1200 after pleading no contest; also ordered to attend a 90-day anti-drunk driving program

1998

Admitted in interviews to a cocaine addiction

1998

Sued for $1.5 million by former trainer Frank Dux who claimed to have worked on the film "The Quest"; jury sided with Van Damme

1998

Starred in "Knock Off", directed by Tsui Hark

1997

First of two features with Tsui Hark, "Double Team"

1996

Had dual role as twins in "Maximum Risk", helmed by Ringo Lamb

1996

Directorial debut "The Quest"; also starred

1996

First underwent treatment for substance abuse in December; left 30-day program after one week

1994

Had title role in "Timecop"

1993

Teamed with HK director John Woo for "Hard Target"

1993

Appeared as himself in a cameo in "The Last Action Hero"

1991

Began shooting "Universal Solider", the first film in a reported eight-picture deal with Columbia Pictures and Carolco

1991

Film debut as a producer, "Double Impact"; also played dual lead, served as fight choreographer and wrote script

1990

Debut as a screenwriter, "Lionheart"; also starred

1989

Sued for "willfully" gouging the eye of an extra in a sword fight while filming "Cyborg"; lost the case

1988

First film as 2nd unit director, "Kickboxer"; also credited for story and choreography; also essayed starring role

1988

First starring role, "Bloodsport", co-produced by Golan

1986

Approached producer Menahem Golan outside a Beverly Hills restaurant and demonstrated his martial arts prowess

1984

Film debut as The Homosexual in the short "Monaco Forever"; billed as Jean-Claude Vandam

1984

First American film credit, coordinating stunts for "Missing in Action"

1983

Changed name to Jean-Claude Van Damme after the release of the feature film "Cujo"

1981

Moved to USA; worked as limo and taxi driver, bouncer, carpet installer and pizza delivery man while studying English and trying to make first US film

1970

Began studying martial arts at age 11 (date approximate)

Built a gymnasium business while in late teens; modeled and endorsed products

Adopted the stage name Frank Cujo

Turned professional after earning black belt in Shotokan (Japanese-style karate)

Hired to play a villain in the French film "Rue Barbere" (1983); walked off project when he clashed with the director

Sold gymnasium and moved to Hong Kong to work in martial art films

Bonus Trivia

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"Jean-Claude's personal charm has never transferred itself to the screen. He's a little tighter onscreen than he is in person. I don't think he's ever relaxed into his own personality enough to ake him a movie star, as far as U.S. audiences are concerned." --an unidentified "industry executive" quoted in US, October 1998

.

"I think I'm going to arrange my life to become much more practical than before, learn how to say no, be more peaceful with myself, which I am for the last three years, more secure, more everything." --Van Damme quoted in DAILY NEWS, September 6, 1998

.

"It doesn't disturb me to have gay fans. Maybe they like me because gay people love beauty in general. They have a high level of taste." --Jean-Claude Van Damme quoted in MOVIELINE, August 1994

.

"I am the Fred Astaire of karate." --Van Damme to LOS ANGELES TIMES, August 20, 1991

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