JACKIE CHAN (Monkey) was born in Hong Kong on April 7, 1954, to parents so poor they had to borrow money to pay the doctor for his delivery. At the age of seven, he was enrolled in the China Drama Academy, where he spent the next 10 years training in the art of Peking Opera. It was at the Academy that he learned the acrobatics, martial arts, acting and singing that would later help him to become an international superstar.
When Chan left the Academy at the age of 17, the Peking Opera was no longer popular and many of the graduates turned to stunt work in Hong Kong movies. He soon gained a reputation as a talented and fearless stuntman and, over the next few years, he swiftly climbed the ladder of success and was soon acting, directing and choreographing stunts for dozens of films.
After a series of attempts in the 1980s to break into the American movie market, Chan returned to Hong Kong to concentrate on making films in his hometown. He was extremely successful, yet never gave up his dream of making it in America. In 1995, he returned to the US to film “Rumble in the Bronx” and, when it was released in 1996, it was a huge hit. Over the next several years, Chan starred in a succession of American productions, none more successful than the blockbuster “Rush Hour” series. He had finally fulfilled his dream of making it in America.
Over his nearly four-decade career in film, Chan has received hundreds of awards for his acting, directing, writing and stunt work.
Chan has always had a keen interest in business and over the years has been involved in many and varied business ventures. In 2005, he partnered with Asia’s largest fitness chain, California Fitness, to create his own signature club, California Fitness Jackie Chan Sport Club, in Hong Kong. He has been actively involved in designing the facilities and classes to develop his own signature clubs. Currently, there are five clubs in Asia Pacific, including one in Hong Kong, two in Singapore and two in Malaysia.
For the past 20 years, Chan has devoted much of his spare time and energy to charity work. In 1988, he established the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, and since then has worked tirelessly for dozens of charities, both at home and abroad. In recent years he has focused his energies on his Dragon’s Heart Foundation, which builds schools in remote areas of China. Among his many charitable endeavors, he is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF/UNAIDS, a celebrity cabinet member of the American Red Cross, founder of the Jackie Chan Civil Aviation Foundation in China and host of charity concerts and car races for many years.