Jean-Claude Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme

  • Birthday: 1960-10-18
  • Place of birth: Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium
  • Also know as: JCVD

Biography

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).

Filmography

Hard Target

1993

As Chance Boudreaux

Cyborg

1989

As Gibson Rickenbacker

Kickboxer

1989

As Kurt Sloane

Universal Soldier: The Return

1999

As Luc Devereux

Nowhere to Run

1993

As Sam Gillen

Legionnaire

1998

As Alain Lefevre

Maximum Risk

1996

As Alain Moreau / Mikhail Suverov

Inferno

1999

As Eddie Lomax

Until Death

2007

As Anthony Stowe

Street Fighter

1994

As Colonel William Guile

Bloodsport

1988

As Frank Dux

The Shepherd: Border Patrol

2008

As Jack Robideaux

Timecop

1994

As Max Walker

Sudden Death

1995

As Darren Francis Thomas McCord

The Quest

1996

As Christopher Dubois

Universal Soldier

1992

As Luc Deveraux / GR44

Lionheart

1990

As Leon Gaultier

Double Team

1997

As Jack Quinn

Double Impact

1991

As Alex / Chad Wagner

The Hard Corps

2006

As Phillippe Sauvage

JCVD

2008

As J.C.V.D.

Universal Soldier: Regeneration

2009

As Luc Deveraux

Wake of Death

2004

As Ben Archer

Knock Off

1998

As Marcus Ray

The Order

2001

As Rudy Cafmeyer

Death Warrant

1990

As Louis Burke

Derailed

2002

As Jacques Kristoff

Second in Command

2006

As Cmdr. Samuel 'Sam' Keenan

In Hell

2003

As Kyle LeBlanc

Frenchy

2010

As Frenchy

Assassination Games

2011

As Vincent Brazil

Dragon Eyes

2012

As Tiano

Swelter

2014

As Stillman

6 Bullets

2012

As Samson Gaul

Welcome to the Jungle

2013

As Storm

Enemies Closer

2013

As Xander

Pound of Flesh

2015

As Deacon

Barbarous Street

1984

As Extra in Police Arrival Sequence (uncredited)

Kill 'em All

2017

As Philip

Black Water

2018

As Wheeler

The Bouncer

2018

As Lukas

We Die Young

2019

As Daniel

The Last Mercenary

2021

As Richard Brumére

Replicant

2001

As Replicant / Garrotte

No Retreat, No Surrender

1986

As Ivan Kraschinsky "The Russian"

Black Eagle

1988

As Andrei

JCVD's Day Out

2020

As JCVD

Monsieur Jean-Claude

2021

As (uncredited)

Ultimate Fights from the Movies

2002

As Max Walker (archive footage)

Monaco Forever

1984

As Gay Karate Man

Kickboxer: Retaliation

2018

As Master Durand

The Unbeatable Bruce Lee

2001

As Himself (archive footage)

U.F.O.

2012

As George

Kickboxer: Vengeance

2016

As Master Durand

Heist School

2006

As Charles

Corporal vs. Napoleon

2012

As Himself

Woman Between Wolf and Dog

1979

As Movie Goer / Man in Garden (uncredited)

The Path of the Dragon

1998

As Himself (archive footage)

The Expendables 2

2012

As Jean Vilain

Top Fighter

1995

As Himself (Archive Footage)

Minions: The Rise of Gru

2022

As Jean Clawed (voice)

Beur sur la ville

2011

As Colonel Merot

Breakin'

1984

As Spectator in First Dance Sequence

Kung Fu Panda 2

2011

As Master Croc (voice)

Jian Bing Man

2015

As Jean-Claude Van Damme

Kadyrov, Ubu dictateur de Tchétchénie

2018

As Self (archive footage)

Narco

2004

As Himself

Missing in Action

1984

As Soldier (uncredited)

The Curse of the Dragon

1993

As Self (archive footage)

Haters

2021

As Jean-Claude Van Damme

Kung Fu Panda 3

2016

As Master Croc (voice)

Voices That Care

1990

As Self - Choir Member

Last Action Hero

1993

As Jean-Claude Van Damme (uncredited)

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

2014

As Gibson Rickenbacker (archive footage) (uncredited)

Production

Missing in Action

1984

As Stunts

Kickboxer

1989

As Stunt Coordinator

Kickboxer

1989

As Martial Arts Choreographer

The Quest

1996

As Director

Frenchy

2010

As Director

Kickboxer

1989

As Action Director

Cyborg

1989

As Editor

Frenchy

2010

As Editor

Bloodsport

1988

As Editor

Legionnaire

1998

As Producer

Inferno

1999

As Producer

Double Impact

1991

As Producer

JCVD

2008

As Executive Producer

Frenchy

2010

As Producer

We Die Young

2019

As Executive Producer

Black Water

2018

As Executive Producer

Pound of Flesh

2015

As Executive Producer

6 Bullets

2012

As Executive Producer

Assassination Games

2011

As Executive Producer

Kickboxer

1989

As Story

The Quest

1996

As Screenplay

Lionheart

1990

As Screenplay

Double Impact

1991

As Screenplay

Frenchy

2010

As Writer

The Order

2001

As Writer

Kickboxer: Vengeance

2016

As Characters

Double Impact

1991

As Screenstory

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