Jean Claude Van Damme

Jean Claude Van Damme was born in Metal Rat - Keng Tzu Year of the 60-year Cycle of the Chinese Zodiac

Jean-Claude Van Damme’s birth name is Jean-Claude Camille Francois Van Varenberg. He was born October 18, 1950 in Brussels, Belgium. He began his career as a martial artist at the age of 12 when he trained at Centre National de Karate. After four years of training he was awarded a position on the Belgium Karate Team. At the age of sixteen Jean-Claude competed in both full-contact and semi-contact matches. Jean-Claude moved to the United States in 1979 where he fought as a kick boxer from the Miami Beach Florida area. Familiar sights of Van Damme’s kick boxing career saw him being knocked to the canvas, but pulling himself up, aiming an ax-kick and knocking out his opponents. Jean-Claude racked up 18-1 knockouts in kickboxing and a semi-contact record of 41-4. Jean-Claude received his Hollywood start when Chuck Norris gave him a small role in the movie Missing in Action (1984). In 1988 his role in Bloodsport, filmed in Hong Kong, was released and audiences recognized Jean-Claude Van Damme as an up and coming action star. His leaping and turning ability to deliver a kick to an opponent plus his good looks gave him starring roles in Cyborg, Lionheart and Double Impact. In 1992 he played the starring role in Universal Soldier and in 1994 Timecop. Van Damme plays scenes so violent and intense that they often cannot be filmed in the US. Van Damme has a fear of being sued for being so violent. He was sued in 1989 for gouging the eye of an extra while filming Cyborg. Van Damme was also arrested and sentenced for a DUI in 1999. The highly talented and awesome looking Van Damme learned to speak English by watching The Flintstones, a cartoon popular in the 1960s. He studied classical ballet for five years – hence his grace when kickboxing! He is currently married to Gladys Portugues and has three children.
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