Jet Li

Jet Li


Born: April 28, 1963

Early Life: Jet Liange was born in Beijing, China. He was the youngest of 5 children. He was sent to what is now referred to as the Beijing Sports and Exercise school, where he was fatefully assigned to the Wushu class. Jet Li was coached by renowned Wushu coaches Li Junfeng and Wu Bin and by the age of 11, Li won his first national championship, as a result of which he traveled to more than 45 countries as part of the Bejing Wushu Team. Li became the All-Around Nation Wushu Champion in 1974, which he held for the next 5 years. He retired from the sport when he was 17 and made his film debut with 'Shaolin Soccer' (1979), his screen presence was undeniable and ignited a boom in the kung-fu film industry. By the end of the 1980's Jet Li relocated to Hong Kong where he became involved in the martial arts scene. Li's first attempt as a director was 'Born To Defence'(1988) which was a failure, but his acting career continued to accelerate with blockbusters like 'Once Upon A time In China' and Fong Sai-Yuk series in the early '90s.

Career Highlights: Li starred in his first English language movie, Lethal Weapon 4 (1994) which earned him rave reviews from the audience and critics. He not only starred in Kiss Of The Dragon (2001) but also helped develop the story. The Shaolin Temple series (1982) and The Once Upon a Time in China series (1991-1992), are considered his finest works. He also played the lead in Fist of Legend (1994), a remake of Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury. Hero (2002), a historical drama was released in China, and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. In his next film, Fearless (2006), Li starred as the famed Chinese martial arts master Huo Yuanjia. Critics touted Jet's acting skills as visually striking, helping it reach No. 2 at the box office in its opening weekend. Li was finally paired with Jackie Chan for The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), where they shared the screen together for the first time. Other noteworthy roles include The One (2001), Cradle To The Grave (2003), War (2007), The Expendables (2010) and Badges Of Fury (2013). Jet's next release The Expendables 3 is due in August 2014.

Little Known Facts:

-Jet Li won the Chinese national championship in the acrobatic martial art Wushu when he was 11. His prize was a trip to Washington D.C. to meet President Richard Nixon.
-Jet Li injured his foot while escaping the tsunami that followed a 9.0 earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Li and his four year old daughter were on vacation in the Maldives on December 26th, 2004. This was a turning point in his life as a result of which he started his own non-profit organization called, The One Foundation that supports international disaster relief efforts.