Jean-Claude Van Damme
Actor, martial artist, director
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg, professionally known as Jean-Claude Van Damme, is a Belgian martial artist, actor, and director best known for his martial arts action films. The most successful of these films include Bloodsport (1988), Kickboxer (1989), Universal Soldier (1992), Hard Target (1993), Timecop (1994), Sudden Death (1995) and JCVD (2008).
Jean-Claude Van Damme's personal information overview.
News abour Jean-Claude Van Damme from around the web
With Van Damme reduced to supporting role, 'Kickboxer: Vengeance' lacks star power
LATimes - 6 months
The 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle “Kickboxer” is a classic of its kind: a dopey underdog sports melodrama that takes advantage of its stripped-down plot to load up on scenes of people beating the tar out of each other. The quasi-remake “Kickboxer: Vengeance” tries its best to do the same,...
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LATimes article
Jean-Claude Van Damme knocks out a sale on the Westside
LATimes - 9 months
In a celebrity connection straight outta the Westside, actor and martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme sold his home in Marina del Rey to rapper-actor Ice Cube for $7.25 million. The custom three-story with cityscape and ocean views came up for sale a year ago for about $10 million and was more...
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LATimes article
US Military Plans Cyborg Soldiers with New DARPA Project - Newsweek
Google News - about 1 year
NH Voice US Military Plans Cyborg Soldiers with New DARPA Project Newsweek DARPA brain computer interface universal soldier Luc Deveraux, played by Jean-Claude Van Damme, used a brain-computer interface in the science fiction film Universal Soldier. Carolco Pictures. Tech & Science DARPA artificial intelligence. The U.S. ... US Military Wants To Link Human Brain To Computer Using Mind-Reading ImplantsTech Times DARPA's Brain Implant Research Could Turn US Soldiers Into Cyborgs, Or Help Injured VetsInternational Business Times Bridging the Bio-Electronic DivideI-Connect007 Headlines & Global News -NH Voice all 44 news articles »
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Google News article
Branded Content: The Currency of Connection
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The rise of "content" is a fundamental 21st century marketing phenomenon. But is "advertising," deliberate messages broadcast at one time to swathes of people, dead? Certainly not. Marketers do not spend $250 billion per year on television commercials for sentimental reasons. They do so because brands require carefully crafted positioning and USPs (unique selling propositions) delivered to specific target audiences. But, today, no communications mix is complete without "content" -- that is, creative executions consumers can actively choose to "engage" with. Content exists in all shapes and sizes. Red Bull's invitation to observe Felix Baumgartner's jump from space is compelling while Oral B's Twitter feeds extolling the benefits of "the world's first electronic toothbrush with blue tooth connectivity" is irrelevant. Domino's downloadable pizza ordering app is transactional. Procter & Gamble's celebration of mothers of Olympic champions is transcendent. Mattel's catalogue-cum-c ...
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Huffington Post article
Former WWE Superstar Bill Goldberg: I Want an Acting Career Like 'The Rock'
Huffington Post - over 1 year
In sports entertainment, Bill Goldberg could be the professional wrestler against whom all others gauge their accomplishments. In just over five years, he became one of the industry's most bankable stars -- and a two-time World Heavyweight champion. However, as he reinvents himself as an actor, Goldberg looks to a former in-ring rival as the blueprint for success. "'The Rock' has definitely set the bar," said Goldberg of fellow World Wrestling Entertainment mega-star-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. "He's in a class by himself, and he always will be, I believe." Like Johnson, Goldberg exploded onto the wrestling scene in the late 90s. As "The Rock" dominated WWE rings, Goldberg owned rival World Championship Wrestling. Boasting a lengthy undefeated streak, he claimed two United States championships, the company's tag team titles (with the legendary Bret "The Hitman" Hart) and, eventually, the WCW World Heavyweight title. Goldberg was named 1998's "Rookie of the Yea ...
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Huffington Post article
5 Lessons Die Hard</em> Can Teach Us About Storytelling
Huffington Post - over 1 year
This Post originally appeared on the blog ScreenCraft. ScreenCraft is dedicated to helping screenwriters and filmmakers succeed through educational events, screenwriting competitions and the annual ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship program, connecting screenwriters with agents, managers and Hollywood producers. Follow ScreenCraft on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Die Hard, written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza, has stood the test of time as not only one of the best action films in cinematic history, but also as one of the best scripts ever written. ScreenCraft featured it in 10 Scripts to Read Before You Die. The film debuted in 1988, released during a decade in which the action genre was at its highest, having given birth to action icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger (Commando) and Sylvester Stallone (Rambo). Those two figures dominated the action genre with the likes of other action stars later in the decade -- Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, ...
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Huffington Post article
Action star recreates infamous dance scene
CNN - almost 2 years
Jean-Claude Van Damme recreated a hilarious dance scene from the movie "Kickboxer" on Conan.
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CNN article
Movie review: Van Damme is up to his old kicks in &#239;&#191;&#189;Pound of Flesh&#239;&#191;&#189; - almost 2 years
In "Pound of Flesh," Jean-Claude Van Damme can still do the splits, still pull off a nude scene and still feels the need to do one. Click to Continue »
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Van Damme recreates 'Kickboxer' dance scene
CNN - almost 2 years
Jean-Claude Van Damme recreated a hilarious dance scene from the movie "Kickboxer" on Conan.
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CNN article
Interview with John Salvitti Fight Choreographer/Stunt Coordinator on Pound of Flesh
CNN iReport - almost 2 years
I had an exclusive interview with John Salvitti about his work on the Jean Claude Van Damme action thriller Pound of Flesh (release May 15, 2015) as the Fight Choreographer/Stunt Coordinator and his philosophy about the importance of realism in stunts. John has extensive experience as a Mixed Martial Artist with more than 35 years in the arts and working on films. His martial art skills has taken him around the world and finally to work with  Jean-Claude Van Damme.
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CNN iReport article
The newest free movies available now
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
We all know your life needs more Jean Claude Van Damme and Kevin Smith. You're in luck because you can watch them for free online.
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Yahoo News article
Comment on The Only Palestinian Jean-Claude Van Damme “Epic Splits” Spoof You Need by Palästinensische JCVD „Epischer Spagat“ Parodie – die einzige, die man braucht! - Audiatur-Online
Heeb - almost 2 years
[…] The Only Palestinian Jean-Claude Van Damme “Epic Splits” Spoof You Need by Yo Semite © Heeb Magazine, December 9, […]
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Heeb article
Review: Nothing can rescue 'Welcome to the Jungle'
LATimes - about 3 years
Jean-Claude Van Damme stars in the nonsensical 'Welcome to the Jungle,' where a squabbling office staff is stuck on a deserted island. Farce or satire, who cares? Jean-Claude Van Damme — don't! Don't go into the jungle!
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LATimes article
A Q&A With Director Peter Hyams Takes Us Closer
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Peter Hyams has been making movies for over 40 years. A native New Yorker, Hyams has the distinction of being one of the only directors who also serves as his own cinematographer on his films, a hyphenate that has caused him some controversy among cameramen (see below for more details). After making his mark with such classics as Capricorn One, Outland, The Star Chamber, 2010, and many others, Hyams hasn't slowed down, bringing us his 21st feature film. Enemies Closer is a white-knuckle thriller starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as the ruthless (and flamboyant) leader of a drug cartel on a search and destroy mission for his missing cache of product, which sits at the bottom of a lake on the U.S.-Canadian border. Tom Everett Scott plays the U.S. Park Ranger with a murky past who tries to stop him, along with Orlando Jones as a vengeful ex-con and Linzey Cocker as a damsel in distress with a secret of her own. The Lionsgate release is currently playing in selected theaters and is availab ...
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Huffington Post article
Review: Jean-Claude Van Damme makes few friends in 'Enemies Closer'
LATimes - about 3 years
Martial-arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme's over-the-top villain is the most entertaining aspect of an amateurish thriller. At 53, Jean-Claude Van Damme is still an extraordinary physical specimen, performing his trademark splits while perched on the side-view mirrors of semi-trucks driving parallel, in reverse, in that YouTube video that went viral a couple months ago.
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LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • 2015
    Age 54
    In early 2015, Portugues has filed for a second divorce from Van Damme – citing irreconcilable differences. However, in May 2015 they appeared to have reconciled and called off the divorce.
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    In 2015 he features in a new situation comedy television series JC 1er which is set to broadcast on French television channel Canal+.
    More Details Hide Details He appeared in the 2013 comedy Welcome To The Jungle directed by Rob Meltzer, in a role as a workplace team building trainer opposite Adam Brody, Rob Huebel, Kristen Schaal, Megan Boone, and Dennis Haysbert. In 1997, Frank Dux, the martial artist whom Van Damme portrayed in Bloodsport, filed a lawsuit against Van Damme for $50,000 for co-writing and consultation work Dux did on the 1996 film The Quest. According to the lawsuit, Dux also accused Van Damme of lying to the public about his martial arts fight record, stating that when Dux tutored Van Damme while Van Damme was laying carpet for a living, Van Damme exhibited a lack of martial arts skills. Van Damme's lawyer, Martin Singer, responded, "There are records to document his martial arts acclaim. Why, just look at his movies; he didn't get those roles on his acting ability! He's the one who does those splits on chairs. He doesn't have a stuntman to do that."
  • 2013
    Age 52
    On 13 November 2013, Volvo Trucks released an advertisement on YouTube that shows Van Damme doing the splits while perched with each of his feet on the outer rearview mirrors of one semi-trailer truck and one box truck moving backwards, which Van Damme describes in the commercial as "the most epic of splits".
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  • 2012
    Age 51
    LaPier, who was pregnant at the time with their son, did not become aware of this until Van Damme publicly admitted it in 2012.
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  • 2011
    Age 50
    In 2011, he discussed the condition on the British reality show Jean-Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors, saying, "Sometimes you're gonna like me, and sometimes you're gonna hate me.
    More Details Hide Details But what can I do? I'm not perfect... I'm an extreme bipolar, and I'm taking medication for this... When I was young, I was suffering those swing moods. In the morning, the sky was blue I was going to school, and to me, the sky was black. I was so sad."
    In October 2011, Van Damme, along with other celebrities including Hilary Swank, Vanessa-Mae and Seal attracted criticism from human rights groups for attending an event in Russian federal subject Chechnya's capital Grozny on the 35th birthday of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov on 5 October.
    More Details Hide Details Human rights groups, who had urged the celebrities to cancel their appearances because of abuses carried out under Kadyrov, criticised the celebrities for attending the event. Human Rights Watch released a statement which said, "Ramzan Kadyrov is linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses. It's inappropriate for stars to get paid to party with him And getting paid to be part of such a lavish show in Chechnya trivializes the suffering of countless victims of human rights abuses there." In the French-speaking world, Van Damme is well known for the picturesque aphorisms that he delivers on a wide range of topics (personal well-being, the environment, etc.) in a sort of Zen franglais. The original video game Mortal Kombat was conceived as a fighting game based on Van Damme. Creators Ed Boon and John Tobias had originally wanted to star Van Damme himself in the game. That fell through as he had a prior deal for another game under the auspices of the Sega Genesis platform. Ed Boon and John Tobias eventually decided to create a different character for the game named Johnny Cage, who is modelled after Jean-Claude Van Damme, primarily from Van Damme's appearance and outfit in the martial arts film Bloodsport.
    He voiced Master Croc in the 2011 animated film Kung Fu Panda 2 and reprised the role in Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016.
    More Details Hide Details That same year Van Damme appeared in commercials for Coors Light beer, showing him on a snow-covered mountain wearing a sleeveless denim jacket, and for the washing powder Dash. On 21 October 2012, Van Damme was honored with a life-size statue of himself in his hometown of Brussels. He told reporters during the unveiling, "Belgium is paying me back something, but really it's to pay back to the dream. So when people come by here, it is not Jean-Claude Van Damme but it's a guy from the street who believed in something. I want the statue to represent that". Van Damme returned to the Universal Soldier series with Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, which again co-stars Dolph Lundgren. He starred in the thriller Enemies Closer, which reunited him with Timecop and Sudden Death director Peter Hyams. Van Damme indicated that Stallone might include him in The Expendables 3, in which Van Damme would play Claude Villain, the brother to his Expendables 2 character Jean Villain. The casting of Mel Gibson as the film's villain, however, made this less than likely. Van Damme ended up not featuring in the film.
    On 30 June 2011, Van Damme confirmed his participation in The Expendables 2, which was released on 17 August 2012.
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    He scheduled a series of film projects for 2011, including another Universal Soldier movie.
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  • 2010
    Age 49
    He was offered a lead role in Sylvester Stallone's 2010 film The Expendables.
    More Details Hide Details Stallone called Van Damme personally to offer him the role, but Van Damme turned it down.
  • 2009
    Age 48
    Van Damme reprised his role as Luc Deveraux in the 2009 film Universal Soldier: Regeneration.
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  • 2008
    Age 47
    Van Damme returned to the mainstream with the limited theatrical release of the 2008 film JCVD, which received positive reviews.
    More Details Hide Details Time Magazine named Van Damme's performance in the film the second best of the year (after Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight), having previously stated that Van Damme "deserves not a black belt, but an Oscar." Van Damme indicated while promoting the film, he experienced a period of homelessness "sleeping on the street and starving in L.A."
  • 2003
    Age 42
    In 2003, Van Damme employed his dancing training in the music video for Bob Sinclar's "Kiss My Eyes."
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  • 1999
    Age 38
    After leaving LaPier, Van Damme remarried bodybuilder Portugues in 1999, and they later again separated.
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    The 1999 film Universal Soldier: The Return, also a box-office flop, was Van Damme's last theatrically released film until 2008.
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  • 1994
    Age 33
    Van Damme followed Nowhere To Run and Hard Target with Timecop in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details In the film, Van Damme played a time-traveling cop, who tries to prevent the death of his wife. The film was a huge success, grossing over $100 million worldwide, and remains his highest-grossing film in a lead role to date. He starred in the poorly received Street Fighter that same year. His further projects started to fail at the box office. Sudden Death (1995); The Quest (1996), which he directed; Maximum Risk (1996), Double Team (1997) and Knock Off (1998) were box-office flops.
  • 1992
    Age 31
    Van Damme has been married five times to four different women. He was married to his third wife, bodybuilder Gladys Portugues - with whom he has two children: Kristopher (born 1987) and Bianca (born 1990) - until 1992, when he began an affair with actress Darcy LaPier, whom he married in February 1994.
    More Details Hide Details That same year he had an affair with his Street Fighter co-star Kylie Minogue during filming of that movie in Thailand.
  • 1989
    Age 28
    His last role for 1989 was Kurt Sloane in the successful Kickboxer.
    More Details Hide Details In this film, his character fights to avenge his brother who has been paralyzed by a Thai kickboxing champion (Qissi). The following year he starred in the film Lionheart. The film is about a French Legionnaire who deserts his post to return to Los Angeles after his brother is murdered, and enters the underground fighting circuit to raise money for his brother's family. Double Impact featured Van Damme in the dual role of Alex and Chad Wagner, estranged twin brothers fighting to avenge the deaths of their parents. This film reunited him with his former Bloodsport co-star, Bolo Yeung. He then starred opposite Dolph Lundgren in the action film Universal Soldier. While it grossed $36,299,898 in the U.S., it was an even bigger success overseas, making over $65 million, well over its modest $23 million budget, making it Van Damme's highest-grossing film at the time.
  • 1988
    Age 27
    Van Damme also had a non-speaking part as a Secret Service agent who carries a polio-crippled President Franklin Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy) out of a pool in the 1988 TV miniseries War and Remembrance.
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  • 1987
    Age 26
    Van Damme worked for director John McTiernan for the 1987 film Predator as an early (eventually abandoned) version of the titular alien, before being removed and replaced by Kevin Peter Hall. His breakout film was Bloodsport, based on the alleged true story of Frank Dux. Shot on a 1.5 million dollar budget, it became a U.S. box-office hit in the spring of 1988.
    More Details Hide Details He then starred in the smaller budgeted film Cyborg.
  • 1982
    Age 21
    In 1982, Van Damme and childhood friend Michel Qissi moved to the United States in the hope of becoming action stars.
    More Details Hide Details They were both cast as extras in the film, Breakin'.
    Van Damme retired from competition in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Since 2009, Van Damme has been planning to make a comeback to fight former boxing Olympic gold-medalist Somluck Kamsing. The fight was a focal point in his ITV reality show Jean Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors. The fight has been repeatedly postponed, with many critics doubting it will occur, especially due to the difficulty of booking the venue. December 2012, Van Damme was seen as part of Kam Sing's ring crew, when Kam Sing fought against Jomhod Kiatadisak.
  • 1980
    Age 19
    In 1980, Van Damme caught the attention of Professional Karate Magazine publisher and editor Mike Anderson, and multiple European champion Geert Lemmens.
    More Details Hide Details Both men tabbed Van Damme as an upcoming prospect.
  • 1979
    Age 18
    Van Damme was a member of the Belgium Karate Team when it won the European Karate Championship on 26 December 1979 at La Coupe Francois Persoons Karate Tournament in Brussels.
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  • 1977
    Age 16
    From 1977 to 1982, Van Damme compiled a record of 18 victories (18 knockouts) and 1 defeat.
    More Details Hide Details He was even named "Mr. Belgium" in a bodybuilding competition.
    Van Damme began his full-contact career in 1977, when Claude Goetz promoted the first ever full-contact karate tournament in Belgium.
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    Van Damme had a 1977 victory over Teugels.
    More Details Hide Details Teugels was coming off an impressive showing at the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations World Championships four months earlier, and was favored by some to win this match. According to reports, and Patrick Teugels' own interview (with photos), Teugels lost to Van Damme by TKO in the 1st round. Teugels was kicked in the nose and was unable to continue as a result. In a 2013 interview, Van Damme called this fight his most memorable match.
  • 1976
    Age 15
    From 1976 to 1980, Van Damme compiled a record of 44 victories and 4 defeats in tournament and non-tournament semi-contact matches.
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  • 1960
    Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg, on 18 October 1960, in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium, the son of Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, who was an accountant and florist.
    More Details Hide Details His father is Walloon (French-speaking) from Brussels, and his mother is Flemish (Dutch-speaking). He began martial arts at the age of ten, enrolled by his father in a Shotokan karate school. His styles consist of Shotokan Karate and Kickboxing. He eventually earned his black belt in karate at 18. He started lifting weights to improve his physique, which eventually led to a Mr. Belgium bodybuilding title. At the age of 16, he took up ballet, which he studied for five years. According to Van Damme, ballet "is an art, but it's also one of the most difficult sports. If you can survive a ballet workout, you can survive a workout in any other sport." Later he took up both Taekwondo and Muay Thai. At the age of 12, Van Damme joined the Centre National De Karaté (National Center of Karate) under the guidance of Claude Goetz in Belgium. Van Damme trained for four years and he earned a spot on the Belgian Karate Team; later training in full-contact karate and kickboxing with Dominique Valera.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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