Jean-Claude Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme

  • Known For: Acting
  • Birthday: 18-10-1960
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of Birth: Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium
  • Also Known As:

    The Muscles from Brussels

  • Popularity: 59.50
  • Homepage:

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).

Year Movie Character
1993 Hard Target as Chance Boudreaux
1989 Cyborg as Gibson Rickenbacker
1989 Kickboxer as Kurt Sloane
1999 Universal Soldier: The Return as Luc Devereux
1993 Nowhere to Run as Sam Gillen
1998 Legionnaire as Alain Lefevre
1996 Maximum Risk as Alain Moreau / Mikhail Suverov
1999 Inferno as Eddie Lomax
2007 Until Death as Anthony Stowe
1994 Street Fighter as Colonel William Guile
1988 Bloodsport as Frank Dux
2008 The Shepherd: Border Patrol as Jack Robideaux
1994 Timecop as Max Walker
1995 Sudden Death as Darren Francis Thomas McCord
1996 The Quest as Christopher Dubois
1992 Universal Soldier as Luc Deveraux / GR44
1990 Lionheart as Leon Gaultier
1997 Double Team as Jack Quinn
1991 Double Impact as Alex / Chad Wagner
2006 The Hard Corps as Phillippe Sauvage
2008 JCVD as J.C.V.D.
2009 Universal Soldier: Regeneration as Luc Deveraux
2004 Wake of Death as Ben Archer
1998 Knock Off as Marcus Ray
2001 The Order as Rudy Cafmeyer
1990 Death Warrant as Louis Burke
2002 Derailed as Jacques Kristoff
2006 Second in Command as Cmdr. Samuel 'Sam' Keenan
2003 In Hell as Kyle LeBlanc
2010 Frenchy as Frenchy
2011 Assassination Games as Vincent Brazil
2012 Dragon Eyes as Tiano
2014 Swelter as Stillman
2012 Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning as Luc Deveraux
2012 6 Bullets as Samson Gaul
2013 Welcome to the Jungle as Storm
2013 Enemies Closer as Xander
2003 Dans la peau de Jean-Claude Van Damme
2015 Pound of Flesh as Deacon
1984 Barbarous Street as Extra in Police Arrival Sequence (uncredited)
2017 Kill 'em All as Philip
2018 Black Water as Wheeler
2018 The Bouncer as Lukas
2019 We Die Young as Daniel
2019 The Making of Double Impact, Parts 1 & 2
2004 Universal Soldier: A Tale of Two Titans as Himself
2020 JCVD's Day Out as JCVD
2021 The Last Mercenary as Richard Brumére
2021 Monsieur Jean-Claude as (uncredited)
1970 What's My Name?
2001 Replicant as Replicant / Garrotte
1986 No Retreat, No Surrender as Ivan Kraschinsky "The Russian"
1988 Black Eagle as Andrei
2004 Guns, Genes & Fighting Machines: The Making of 'Universal Soldier' as Himself
2002 Ultimate Fights from the Movies as Max Walker (archive footage)
1984 Monaco Forever as Gay Karate Man
2018 Kickboxer: Retaliation as Master Durand
2001 The Unbeatable Bruce Lee as Himself (archive footage)
2012 U.F.O. as George
2016 Kickboxer: Vengeance as Master Durand
2006 Heist School as Charles
2014 The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films as Self
2012 Corporal vs. Napoleon as Himself
1979 Woman Between Wolf and Dog as Movie Goer / Man in Garden (uncredited)
2012 The Expendables 2 as Jean Vilain
1995 Top Fighter as Himself (Archive Footage)
2022 Minions: The Rise of Gru as Jean Clawed (voice)
2011 Beur sur la ville as Colonel Merot
2002 All the Love You Cannes! as Self
1984 Breakin' as Spectator in First Dance Sequence
2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 as Master Croc (voice)
2015 Jian Bing Man as Jean-Claude Van Damme
2004 Narco as Himself
1984 Missing in Action as Soldier (uncredited)
2019 In Search of the Last Action Heroes
1993 The Curse of the Dragon as Self (archive footage)
1990 The Best of the Martial Arts Films as Himself
2021 Haters as Jean-Claude Van Damme
2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 as Master Croc (voice)
2001 Playboy Mansion Parties Uncensored as Himself
1990 Voices That Care as Self - Choir Member
1993 Last Action Hero as Jean-Claude Van Damme (uncredited)
2014 Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films as Gibson Rickenbacker (archive footage) (uncredited)
1984 Missing in Action
1989 Kickboxer
1989 Kickboxer
1996 The Quest
2010 Frenchy
1989 Kickboxer
1989 Cyborg
2010 Frenchy
1988 Bloodsport
1999 Universal Soldier: The Return
1998 Legionnaire
1999 Inferno
1991 Double Impact
2008 JCVD
2010 Frenchy
2019 We Die Young
2018 Black Water
2015 Pound of Flesh
2012 6 Bullets
2011 Assassination Games
1989 Kickboxer
1996 The Quest
1990 Lionheart
1991 Double Impact
2010 Frenchy
2001 The Order
2016 Kickboxer: Vengeance
1991 Double Impact

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