Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan is perhaps the most famous actor/stuntman to come out of Hong Kong.

Jackie started his career as a pupil at Sifu Yu Jim Yuen's Peking Opera school at the age of 6, where he underwent rigorous physical training learning the acrobatic moves of the Peking Opera. Jackie's fellow students at the school were Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Cory Yuen, Yuen Qiu (the notarious "Landlady" from Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle) and Yuen Wah ("Landlord" in the same film).

After graduating from the opera school he discovered the market was slim for opera actors so looked up his older opera school "Big Brother" Sammo Hung who was working in the Hong Kong film industry as a stunt director. Sammo helped out Jackie by giving him experience as a stuntman. Jackie worked his way through the ranks to become what was called in the English movie credits a "martial arts coordinator" and also appeared as a stuntman in several Bruce Lee films.

After Bruce Lee's death Golden Harvest Studio director Lo Wei was looking for a successor to Bruce Lee. Producer Willie Chan remembered Jackie's work in earlier films and tracked him down in Australia where he was living with his parents and asked him to come back to Hong Kong to work in New Fist of Fury, a semi sequel to one of Bruce Lee's most famous films. Jackie wasn't exactly successful in the role, but worked steadily in for several years in less-than-stellar movies.

It wasn't until Lo Wei loaned Jackie out to Seasonal Films that Jackie hit the bigtime. His comedic Kung Fu turns in Snake in Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master were to become his trademark.

After serveral failed attempts to break in to the US market Jackie concentrated his efforts on the Asian market and became the #1 box office attraction in all of Asia. In 1995 a successfull US release of his film Rumble in the Bronx prompted Jackie to try to crack the US market again. The 1998 release of Rush Hour  firmly cemented Jackie in the US market and resulted in 2 sequels to the Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker partnership.

Jackie is, of course, well known for doing the majority of his own stunts. His stunt team also is said to be uninsurable because of the dangerous nature of their work.