Chan Kong Sang, known in Hollywood as Jackie Chan celebrated the 55th birthday this Tuesday. Chan has been acting since 70s, starred in over 100 films, and is best known for his comic acrobatic fighting style, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts. Jackie began Hollywood career as a stuntman in the Bruce Lee films "Fist of Fury" (1972) and "Enter the Dragon" (1973). Unlike other Hollywood actors Jackie Chan performs most of his stunts by himself and therefore has impressive number of scars.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Jackie Chan (born April 7, 1955, Hong Kong) is a Hong Kong and American actor, stuntman, film director, producer, script writer, director of tricks and action choreographer and a singer. Jackie Chan acted in films with pseudo-names: Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan with a Baseball Bat, Yuan Lung Chan, Yuen-Lung Chan, Lung Chen, Long Cheng, Wellson Chin, and Sing Lung.
Chan is one of the most popular heroes of kung-fu action movies in the world and is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comedy and also the use of the most different "improvised means" in action scenes. He has acted in more than 100 films in leading roles and is one of the most popular Asian actors in the world. He sings theme songs in many of his films and has released albums since the 1980s. Chan is popular as one of the "Seven Little Fortunes" (the graduates of the Peking Opera School becoming popular actors).
Jackie Chan was born in Hong Kong (presently an administrative district of the People's Republic of China). His parents - Charles Chan and Lee-Lee Chan came to Hong Kong as refugees from the continent during the Chinese Civil War and relocated in Australia in 1960. Before relocating to Australia, they worked as a butler and house-maid in the residence of the France Consul in Hong Kong. The Chinese name of Chan "Kong-Sang" means "born in Hong Kong".
Jackie Chan started his film career as a stuntman and sometimes he was offered small roles in episodes. Very confident in kung-fu, acrobatics and possessing a good elastic body and skills, from the mid 1970s Chan started playing leading roles and then started producing and directing the films. He makes out rightly entertaining films - unpretentious comedies with "fights", but in the due course of time it has become clear that this energetic and volatile robust fellow has managed to create a new genre of film, in which only one person is capable to act in – Jackie Chan himself, because, nobody else would endanger their lives for the sake of breathtaking stunts other than Jackie Chan. In many respects, the films of Jackie Chan are similar to comedies of the "mute cinema" era, when gags and humorous stunts reigned on screen. Becoming the most popular Chinese actor from mid the 1990s, Jackie Chan worked in Hollywood and has managed to achieve astounding success in a short span of time. Film intellectuals do not admire him, but Jackie Chan has no less devoted admirers than any of the biggest stars of the global cinema. The most popular films of Jackie Chan are Police Story 4 (1993), Thunderbolt, Rumble in the Bronx and Shanghai Noon.
For the last few years, Jackie Chan has been experimenting more with genres, protagonists and plots. In one of the interviews he gave he expressed his wish to prove to the audience that he is "an actor who can fight and not the fighter who can act". Therefore, his last films were so different from each other: "New Police Story" a drama, "The Myth" a fantasy and "Rob-B-Hood" a comedy. Jackie Chan is actually a diversified actor and he is an excellent actor who can play many different characters without losing his individuality.
Though Jackie Chan was popular in restricted circles in the USA, real success was achieved only after the movie "Rumble in the Bronx" in 1995.
Jackie Chan has stars on the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and also on Old Arbat Street in Moscow. Chan is also a successful pop singer and since 1984 he has released more than 100 songs on 20 albums. He sings in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and English. He very often sings theme songs for his films but while releasing these movies in Britain and the USA these theme songs, as a rule, are replaced.
Jackie Chan is widely known for his charity work and participates in various projects. He often acts as a goodwill ambassador in various projects like the help rendered to sufferers of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 or of the flooding in Continental China. In June 2006 he stated that he bequeaths half of his earnings towards charitable purposes. He also mentioned that he very much respects the philanthropic inclinations of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
The popular belief exists that during his entire film career, Jackie Chan never played a negative character. However, there are at least three such films and they are:
* An incidental negative role in the movie "Return of the Dragon" with Bruce Lee;
* The Minor negative role of the leader of the goons in the film "Rumble in Hong Kong";
* The role of the main negative character Wa Wu Bin (Tiger) in the film "The Killer Meteors"