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Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the most amazing martial arts actors in Hollywood. Some people know him because of the fantastic split that he did between two Volvo trucks. He is the king of splits and is fond of doing them in his roles in the movies.
Van Damme has a fantastic career fight record of 19 to 1 in full contact kickboxing. The one time the actor lost was when he kicked an opponent by accident when he was down. He also loved to spur with Chuck Norris. We can say that they are a bird of a feather.
The Belgium actor is also a producer, screenwriter, and movie director.
The actual height of Van Damme is 5 foot 10 inches. That is the average height in the United States and Europe. However, the martial artist performer would appear quite short to some movie stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dolph Lundgren.
The following are some other interesting facts about the Belgium actor.
The Belgium-born actor is best known for his roles in action movies. He excels in acrobatic action films and is quite an actor.
His mostly unknown and documented Belgium name is Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg. The star has quite an interesting genetic background. His father, Eugène Van Varenberg, is a French-speaking Walloon with a Jewish mother. On the other hand, his mother, Eliana, is Dutch-speaking Flemish.
His father registered him in the national center of karate in Brussels because he was worried that his son looked weak. And under the tutelage of Master Claude Goetz, Van Damme began his karate training. He was only 12 years old at the time.
He would eventually become the second-best karate fighter in the world, despite wanting the first position. Other activities that stoked his interest include Muay Thai, taekwondo and kickboxing.
His career in Acting
Van Damme had a successful career in kickboxing, karate, and Taekwondo before retiring in 1982. He moved to Hong Kong to kick-start his acting in action films.
His debut on the silver screen was a small role in Missing in Action, released in 1984. Van Damme’s next role came two years later in No Retreat, No Surrender. However, the two movies did very little to propel him in the movie industry.
He decided enough was enough when he met the director of Canon pictures on the street and didn’t waste any time in his bid to impress the executive. He demonstrated his martial arts skills in the street. The action earned him a role in Bloodsport. Bloodsport was a success, and it provided the necessary push to make Van Damme the star that he wanted.
His acting career includes a leading role in such movies as a Cyborg, Death Warrant, kickboxer, Lionheart and Universal Soldier. Universal Soldier was a big hit, both in the United States and abroad.
It is also important to point out that the movie star is the inspiring figure in the game, Mortal Combat. In Kung Fu Panda 3, Van Damme is the voice of Master Croc.
Love and Relationship
Jean-Claude Van Damme tried his luck with marriage by starting with Maria Rodriquez in 1980. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, and they split up four years later.
Next up was Cynthia Derderian, and the relationship only lasted one year. Some glimmer of hope came with his third trial with Gladys Portugues. She gave him two children but still cheated on her with Darcy LaPier, a fellow actress. She married LaPier in 1994 after breaking up with Portugues.
She had a child with Darcy, his third, but still cheated on her. It didn’t take long, and each went their separate ways. Jean-Claude Van Damme remarried his third wife, Gladys Portugues, in 1999. Surprisingly, they have managed to stay together, after a close call in 2015. They almost divorced again but were able to resolve their differences. It is not hard to guess whose fault it was.
Van Damme’s first daughter, Bianca Brigette Van Damme, is also an actor, and a martial arts enthusiast who seems to follow in her father’s footsteps. She was born in 1990 and is currently doing exploits in the silver screen.
His first son, Kristopher Van Varenberg, is also an actor, movie director, and producer. Varenbergis is the chip of the old block. At the age of 31, he already has up to 15 movie credits, which is by all means not a small feat.
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