Jean-Claude Van Damme

Name in Native Language: "Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg" (Dutch/NL)
Boxer / Film Producer / Film Director / Screenwriter / Scenographer / Composer / Actor | * 10/18/1960 (62) | Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels (Belgium)
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg (French: [ʒɑ̃ klod kamij fʁɑ̃swa vɑ̃ vaʁɑ̃bɛʁɡ]; Dutch: [vɑn ˈvarə(n)ˈbɛrx]; born 18 October 1960), known professionally as Jean-Claude Van Damme (French: [vɑ̃ dam]; Dutch: [vɑn ˈdɑmə]), is a Belgian martial artist, actor, filmmaker, and fight choreographer. Born and raised in Brussels, Belgium, at the age of ten his father enrolled him in martial arts classes, which led Van Damme in several competitions. With the desire of becoming an actor, he moved to the United States in 1982, where he did odd jobs and worked on several films, until he got his break as the lead in the martial arts film Bloodsport (1988). Van Damme became a popular action film star and followed up with Cyborg (1989), Kickboxer (1989), Lionheart (1990), Death Warrant (1990), Double Impact ()
Photo of Jean-Claude Van Damme

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).

Most frequent genres for this person: Action | Thriller | Comedies

Known for these Movies & Shows

Awards & Nominations for Jean-Claude Van Damme

Officer of The Order of The Crown Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star
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Movies with Jean-Claude Van Damme as Actor(85)

as Russell Hatch2023 Darkness of Man
as Jean Clawed (voice)2022 Minions: The Rise of Gru
as Richard Brumére2021 The Last Mercenary
as himself2021 Haters
as Daniel2019 We Die Young
as Master Durand2018 Kickboxer: Retaliation
as Wheeler2018 Black Water
as Lukas2018 The Bouncer
as Philip2017 Kill 'em All
as Master Durand2016 Kickboxer: Vengeance
as Master Croc (voice)2016 Kung Fu Panda 3
as Deacon2015 Pound of Flesh
as himself2015 Jian Bing Man
as Stillman2014 Swelter
as Gibson Rickenbacker (archive footage) (uncredited)2014 Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
as Xander2013 Enemies Closer
as Jean Vilain2012 The Expendables 2
as George2012 U.F.O.
as himself2012 Corporal vs. Napoleon
as Samson Gaul2012 6 Bullets
as Tiano2012 Dragon Eyes
as Colonel Merot2011 Beur sur la ville
as Master Croc (voice)2011 Kung Fu Panda 2
as Vincent Brazil2011 Assassination Games
as Frenchy2010 Frenchy
as Jack Robideaux2008 The Shepherd: Border Patrol
as J.C.V.D.2008 JCVD
as Anthony Stowe2007 Until Death
as Cmdr. Samuel 'Sam' Keenan2006 Second in Command
as Charles2006 Heist School
as Phillippe Sauvage2006 The Hard Corps
as Ben Archer2004 Wake of Death
as himself2004 Narco
as himself2004 Crossings: John Woo
as Kyle LeBlanc2003 In Hell
as Jacques Kristoff2002 Derailed
as Max Walker (archive footage)2002 Ultimate Fights from the Movies
as Himself (archive footage)2001 The Unbeatable Bruce Lee
as Rudy Cafmeyer2001 The Order
as Replicant / Garrotte2001 Replicant
as Eddie Lomax1999 Inferno
as Luc Devereux1999 Universal Soldier: The Return
as Marcus Ray1998 Knock Off
as Alain Lefevre1998 Legionnaire
as Jack Quinn1997 Double Team
as Alain Moreau / Mikhail Suverov1996 Maximum Risk
as Christopher Dubois1996 The Quest
as Darren Francis Thomas McCord1995 Sudden Death
as Himself (Archive Footage)1995 Top Fighter
as Colonel William Guile1994 Street Fighter
as Max Walker1994 Timecop
as Sam Gillen1993 Nowhere to Run
as Self (archive footage)1993 The Curse of the Dragon
as Jean-Claude Van Damme (uncredited)1993 Last Action Hero
as Chance Boudreaux1993 Hard Target
as Luc Deveraux / GR441992 Universal Soldier
as Alex / Chad Wagner1991 Double Impact
as Self - Choir Member1990 Voices That Care
as Leon Gaultier1990 Lionheart
as Louis Burke1990 Death Warrant
as Gibson Rickenbacker1989 Cyborg
as Kurt Sloane1989 Kickboxer
as Andrei1988 Black Eagle
as Frank Dux1988 Bloodsport
as Ivan Kraschinsky "The Russian"1986 No Retreat, No Surrender
as Spectator in First Dance Sequence (uncredited)1984 Breakin'
as Gay Karate Man1984 Monaco Forever
as Soldier (uncredited)1984 Missing in Action
as Extra in Police Arrival Sequence (uncredited)1984 Barbarous Street
as Movie Goer / Man in Garden (uncredited)1979 Woman Between Wolf and Dog

TV Shows/Series with Jean-Claude Van Damme as Actor(13)

as himself2019 The UnXplained
as himself2010 Conan
as himself2003 Celebrities Uncensored
as himself2003 Las Vegas
as himself1999 Beckmann
as himself1998 Vivement dimanche
as himself1995 Viva el lunes
as himself1994 Friends

Movies with Jean-Claude Van Damme as Crew(30)

Production/Executive Producer2023 Darkness of Man
Writing/Story2023 Darkness of Man
Production/Executive Producer2019 We Die Young
Production/Executive Producer2018 Black Water
Writing/Characters2016 Kickboxer: Vengeance
Production/Executive Producer2015 Pound of Flesh
Production/Executive Producer2012 6 Bullets
Production/Executive Producer2011 Assassination Games
Directing/Director2010 Frenchy
Editing/Editor2010 Frenchy
Production/Producer2010 Frenchy
Writing/Writer2010 Frenchy
Production/Executive Producer2008 JCVD
Writing/Writer2001 The Order
Production/Producer1999 Inferno
Production/Producer1999 Universal Soldier: The Return
Production/Producer1998 Legionnaire
Directing/Director1996 The Quest
Writing/Screenplay1996 The Quest
Production/Producer1991 Double Impact
Writing/Screenplay1991 Double Impact
Writing/Screenstory1991 Double Impact
Writing/Screenplay1990 Lionheart
Editing/Editor1989 Cyborg
Crew/Stunt Coordinator1989 Kickboxer
Crew/Martial Arts Choreographer1989 Kickboxer
Directing/Action Director1989 Kickboxer
Writing/Story1989 Kickboxer
Editing/Editor1988 Bloodsport
Crew/Stunts1984 Missing in Action

Additional Information

Citizenship: Belgium
Born: Tuesday, 10/18 1960 (October) in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels (Belgium) (current age: 62 years + 345 days)
Zodiac sign: Libra (Chinese zodiac sign: Rat)
Languages: English (EN), French (FR), Dutch (NL)
Spouses (current/former): Gladys Portugues, Darcy LaPier
Other names for Jean-Claude Van Damme (nicknames, foreign languages etc.):
"The Muscles from Brussels"
"Jean-Claude van Varenbergh"
"Jean-Claude Camille François van Varenberg"
"Ζαν-Κλοντ Βαν Νταμ"
"Ζαν Κλοντ Βαν Νταμ"
"Βαν Νταμ"
"Жан-Клод Ван Дамм"
"장 끌로드 반담"
"Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg"
Jean-Claude Van Damme frequently works together with these people:
Sheldon Lettich (17x, Crew)
Kris Van Damme (15x, Actor)
Moshe Diamant (14x, Crew)
Dolph Lundgren (13x, Actor)
Peter Malota (13x, Crew)
Kamel Krifa (12x, Actor)
Boaz Davidson (9x, Crew)
Charlie Picerni (9x, Crew)
Peter Hyams (8x, Crew)
John Hyams (8x, Crew)
Zoltan Elek (8x, Crew)
Matt LeBlanc (6x, Actor)
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:71, Added: 03/23/2018, Last updated: 09/22/2023