“Muscles from Brussels” – this is what I named the martial artist and film star due to his athletic height Žans Klods van Damme.18. In October, the actor celebrates his 60th birthday, and in honor of this round figure, we will look back at his most successful films and the brightest events of life.
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Van Damme was born in 1960 in Brussels, Belgium. At the age of 10, his father encouraged him to play martial arts because he thought his son was physically weak. Van Damme started his martial arts career at the National Karate Center, practicing karate and kickboxing.
At the age of 16, the young martial artist turned to another activity in parallel. You probably just thought it was a very masculine sport like weightlifting? No, it’s a gentle, graceful ballet. For five years, van Damme studied classical ballet, which is considered one of the most difficult activities.
In the amateur kickboxing competition (1976-1980), van Damme took part in 48 fights, of which 44 won, and as a professional (1977-1982) he fought 19 fights, of which 18 won, all with a slaughter.
In 1982, van Damme went to the United States with the specific goal of becoming a film actor. But the beginning was not easy, because there was never a shortage of action movie stars in Hollywood. He arrived in Los Angeles, where at first he worked various occasional jobs – changing carpets, working as a pizza supplier and limousine driver, but later, thanks to the American martial artist Chuck Norris, he got a security guard at the club. Noriss van Dammem was later given a small role in the film “Missing the Action” (1984), which was not very popular. In fact, van Dammem’s name was not even mentioned in the titles. But on a very ordinary day, the young actor met the producer of “Cannon Pictures” on the street and, showing him his fighting skills, took on the role in “Bloodsport” (1988).
Further into his career begins the golden age with films such as “Cyborg” (1989) on the battles of the post-apocalyptic future, “Lionheart” (1990), “Double Impact” (1991), in which he played twin brothers, “Universal Solidier” (1992), ” Hard Target (1993) and Timecop (1994) on time travel. It was also the actor’s most financially successful film, which was shot for 27 million, but earned more than $ 100 million in movie rentals. In 1991, he also topped the list of the world‘s sexiest men.
In the late 1990s, the actor’s life began to decline – he started using drugs and was arrested for drunk driving. In 1998, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In 2008, he awakened his creative cinematic spirit by playing a fictional version of himself in the film “ŽKVD”. He later participated in The Expendables 2 (2012) and other projects.
The real roller coaster has also been in the actor’s family life. He is married five times, and two of them to bodybuilder Gledis Portugese. They first exchanged rings in 1987. Both have two children, Bianka and Christopher. His youngest son, Nicholas, was born in the next marriage to actress Darsiy Lapier. In 1999, the actor married Portugal for the second time and the couple is still married. During the filming of Street Fighters, the actor had a novel with the captivating Kylie Minogue, but this side step has not disrupted his relationship with his wife.
It must be said that van Damm’s life of love has been shaken by a new scandal. Russian media “Komsomolskaya Pravda” has investigated that the famous power politician has been cheating on his legal spouse with Ukrainian citizen Alona Kaverina for many years. The media also received photos confirming this connection. Read more here.
The plot line of the actor’s life is as intense as his films, but at the moment “Belgian muscles” have not been noticed in the spotlights and big projects. This summer, he managed to film a video for the French pop rock musical duo “AARON” “Ultrareve”, directed by his daughter Bianka, and the main cinematographer – his son Christopher.
In 2013, Volvo Trucks’ short film “The Epic Split” gained immense popularity, in which the actor performs one of the most impressive tricks – van Damme, resting his feet on a different side mirror, performing his world-famous twine as the cars reverse. He remains in position throughout the journey. Read more here.
The article uses information from The Guardian, The Washington Post, Imbd, and Mental Floss.