Hong Kong’s cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success after his start in Hong Kong’s manic martial arts cinema industry.
Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on April 7, 1954, on Hong Kong’s famous Victoria Peak, to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, and the family immigrated to Canberra, Australia, in early 1960. The young Jackie was less than successful scholastically, so his father sent him back to Hong Kong to attend the rigorous China Drama Academy, one of the Peking Opera schools. Chan excelled at acrobatics, singing and martial arts and eventually became a member of the “Seven Little Fortunes” performing troupe and began lifelong friendships with fellow martial artists / actors Sammo Kam-Bo Hung and Biao Yuen. Chan journeyed back and forth to visit his parents and work in Canberra, but eventually he made his way back to Hong Kong as his permanent home. In the early 1970s Chan commenced his movie career and interestingly appeared in very minor roles in two films starring then rising martial arts superstar Bruce Lee: Jing wu men (1972), aka “Fist of Fury” aka “The Chinese Connection”, and the Warner Bros. production Enter the Dragon (1973). Not long after Lee’s untimely death Chan was often cast in films cashing in on the success of Bruce Lee by utilizing words like “fist”, “fury” or “dragon” in their US release titles.