Jean-Claude Van Damme Biography

Jean-Claude Van Damme Biography

Jean-Claude Van Damme, a former martial artist, is a Belgian actor renowned for his dynamic action roles. He is considered a living legend in the action genre, having established himself as one of the greatest action stars in history. Among his most notable and successful films are Bloodsport, Universal Soldier, Street Fighter, and The Expendables 2.

Early Life

Jean-Claude Van Damme was born on 18 October 1960 in Brussels, Belgium, under the name Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg. His parents, Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, enrolled him in a karate school at the age of ten. There, he began studying Shotokan Karate and Kickboxing, earning his black belt in karate at the age of 18. Later, he began weightlifting and went on to become Mr. Belgium. He also took up Taekwondo and Muay Thai.


Between 1977 and 1982, Jean-Claude Van Damme pursued a career as a professional kickboxer, amassing an impressive record of 18 wins and only 1 loss. He also enjoyed a successful career in semi-contact, achieving 44 wins and 4 losses. After this, he moved to the United States to pursue a career as an action star.

In 1988, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s breakthrough role came as he portrayed Frank Dux in the box office hit film Bloodsport. Since then, he has starred in numerous successful action blockbusters throughout the 90s, including Double Impact, Universal Soldier, Hard Target, Maximum Risk, In Hell, Assassination Games, and The Expendables 2. In the latter, he played the main villain alongside other action legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis.

Jean-Claude Van Damme has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has been married five times to four different women, including two marriages to Gladys Portugues. Van Damme has two children, Kristopher Van Varenberg and Bianca Bree, with Gladys Portugues.

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