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Jean-Claude Van Damme From 1 to 56 years old

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Jean-Claude Van Damme From 1 to 56 years old

Jean-Claude Van Damme was born on October 18, 1960, in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Belgium. A champion martial artist and bodybuilder as a teenager, he used his physical abilities to become the star of such American action flicks as Bloodsport (1988) and Double Impact (1991). Van Damme endured personal and professional difficulties beginning in the 1990s, but has since regained some of his star power.
Early Years and Career

Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg was born on October 18, 1960, in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium. A skinny child, he began studying Shotokan karate at age 11, and also eagerly took to weightlifting and ballet.

As a teenager, Van Damme won the middleweight championship of the European Professional Karate Association and was named “Mr. Belgium” in a bodybuilding competition.
Big-Screen Stardom

Originally calling himself “Frank Cujo,” Jean-Claude Van Damme received bit parts in feature films and worked as a cabdriver, waiter,

aerobics instructor and nightclub bouncer as he tried to make a name for himself in Tinseltown. He was featured in the 1986 martial-arts flick No Retreat, No Surrender, but his big break came after he displayed his ability to perform a jumping, 360-degree “helicopter kick” to B-list producer Menahem Golan, who cast the unknown actor in Bloodsport (1988). The low-budget film grossed a surprising $35 million at the box office, and Van Damme followed with another successful starring role in Kickboxerthe following year.

In 2008, Van Damme resurfaced as

a fictionalized version of himself in the part-satirical, part-confessional JCVD. His performance drew positive reviews and triggered something of a revival for the former action star, who went on to reprise a familiar role in Universal Soldier:

Regeneration(2010) and voice the character of Master Croc in Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011). In 2012, Van Damme was back in his element as part of the veteran butt-kicking ensemble featured in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 2

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