Jackie Chan was born Chan Kong-sang in Hong Kong, to the humble household of Charles and Lee-lee Chan on April 7, 1954. Charles introduced Jackie to Kung fu at an early age, as he believed the art would provide his son with courage, patience and a strong character.
Jackie’s parents gained employment through the Australian embassy, but felt Jackie needed to learn a trade and enrolled him in the China Drama Academy. Jackie spent ten years learning martial arts, acrobatics, and song and dance. The school however, did not teach literacy and Jackie had difficulty finding a job when he graduated the academy at the age of seventeen. He discovered that manual labor and stunt work were all he was qualified to do.
He became popular in Asia as a stuntman because of his athletic ability and fearless nature. However, opportunities dwindled and he moved to Australia to be with his parents. He took a part-time job at a restaurant and another in construction. A co-worker named Jack had difficulty pronouncing his name and began calling him little Jack, which evolved into Jackie.
A man named Wille Chan contacted Jackie to perform in a movie being made by famous Hong Kong director/producer Lo Wei. Willie would later become Jackie’s best friend and agent. His movies were not successful until he was allowed to unleash his creative personality and incorporated humor into his roles. He had a series of Asian blockbusters and briefly came to the US, but was not well received and returned to Hong Kong.
He returned to the states and starred in the movie Rumble in the Bronx, which was followed by the Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon series. Jackie continues to act and perform stuntwork but devotes much of his time to charity. Chan is an ambassador for UNICEF/UNAIDS, and enjoys helping children, the elderly and the disadvantaged. Jackie Chan is married to Lin Feng-Jiao and the couple have a son, Jaycee, who is a singer/actor.