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Jean-Claude Van Damme

jean-claude van damme celebrity profile
Courtesy of Getty Images

Date of Birth: October 18, 1960
Height: 5'10"
Hometown: Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Brussels, Belgium
Best Quotes:

I'm one of the most sensitive human beings on Earth - and I know it.

Karate's a very boring sport, but when you know the technique you can go further and further.

Believe me - I've done very good stuff and very crazy stuff, and I don't regret the crazy stuff.

Jean-Claude Van Damme (born Jean-Claude Camille Fancois Van Varenbergon on October 18, 1960 in Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Brussels, Belgium) is a Belgian action star, actor and martial artist. Jean-Claude began his martial arts career at age ten when he enrolled in a Shotokan karate school. He earned his black belt at age 18. At 16, Jean Claude began taking ballet, which he studied for five years. As a teen, Jean Claude began lifting weights, which led to him winning a Mr. Belgium bodybuilding title. From 1976 to 1980, he won multiple karate and kickboxing tournaments. He moved to the US in 1982 to become an action film star. His early career included parts in films Breakin’ and Missing In Action, but his breakout role came in 1988’s Bloodsport. He made his name as an action start in films Cyborg, Kickboxer, Double Impact and Universal Soldier. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Jean Claude found little success at the box-office. His comeback came with 2008’s JCVD, showcasing a dramatic shift in his acting abilities. He continues to act, appearing in movies like The Expendables 2, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Kickboxer: Vengeance. In 2013, Jean-Claude was the star of a viral video that showed him doing the splits between two moving Volvo trucks. The video received 11 million views in its first three days.

Best Known For:
Jean Claude Van Damme is best known as an action star and a black-belt martial artist.

Personal Life:
Jean Claude has been married five times. He married Maria Rodriguez in 1980, but divorced four years later. He was married to Cynthia Derderian for only a year, from 1985-86. He married his third wife, bodybuilder Gladys Portugues, until 1992. While married to Glady, he began an affair with actress Darcy LaPier. The two were married in 1994. In 2012, Jean-Claude admitted he had an affair with his Street Fighter co-star Kylie Minogue during the shooting of the film. Darcy left Jean-Claude, who  then remarried Gladys in 1999. She filed for divorce in 2015. Darcy and Jean-Claude have two children – son Kristopher and daughter Bianca.