- Date of Birth:
- July 27, 1963
- 5' 8"
Donnie Yen (born Yen Ji-Dan on July 27, 1963 is Guangzhou, Guangdong, China) is a Hong Kong-American actor and martial artist. When Donnie was two years old, his family moved to Hong Kong and then to Boston, Massachusetts, when he was 11. Under the influence of his mother, Donnie developed an interest in the martial arts. He started karate when he was 9 and focused on practicing wushu seriously at 14. Donnie spent two years studying Wushu in Beijing, and before returning to the US, he met action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. Donnie was a stuntman in 1983’s Shaolin Drunkard and in 1984, he had his first acting role in Drunken Tai Chi. His breakthrough role came in 1992’s Once Upon a Time in China II, which included a fight scene with Jet Li. He followed it up with a starring role in 1993’s Iron Monkey. Over the next decade, Donnie would work as an action star and choreographer. He played opposite Jackie Chan in 2003’s Shanghai Knights. He continued to work, notably starring in Ip Man, the 2008 biopic about the master of Bruce Lee. After taking a break from the acting, he returned in 2012, before reportedly being given a role in the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel. In 2015, Donnie was reportedly been cast in Star Wars Episode VIII.
Best Known For:
Donnie Yen is best known as a martial artist and an action movie star.
Donnie’s mother is a wudang quan grand master. Donnie is a big fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He married his wife, Zing-Ci Leung, in 1993. They welcomed their first child, Jeff, in 1995. They split later that year. Donnie married Cecilia Wang Shi-Shi in 2003. The couple has two children — daughter Jasmine and son, James.