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Van Damme, Jean-Claude 1960-

Van DAMME, Jean-Claude 1960-


PERSONAL: Original name, Jean-Claude Francois van Varenburg; born October 18, 1960 (some sources cite 1961), in Saint-Agatha Berchem (some sources cite Brussels), Belgium; immigrated to the United States, 1984; son of Eugene (an accountant and owner of a flower shop) and Eliana van Varenburg; married Maria Rodriguez, c. 1984 (divorced, c. 1985); married Cynthia Derderian, 1986 (divorced); married Gladys Portugues (a bodybuilder, model, and actress), 1987 (divorced, 1993); married Darcy LaPier (an actress), February 3, 1994 (divorced); remarried Portugues, June 25, 1999; children: (third marriage) Kristopher, Bianca; (fourth marriage) Nicolas.


ADDRESSES: Agent—International Creative Management, 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1934.


CAREER: Actor. Actor in films, including Rue barbare, 1984; (as passerby in first dance sequence) Breakin', 1984; (as gay karate man) Monaco Forever, 1984; (as Ivan the Russian; under the name Jean-Claude Vandam) No Retreat, No Surrender (also known as Karate Tiger), New World, 1986; (as Frank Dux) Bloodsport, Cannon, 1988; (as Andre) Black Eagle, 1988; (as Kurt Sloane) Kickboxer, Pathe, 1989; (as Gibson Rickenbacker) Cyborg, Cannon, 1989; (as Louis Burke) Death Warrant, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1990; The Best of the Martial Arts Films (also known as The Best of the Martial Arts Movies and Deadliest Art: The Best of the Martial Arts Films), 1990; (as Chad Wagner and Alex Wagner) Double Impact, Columbia, 1991; (as Lyon Gaultier) Lionheart (also known as A.W.O.L.—Absent without Leave and Wrong Bet), Universal, 1991; (as Luc Deveraux) Universal Soldier, TriStar, 1992; (as Sam Gillen) Nowhere to Run, Columbia, 1993; (cameo) Last Action Hero, Columbia, 1993; (as Chance Boudreaux) Hard Target, Universal, 1993; (as himself) Curse of the Dragon, 1993; (as Max Walker) Timecop, Universal, 1994; (as Colonel Guile) Street Fighter (also known as Street Fighter: The Battle for Shadaloo and Street Fighter: The Ultimate Battle), Columbia TriStar/Universal, 1994; (as Darren McCord) Sudden Death, Universal, 1995; (as Christopher Dubois) The Quest, Universal, 1996; (as Alain Moreau/Mikhail Suverov) Maximum Risk (also known as Bloodstone and The Exchange), Columbia, 1996; (as Jack Quinn) Double Team (also known as The Colony), Columbia/Trimark Pictures, 1997; (as Marcus Ray) Knock Off, TriStar, 1998; (as Alain Lefevre) Legionnaire, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1998; (as himself) The Path of the Dragon, 1998; (as Luc Deveraux) Universal Soldier: The Return (also known as Universal Soldier II and Universal Soldier IV), TriStar, 1999; (as Eddie Lomax) Coyote Moon (also known as Desert Heat and Inferno), Viacom, 1999; (as "Number One"/"The Torch,") Replicant, Artisan Entertainment, 2001; (as Rudy Caymeyer/Charles Le Vaillant) The Order, TriStar, 2001; (as Max Walker) Ultimate Fights from the Movies, 2002; (as Jacques Kristoff) Derailed, 2002; and (as Kyle Lord) Hell (also known as The Shu), 2003.

Worked on other films, including (under the name J. Claude Van Damme) stunt performer, Missing in Action, 1984; fight scene choreographer and director, Kickboxer, Pathe, 1989; producer (with Ashok Amritraj) and fight choreographer, Double Impact, Columbia, 1991; fight choreographer, Lionheart (also known as A.W.O.L.—Absent without Leave and Wrong Bet), Universal, 1991. Director of the film The Quest, Universal, 1996. Producer of films, including Legionnaire, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1998; Universal Soldier: The Return (also known as Universal Soldier II and Universal Soldier IV), TriStar, 1999; Coyote Moon (also known as Desert Heat and Inferno), Viacom, 1999.

Appeared on television award shows, including The 17th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1991; The Movie Awards, CBS, 1991; and Hollywood Hotshots, Fox, 1992. Presenter, MTV Video Music Awards 1992, Music Television (MTV), 1992. Appeared as himself in television specials, including Making of "Universal Soldier," 1992; and AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-pounding Movies, 2001. Guest star on television shows, including (as male stripper) Santa Barbara, 1988; (as himself) "The One after the Superbowl," Friends, NBC, 1996; and (as himself) Breakfast, 2001. Provided voice for Colonel Guile for the video game Street Fighter, 1994. Appeared in music video "Voices That Care." Bouncer at actor Chuck Norris's wife's restaurant, early 1980s.


AWARDS, HONORS: Mr. Belgium body building title, c. 1978; European middle-weight karate champion, 1979.


WRITINGS:


screenplays


(With Sheldon Lettich, Steve Meerson, and Peter Krikes) Double Impact, based on a story by Van Damme, Columbia, 1991.

(With Sheldon Lettich and R. N. Warren) Lionheart (also known as A.W.O.L.—Absent without Leave and Wrong Bet), based on original screenplay by Lettich, adapted from story by Van Damme, Universal, 1991.

(With Les Weldon) The Order, Columbia TriStar, 2001. Also author of stories for the films Kickboxer, 1989; The Quest, Universal, 1996; and Legionnaire, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1998.


ADAPTATIONS: The 1991 film Kickboxer 2: The Road Back was based on characters created by Van Damme.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Tower (screenplay) for Negro y Azul.


SIDELIGHTS: Belgian-born actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the top tier of Hollywood action movie stars. In addition to starring in such martial arts films as Street Fighter and action fare including Universal Soldier and Timecop, Van Damme has also written the screenplays for several of his own movies. These include Double Impact, in which Van Damme plays twins who were separated at birth. One becomes a street child in Hong Kong; the other is adopted and raised in Los Angeles. When they reunite twenty-five years later they team up to avenge their parents' death.

Van Damme's most praised writing effort may be Lionheart, which has "more story than one expects from violent muscle-bound epics these days," Chris Hicks noted in Deseret News. Van Damme plays a soldier in the French Foreign Legion who deserts when he hears about his brother's brutal murder at the hands of a drug-running gang. By the time Van Damme makes it from his post in North Africa to Los Angeles by stowing away on a ship and then participating in underground boxing matches to earn enough money for the rest of the trip, his brother's killers have already been arrested. However, his widowed sister-and-law and young niece are in dire financial straits, so to help them out Van Damme continues boxing. Along the way, he must also evade the soldiers the French Foreign Legion has sent to arrest him.

More recently, Van Damme has also written The Order, a direct-to-video offering notable for featuring Hollywood legend Charlton Heston in a supporting role. In this film, Van Damme, a former art thief and smuggler, must rescue his father (a museum curator) and save a precious artifact when both are taken by a sect of religious fanatics in Jerusalem.


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


books


Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 36, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


periodicals


Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 1992, David Sterritt, review of Universal Soldier, p. 12; March 3, 1994, David Sterritt, review of Hard Target, p. 10; September 16, 1994, David Sterritt, review of Timecop, p. 15.

Daily Variety, October 7, 2002, Emiliano De Pablos, "Van Damme Punches up Eslava Film Pair," p. 14.

Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT), January 13, 1991, Chris Hicks, review of Lionheart; August 14, 1991, Chris Hicks, review of Double Impact.

Entertainment Weekly, July 17, 1992, review of Universal Soldier, p. 39; December 11, 1992, Michael Sauter, review of Universal Soldier, p. 77; January 29, 1993, Owen Gleiberman, review of Nowhere to Run, pp. 40-41; July 30, 1993, Lawrence O'Toole, review of Nowhere to Run, p. 64; August 27, 1993, Owen Gleiberman, review of Hard Target, pp. 88-89; January 21, 1994, Glenn Kenny, review of Hard Target, p. 58; August 19, 1994, Dan Smierson, "Doing 'Time' on MTV," p. 62; September 16, 1994, Owen Gleiberman, review of Timecop, p. 92; September 23, 1994, Benjamin Svetkey, "Love and Pain and the Whole Damme Thing," pp. 34-37; January 13, 1995, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of Street Fighter, p. 40; February 17, 1995, Glenn Kenny, review of Timecop, pp. 66-67, George Mannes, review of Monaco Forever, p. 67; June 16, 1995, J. R. Yalor, review of Street Fighter, p. 68; December 22, 1995, Bruce Fretts, review of Sudden Death, p. 50; June 14, 1996, J. R. Taylor, review of Sudden Death, p. 70; September 20, 1996, Michael Sauter, review of The Quest, p. 92; September 27, 1996, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of Maximum Risk, pp. 55-56; March 14, 1997, Ty Burr, review of Maximum Risk, pp. 88-89; April 11, 1997, Owen Gleiberman, review of Double Team, pp. 58-60; September 4, 1998, interview with Van Damme, p. 44; September 18, 1998, review of Knock Off, p. 62; February 12, 1999, Troy Patterson, review of Legionairre, p. 85; February 19, 1999, review of Legionnaire, p. 144.

Jet, April 21, 1997, review of Double Team, pp. 32-35.

Los Angeles Times, September 23, 1994, James Bates, review of Timecop, p. D4.

Maclean's, April 29, 1996, "Sleepless Nights," p. 60.

New York Times, April 8, 1989, Stephen Holden, review of Cyborg, pp. 12, 16; September 15, 1990, Vincent Canby, review of Death Warrant, pp. 12, 16; January 11, 1991, Janet Maslin, review of Lionheart, pp. B2, C8; August 1, 1991, Janet Maslin, review of Lionheart, pp. B4, C18; August 9, 1991, Caryn James, review of Double Impact, pp. B7, C8; August 16, 1991, Lawrence Van Gelder, review of Double Impact, p. C8; July 10, 1992, Janet Maslin, review of Universal Soldier, pp. B2, C17; December 10, 1992, Janet Maslin, review of Universal Soldier, pp. B5, C20; January 16, 1993, Vincent Canby, review of Nowhere to Run, pp. 12, 16; January 28, 1994, Janet Maslin, review of Hard Target, pp. B6, D17; September 4, 1994, David Richards, review of Timecop, p. H7; October 2, 1994, Kenneth C. Davis, review of Timecop, p. H25; December 24, 1994, Stephen Holden, review of Street Fighter, pp. 11-12; February 17, 1995, Janet Maslin, review of Timecop, pp. B16, D18; June 30, 1995, review of Street Fighter, p. B2; December 22, 1995, Stephen Holden, review of Sudden Death, pp. B14, C6; April 26, 1996, Janet Maslin, review of The Quest, p. B11, C8; September 14, 1996, Lawrence Van Gelder, review of Maximum Risk, p. 12; April 4, 1997, Janet Maslin, review of Double Team, pp. B7, C7; September 5, 1998, Lawrence Van Gelder, review of Knock Off, pp. A23, B17; January 8, 1999, Peter M. Nichols, review of Legionnaire, p. E30; August 21, 1999, Lawrence Van Gelder, review of Universal Soldier: The Return, p. B12.

People, July 20, 1992, Ralph Novak, review of Universal Soldier, p. 12; August 3, 1992, Michael A. Lipton, "Muscles from Brussels," pp. 83-85; February 1, 1993, Ralph Novak, review of Nowhere to Run, p. 15; May 3, 1992, "Jean-Claude Van Damme," p. 74; August 20, 1993, Ralph Novak, review of Hard Target, p. 17; September 19, 1994, Ralph Novak, review of Timecop, pp. 23-24; September 30, 1996, Ralph Novak, review of Maximum Risk, p. 17; April 21, 1997, Leah Rozen, review of Double Team, p. 24; September 21, 1998, review of Knock Off, p. 35.

Sports Illustrated, April 7, 1997, Kostya Kennedy, review of Double Team, p. 18.

Time, July 20, 1992, review of Universal Soldier, p. 87.

Transpacific, March, 1997, Wade Major, review of Double Team, pp. 36-39.

Variety, September 7, 1998, Joe Leydon, review of Knock Off, p. 72.

Video Business, August 27, 2001, Irv Slifkin, review of Replicant, p. 13; September 17, 2001, Irv Slifkin, review of Replicant, p. 21; September 9, 2002, C. S. O'Brien, review of Derailed, p. 17.

Washington Post, January 14, 1991, Richard Harrington, review of Lionheart; August 11, 1991, Martha Sherrill, interview with Van Damme, p. G1; April 26, 1996, "Van Damme's 'Quest' for Fans," p. N45; April 26, 1996, Richard Harrington, review of The Quest, p. 11T; April 4, 1997, Desson Howe, review of Double Team, p. N44; January 1, 1999, review of Legionnaire, p. N43.


online


Amazing Colossal Web site!http://www.amazingcolossal.com/ (May 16, 2003), David Cornelius, review of The Order.

Daily-Reviews.com,http://www.daily-reviews.com/ (May 16, 2003), Marco Lanzagorta, review of The Order.

DVD/Authority,http://www.dvdauthority.com/ (May 16, 2003), review of The Order.*

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