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Jean-Claude Van Damme: all news and scoops!

  • Job : actor
  • Real name: Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg
  • Sign : Balance
  • Date of birth: Tuesday, October 18, 1960 (age: 60)
  • Country : Belgium

Born in Belgium, Jean-Claude Van Varenberg was born on October 18, 1960. The only son of a couple of florists, the shy and somewhat frail little boy launches into several extra-curricular activities to keep himself busy. He makes the big difference between classical dance and martial arts. He is 11 years old when his parents enroll him in a karate school, where he takes classes with Claude Goetz. Excellent in this discipline, he obtains a black belt. He is also passionate about bodybuilding, devotes hours of training to it and drops out of school at the age of 17. He wins the title of Mr. Belgium in bodybuilding. At the end of the 70s, he participates in several championships of light-contact but does not envisage a sporting career. He dreams of seeing his name written on a movie poster.

In 1982, he arrives in Los Angeles and finds some small jobs. He is a driver or delivers pizzas and at the same time scours the castings. In 1988, he landed his first big role in an action film, Bloodsport, shot in Hong Kong, which revealed him to the general public. The proposals flowed and he joined the shooting of his first blockbuster, Universal Soldier (1992). The film was a box-office hit and allowed the actor to continue shooting; John Woo’s Manhunt (1993, Timecoop (1994), Street Fighter : L’ultime combat (1994), Mort subite (1995)… A popular actor, he also got behind the camera and directed his first film, Le grand tournoi, for which he called on his trainer, Claude Goetz, for the fight scenes.

The end of the 90s marks a turning point in his career. The actor’s image is tarnished, particularly by his drug use. Jean-Claude Van Damme enters a detoxification program. His metaphysical tirades are worth to him to be ridiculed in the media. Most of the films in which he shoots come out directly on video. In 2008, he makes a return on the screens with the JCVD of Mabrouk El Mechri. An atypical and largely autobiographical film, Jean-Claude Van Damme shows himself in a new light. This comeback helps him to bounce back after several years of crossing the desert. He then rejoins the Universal Soldier film team to shoot two new parts; Regeneration (2009) and Judgment Day (2012). He participates for the first time in a reality show, Les Anges gardiens, broadcast on NRJ in 2011. The actor returns to the film sets; Expendables 2: Special Unit, Enemies Closer, Duels … In 2015, he is featured in Kickboxer by Xian Chow.

On the private side, Jean-Claude Van Damme has been married five times. In the early 80’s, he married Maria Rodriguez but the couple separated in 1984. After a second marriage with Cynthia Derderian (1985-1986) he met Gladys Portugues in 1986. The couple had two children; Kristopher (born 1987) and Bianca (born 1990), but they were divorced in 1993. The following year he married Darcy LaPier and welcomed a boy named Nicholas in 1995. Surprise! in 1999 he reunited with his third wife, Gladys, and the couple remarried on June 25, 1999. But in March 2015, People magazine announces the separation of the couple.

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