Li Lianjie, better known by his stage name, Jet Li, was born in Beijing, China, on April 26, 1963. This Chinese actor is famous worldwide for his impressive and superb martial arts skills. Jet Li has trained in wushu, a martial art since he was eight.
Since then, he has won multiple national wushu titles in China. Long before he started his acting career, he was chosen by the government to represent China in international martial arts exhibitions. You can take guess what would happen if he opted for real fights in his movies.
Li lost his father at the age of 2 years, and this took a toll on his family’s finances. As a result, he was unable to attend a prestigious school. He joined the Beijing Amateur Sports School, where he received his education and also participated in sports.
Jet Li in Theaters
By 1990, Li had been featured in many movies, but he first hit the screens with the film “Shaolin Temple.” The film hit the box office, making him a star in his native country. Li’s first role in Hollywood was as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).
In 2000, Jet Li starred in his first leading role in the film “Romeo Must Die,” directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak. The film was heavily criticized, but it made over $91 million on a budget of $25 million.
He has won various awards, including the Golden Horse Award, where he won a special award in 1995. He was also awarded as the best actor at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards in 2006 for “Fearless” and best actor in 2008 for “The Warlords” Hong Kong Film Awards.
In 2010, Li was first diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which contributed to weight loss and fatigue, causing many of his fans to worry. The worldwide sensation later came out and addressed the issue, assuring his fans that he was taking medications and that they had nothing to worry about because he was feeling fine.
He confidently said he would beat the illness just like he fights villains in movies. Unfortunately, since then, he has not been acting.
The Family Man
Growing up without a father, Li strives to be a good dad to his four beautiful daughters, as he did not experience the fatherly bond.
Therefore, he is a family man, and we can boldly assume that his family is well-protected regarding his impressive martial arts skills. In 1987, Li married his first wife, his co-star, and Wushu team member, Huang Quiyan. They had two daughters, Si and Taimi but sadly divorced in 1990. Nine years later, Li married Nina Li Chi, a Hong Kong-based actress with whom he also had two daughters, Jane and Jada.
In 2004, it was widely reported that Li had died when a tsunami hit the Indian Ocean while he was in the Maldives with his daughters, Jane and Jada, and their nanny. It was later confirmed that he had only had a minor foot injury caused by a floating piece of furniture while leading his family to safety.
We cannot forget that time when President Richard Nixon asked Li to be his bodyguard. At 12 years old, the man, Richard, saw potential in Li, but the star turned down the great honour saying, ‘’I do not want to protect any individual. “When I grow up, I want to defend my one billion Chinese countrymen!”
What else does Jet Li do besides acting?
Apart from being an actor, Li enjoys a few hobbies during his free time. These include badminton, cycling, table tennis, basketball, running, reading, and meditation.
Li has also participated in charity work by supporting charities such as the American Red Cross, Jack Ma Foundation, Children’s Organ Transplant Association, and many more.
Li has endorsement deals with various brands, including Adidas, Hublot, AUX Group, and San Miguel.
Jet Li and his wife led a $187 million shell deal in Hong Kong seven years ago. At that time, such deals were considered quicker for investors to gain profits and funds. Unlike through an initial public offering.
Jet Li and Jack Ma opened a tai chi school in China as men who love giving back to the community.
Li comfortably enjoys three nationalities; he is currently a Singapore citizen, a United States citizen, and a citizen of China. Who would not want a millionaire as a citizen?
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