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Jet Li

Actor

Born: 26 April 1963
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Best known as: High-kicking star of The One and Hero

Name at birth: Jet Li Lian Jie

Jet Li was a martial arts champion as a child and now he's a martial arts movie star in the U.S. and China. His first Hong Kong action movie, 1979's Shaolin Temple, helped make him a national hero in China, and he appeared in dozens of kung fu movies in the 1980s and '90s, including Tai Chi Master (1993) and Fist of Legend (1994). Later in the 1990s he made the leap to Hollywood, appearing in Lethal Weapon IV (1998, with Mel Gibson), Romeo Must Die (2000, co-starring Aaliyah and DMX) and The One (2001). He's since carved out a career in two countries, appearing in big-budget action movies in the U.S. and more traditional dramas in China. His films include Ying xiong (2002, released in the U.S. in 2004 as Hero), Danny the Dog (2005, released in the U.S. as Unleashed), War (2007), Tau ming chong (2007), The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008, starring Brendan Fraser.

Extra credit: Other Asian action stars of the late 20th century include Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

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