Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jean Claude Van Damme
Jean Claude Van Damme (born October 18, 1960), born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg, is a Belgian-born action movie actor who's most known for martial arts films. His Belgian background gave rise to the nickname "Muscles from Brussels".
His first major role came in 1985, when he played Ivan Krushensky in No Retreat, No Surrender. He was scheduled to play the part of the camouflaged monster in Predator. Wearing a heavy costume in the jungle was rough and Van Damme was unhappy with his role. How he left the picture is disputed: some say he quit, others say he was replaced when the character was revised. Van Damme claims he intentionally got fired so he could move on to other films. Van Damme's appearance in Bloodsport earned him a nomination as "Worst New Star" in the 1988 Golden Raspberry Awards (he lost).
Van Damme worked his way up to Hollywood mainstream in the 1990s, often working with acclaimed foreign directors. Notable films include Universal Soldier (1992), Hard Target (1993), and Timecop (1994). In most of his movies, he plays a prize fighter, policeman, or soldier. By the end of the 1990s his high-profile career had faded but he continues to star in smaller, often direct-to-video, films. His movies have earned over US$650 million worldwide, earning him a place in the action movie world along with others like Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris.
Van Damme has won a number of European karate championships. He has had troubles with cocaine and is also reported to have experienced bipolar disorder. He has been married five times, including two marriages with his current wife Gladys Portugues.
In 1998, Van Damme and his former bodyguard Chuck Zito were involved in a fist-fight at a New York strip-tease bar called Scores. Allegedly , Van Damme had said some negative stuff about Zito whilst being drunk, and when Zito confronted Van Damme about this, Van Damme prepared himself for a fight, when Zito began punching Van Damme down to the floor. This event became notorious on the news and somewhat of a scandal for Van Damme.
In the French-speaking world, Jean-Claude Van Damme is well-known for the picturesque aphorisms that he delivers on a wide range of topics (personal well-being, ecology, etc.) in a strange mixture of French and English. He is especially well-known for his usage of the word aware (in English). Lists of Van Damme quotes are compiled and available on the web.
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