Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE born Chan Kong-sang, 7 April 1954 is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, filmmaker, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts. Jackie Chan has been acting since the 1960s and has appeared in over 100 films. Chan has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a cultural icon, Chan has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons, and video games. Chan is also a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having released a number of albums and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred.
Apprenticed to the China Drama Academy (or "opera school") by his parents at the age of 6, Jackie Chan was rigorously trained in music, dance, and traditional martial arts. A visiting filmmaker offered Jackie Chan his first (tiny) role as a stunt player. Jackie Chan took the part, and soon left the Opera to pursue the world of film. Fellow Opera students Biao Yuen and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo would also have careers in film, and the three would star in several films together in the following years. Jackie Chan's talent and enthusiasm soon saw him taking larger and more important roles, graduating first to stunt coordinator, and then to director. Following the death of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, the search was on for an actor who could inspire audiences to the same degree; every young martial artist was given a chance. Chan decided that rather than emulating Lee (and thus living forever in his shadow), he would develop his own style of filmmaking. His directorial debut The Young Master (1980) was a milestone in martial arts films, being one of the first to effectively combine comedy with action. This set the tone for many of his future films, which combined slapstick humor with high-energy martial arts action. A self-confessed fan of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Jackie Chan performs all his own stunts, quite often at his own peril. His later films include outtakes of his on-set injuries run under the closing credits. He is understandably number one on the insurance blacklist.