Jean-Claude Van Damme biography
Jean-Claude Van Damme
(Born Jean-Claude Van Varenbeerg)
Date of Birth: October 18, 1960
Although he was born in Berchem-Sainte Agathe, Belgium, with the name of Jean-Claude Van Varenbeerg, Van Damme once called himself "Frank Cujo" when he first moved to Hollywood in 1981. But even Cujo couldn't find work as an actor as the former European Professional Karate Association's middleweight championship spent his time taking English classes while working as a chauffeur, carpet layer, pizza deliverer, trainer and bouncer.
But never underestimate the world-wide audience for a good kick in the head as Van Damme started to get work in such films as Monaco Forever, No Retreat, No Surrender, and other low-budget fare. "For all the silly movies I've done," he says, "people have treated me very well. My guiding philosophy is this: 'What goes around comes around.' So I try to be nice."
What eventually came around for Van Damme was bigger budget movies that showcased his good looks and martial arts skills. No one could accuse him of being a good actor, well, that is no one except himself—"I've got a talent to act. No matter what any newspaper says about me, I am one of the most sensitive human beings on Earth, and I know it."
Despite his sensitive side, Van Damme got to show off his brute acting chops in a several recent action films, such as Until Death (2007), Universal Soldier: Regeneration (2009) and The Expendables (2012).
Often in the press more for his private life rather than his movies, he's been married five times and has three children from his third and fourth marriages. In 2012, he revealed in an interview that he once had a steamy affair with singer Kylie Minogue. Although it was a few years ago, it's unclear if he was in a relationship with someone else at the time.
Jean-Claude Van Damme Filmography