Ray Park biography
Date of Birth: August 23, 1974
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ray Park and his younger brother moved to London, England when he was six. The first movie Park saw in London was Star Wars and he immediately became a huge fan. He recalls playing with the Star Wars action figures as a child.
At age seven, Park began studying Wu Shu, an acrobatic style of martial arts inspired by his father who was a fan of Bruce Lee, a Wu Shu master. "It's a non-contact sport, very much like gymnastics," he says. "You're on the mat and you do a sequence of moves. But it's also very explosive and has lots of leaps and somersaults and high kicks." Park was also inspired by the likes of Jackie Chan and Jet Li. In addition to Wu Shu, he studied Tae Kwon Do, Kick Boxing and even a bit of fire breathing! Park obtained his black belt at the age of 14 and participated in his first World Championship when he was 16. He holds a second degree black belt, and in 1995, he came in fourth place at the world championships.
Park started in films as a fight choreographer. He first appeared in Mortal Kombat II as a stunt double. He then moved onto his dream job - Star Wars. Hired to teach and choreograph the light saber fights, he was asked to stay on and play the Jedi-hating, black and red horned Darth Maul. About landing the part he says, "I'm pretty lucky. All my life I've always wanted to be in films. Hopefully, I might have a future in the film industry." His voice was dubbed for the part.
Although the film was not as popular as George Lucas had hoped, the character of Darth Maul became famous around the world, and Park became a wanted man. He soon got gigs fighting in films such as Sleepy Hollow (1999) playing the headless horseman and in Star Wars: Episode I - ÂThe Phantom Menace. He played the evil mutant Toad in X-Men (2000) and Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009).
Ray and his wife, Lisa, have two children.
Ray Park Filmography