Jean-Claude Van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme


10/18/1960, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium

Birth Name

Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg



Also Known As

The Belgian Beefcake, Jean-Claude Vandam, Jean-Claude Van Varenberg, The Muscles from Brussels, Jean Claude Van Damme
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes



Studied ballet for 5 years as a youngster, later getting into Shotokan karate, bodybuilding, and some kickboxing.
Has a son Kristopher (b. 1987) and a daughter Bianca (b. 1990) with body-builder Gladys Portugues. Has a son Nicholas (b. 10/10/1995) with Darcy LaPier, although Van Damme initially denied paternity.


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Timecop was JCVD's first and only movie that took over $100,000,000 at the box office. (close to $200,000,000 in today's money)

    • JCVD was originally the guy inside the Predator suit in the first movie. After showing concerns of the safety of the suit he was replaced by 7'2 Kevin Peter Hall.

    • JCVD suffers from bipolar disorder.

    • JCVD turned down a large role in the first Expendables movie with Sylvester Stallone due do conflicting scheduling.

    • Jean-Claude suffered his only defeat to a Belgium fighter, Patrick Teugels, at the World Full-Contact Championships in Florida.

    • JCVD was the inspiration for the character Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat. One of Johnny Cage's special moves was where he did the splits and punched his opponent in the groin, as seen when Van Damme's character, Frank Dux, punches a huge Japanese opponent in Bloodsport (1988).

    • At the tender age of 19, JCVD could bench press 166 kg.

    • JCVD adopted 'Van Damme' to his name from one of his friend's father name considering it's punchy, short and clear than his original name 'Van Varenberg'.

    • Jean has a son -Kristopher, born in 1987 and a daughter -Bianca, born in 1990 with Gladys Portugues. Jean also has a son named Nicholas born in 1995 with Darcy La Pier.

    • JCVD formerly sparred with Chuck Norris in the 80's..

    • JCVD has his own production company called Long Road Production.

    • JCVD likes classical music and his favourite composer is Beethoven.

    • Before seeking fame in America JCVD opened and ran a fitness center called California Fitness Center.

    • Jean speaks fluent Flemish, English, French, Spanish and German.

    • Jean studied ballet for five years.

    • JCVD stated he learned to speak English by watching The Flintstones.

    • Jean was sued in 1989 for accidentally gouging out the eye of an extra in a swordfight in the film Cyborg.

    • Jean Claude decided not to make movies in America anymore, as the fight sequences are so intense he fears being sued.

    • Jean's trademark is his 360-degree helicopter kick.

    • Jean remarried Gladys Portugues in 1999.

    • Jean married Darcy LaPier in1994 but they divorced in 1997. They had one child together.

    • Jean married Cynthia Derderian in 1985. This was a short marriage as they also divorced in 1985.

    • Jean first married Maria Rodriguez in 1978 they divorced in 1984.

    • Jean started martial arts when he was just 11 years old. He was introduced to the study of martial arts by his father. His father thought his son was physically weak so he wanted his son to start to work on his strength.

    • Jean's parents are Eugene and Eliana Van Varenberg.

    • Jean's Kickboxing record was 12-1. He maintained the 12 wins with knockouts.

    • Jean was involved in Karateka before he hit the big screen. He competed under the name of Jean-Claude Varenberg. Jean was a middleweight fighter and won a championship in 1980 in Europe.

    • JCVD's most well know moniker is The Muscles from Brussels.

  • Quotes

    • Jean: Perhaps I shouldn't repeat this conversation.

    • Jean: I have to reinvent the brand name, because I'm a brand name. Arnold (Schwarzenegger) knew how to do that.

    • Jean-Claude: Street Fighter was corny to me. But there were nice things. I got to see the land of Australia and had a mini-affair with Kylie Minogue. If you ever see her, say hello for me to Kylie.

    • Jean-Claude: My last fight was more than 20 years ago. I'm not a fighter, I'm a lover. If somebody's going to speak bad about me, I will walk away. But if a guy like Steven Seagal slaps me once, I will slap him twice as hard. Life is full of violence.

    • Jean-Claude: I admit I do have a very nice butt. Some say my career was built on it!

    • Jean-Claude: I am the Fred Astaire of karate.

    • Jean-Claude: love karate, it's like a bible to me. But deep inside I'm not mean, I'm so sensitive.

    • Jean: What really helps a guy to become an action hero today is the directing of the movie. All those fast cuts.

    • Jean: What is a movie star? It is an illusion. It was everything I ever wanted to be, but it became a kind of shell, non? It was what made me famous and got me women. But it wasn't real.

    • Jean: In an action film you act in the action. If it's a dramatic film you act in the drama.

    • Jean: I've got a talent to act. No matter what any newspapers say about me I'm one of the most sensitive human beings on earth.

    • Jean: I've become 40, my audience is partly the same age.

    • Jean: God gave me a great body and it's my duty to take care of my physical temple.

    • Jean: (When asked what he does when he isn't shooting) I don't have a lot of time, because I never stop. I need to work and I sleep three hours a night. What counts for me today are: making movies, creating and giving dreams. I love music, Brel, Aznavour,… but also drawing and painting. And I love going to the movies.

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  • Defined a Genre.

    When the western martial arts movie scene was becoming stale with the same old bland shenanigans, it was all starting to get old, fast. It had been 12 years since Bruce Lee had left the big screen and a large hole needed filling. Van Damme brought to the scene what other martial arts actors couldn't, charisma. This along with his incredible flexibility (5 years of ballet) and excellent Karate skills, transferred really well to the screen. His first big role was in the 1985 movie No Retreat No Surrender, starring as the bad guy. He really stood out, but it wasn't until he approached Producer and Director, Menahem Golan; impressing him by performing a spinning kick over his head, that he was given the lead in Bloodsport, which for many years was the second most successful martial arts flick ever. His career continued to progress peaking in 1994 with the movie Timecop which took $100,000,000 worldwide. With a new generation of people coming through wanting a different kind of movie he was relegated to straight-to-DVD affairs. He doesn't spew out an endless line of forgettable movies though, making only one a year max, and with the recent high acclaims of JCVD he has had a resurgence. His movies may not be Oscar worthy but they are stylishly action packed and certainly entertained me as a teenager...oh who am I kidding, they still do.moreless
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    Oh, please mr.Van Damme, dont kick my ass, i swear, i dont hate America! Jesus mother of christ, dont you see he is just another one "superman" who kicks 10000 asses in every film? This one and his friends (siegal, norris) are the dark page on America's cinema, a cinema wich has great films. Sorry, but this is the truth. Greetings from Greece.