Site created 12/15/97.
page updated: 1/20/00
Jean-Claude Van Damme
from Brussels", Jean-Claude Van Damme, was born Jean-Claude Van
Varenburg in Brussels, Belgium on October 18, 1960. Growing up, he
was a tiny, skinny, bespectacled kid, who took up karate, kickboxing
and ballet at the age of 10. By the time he was 18, he owned his own
gym, was crowned bodybuilding's Mr. Belgium, and had a coveted spot
with the acclaimed Paris Ballet. All that mattered little to Van
Damme -- his heart and head were in Hollywood, so that's where he
headed. After selling his gym, he and a friend took off for the
golden highways and byways of America, dedicated to the dream of one
day making it big as an actor. But getting there wasn't easy. Van
Damme took odd jobs as a pizza delivery guy, a carpet installer, and
a waiter (he even modeled underwear -- not all at the same time, of
Eventually, Van Damme happened into his famed meeting with the
president of Cannon Films, Menahem Golan. As the legend goes, Van
Damme spotted Golan sitting in a lush Beverly Hills restaurant on a
sunny afternoon, and, summoning all the cockiness he had in him, he
proceeded to nail a 360 degree kick. Golan was so impressed, that he
handed Van Damme his card on the spot, and gave him the lead role in
Bloodsport. The next thing you
now, the world of cinema was blessed by a 5' 8'' ball of ego, and a
small cannon of modern classics like Black
Eagle, Double Impact,
and of course, Legionnaire.
No success story would be complete without rumor and hard times.
Van Damme lost the title role in the film Predator,
because he didn't like the way the costume felt. He has had some
problems with certain addictions, for which he's checked himself
into clinics. It's been rumored he has had a temper in his domestic
life, and he that has a problem "acting" during fight
scenes (he reportedly gets a little too "into the moment",
the most famous incident being an eye-gouging on the set of Cyborg).
But Van Damme hasn't let these things get him down. Love is truly
his savior: Van Damme has been married five times (twice to the same
woman -- Gladys Portugues -- most recently in June), and he is the
loving and dedicated father of three.
Jean-Claude, we at The Digital Bits
salute you. As an actor, you've filled the shelves of many a DVD fan
like no other, with a whopping 15 titles to your name (not including
your cameo in Last Action Hero).
Of course, of your major films, four are not available currently:
No Retreat, No Surrender, Blood
Sport, Death Warrant
and Double Impact. We can only
hope this is a studio oversight, and that these wonderful films will
find their way onto DVD sometime in the near future. It's up to the
fans, after all, to make known their passion for one of Europe's
greatest gifts to Hollywood filmmaking.
Fans of DVD rejoice, for we are reviewing all of the Jean-Claude
Van Damme films currently available on DVD. He has a wide selection
of genre work, including sci-fi martial arts, comic book martial
arts, inner-city martial arts and desert martial arts. But no matter
what kind of martial arts, JCVD has dedicated himself 100% to
entertaining us, the fans of cinema -- and the fans of DVD. So enjoy
our look at the work of Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Muscles from
Van Damme films
available on DVD
Click on the link to
read the reviews.
Fighter: Collector's Edition
Soldier: The Return