Born in Beijing, JET LI (Ying Yang) began practicing Wushu (Chinese martial arts) at age eight. Three years later he won his first national championship as a member of the Beijing Wushu Team and remained the All-Around National Champion from 1974 to 1979. Jet made history with his 1974 two-man fight performance at the White House for President Nixon, shortly after American diplomatic relations reopened with China. During this time he also represented China through martial arts demonstrations in over 45 nations.
At the pinnacle of the sport at age seventeen, he decided to begin a film career. His first film,
SHAOLIN TEMPLE, remains one of the most beloved films in China and around the world. The success of the film propelled Jet to a full-fledged Chinese movie star and national hero. The box office popularity of his subsequent 25 films secured his stardom in Asia. In 1998 Li moved on to Hollywood with the blockbuster LETHAL WEAPON 4 opposite Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, directed by Richard Donner.
2008 saw Jet Li as the villain in the Universal feature THE MUMMY: THE TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, the third installment of the hugely successful THE MUMMY franchise with co-star Brendan Frasier. Rob Cohen directed the feature which was filmed on location in China and Montreal.
The family film THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, in which Li plays an ancient Chinese martial arts warrior with fellow martial arts expert Jackie Chan, also proved a huge hit with audiences worldwide.
2007 saw the release of Lionsgate's action-packed thriller WAR, alongside co-star Jason Statham. THE EXPENDABLES will mark their third time working together.
In 2006 he starred in the Focus Features biopic FEARLESS, directed by Ronni Yu. Li played Chinese Martial Arts legend Huo Yuanjia, who became the most famous fighter in all of China at the turn of the 20th Century.
An international celebrity, Li is a box office phenomenon on both sides of the Pacific. Recent Chinese-language films include acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou's HERO (also starring Zhang Ziyi, Maggie Cheung, and Tony Leung and grossing $175 million worldwide) and Peter Chan's THE WARLORDS, for which Li won for Best Actor at the 2008 Hong Kong Film Awards. This was the first time in the awards' history that a martial arts actor had received the award.
In 2004, while on vacation with his family in Maldives, Jet survived the Southeast Asian Tsunami. His survival gave Jet the courage to take the first step towards philanthropy and charity. Today Jet comes before us as a philanthropist and an NGO leader. Since establishing the Jet Li One Foundation in 2007 and putting all movie projects on hold for 2008, he has devoted his time and thought to creating a 21st century philanthropic business model centered around professionalism, transparency, impact, and sustainability in order to raise awareness for philanthropy and to promote individual social responsibility around the world. His achievements have been widely recognized by government, NGOs, and the business community within China and in the international community.
The Jet Li One Foundation believes that 1 person + 1 dollar +1 month = 1 big family. Says Li, "If each person donates one dollar each month, our individual donations will be transformed into a much greater fund. When we combine our charitable strength, we can make much greater impact to help those in need.ā€¯ To participate in this cause, please visit www.onefoundation.cn.
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