One of the world's most popular action movie stars alongside the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, 53, is a hero for a generation on the Chinese mainland who grew up watching his films.
Born to the family of a cook and a housekeeper in Hong Kong, Chan's father was his first kungfu teacher. He believed that learning kungfu would help build his boy's character, and teaching him patience, strength and courage. When Chan was seven years old his father took a job in Australia. The parents left Chan behind in Hong Kong and enrolled him in the China Drama Academy where Chan lived for the next 10 years training in martial arts, dance, acrobatics, singing and comedy.
In Chan's biography, he looked back on this period of his life with considerable affection despite the extraordinary hardships, including regular beatings and near-starvation. In the academy, he not only learned the skills of his profession but also built a network of friends, which would sustain his film career for decades.
Starting as a stuntman and an extra in the Hong Kong film industry in his teenage years, Chan has earned the respect of his fans by committing himself wholeheartedly to creating the most death-defying stunts possible. His daring feats have secured him a place in movie audiences' hearts and at the box office.
Since Chan was appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador by UN Children's Fund and Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS in 2004, he has spent a lot of his spare time on charity work.