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Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme 2012.jpg
Van Damme in 2012
Born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg
(1960-10-18) 18 October 1960 (age 63)
Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Brussels-Capital, Belgium
Other names
  • "JCVD"
  • "The Muscles from Brussels"
Division Middleweight
Style Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo
Fighting out of Brussels, Belgium
Team Team Goetz
Trainer Claude Goetz
Dominique Valera
Rank      2nd Dan Black Belt in Shōtōkan Karate
Years active 1976–1982 (martial arts)
1979–present (acting)
Kickboxing record
Total 19
Wins 18
By knockout 18
Losses 1
Amateur record
Total 48
Wins 44
Losses 4
Other information
Occupation Actor, martial artist, filmmaker, conservationist
María Rodríguez
(m. 1980; div. 1984)
Cynthia Derderian
(m. 1985; div. 1986)
Gladys Portugues
(m. 1987; div. 1992)
(m. 1999)
Darcy LaPier
(m. 1994; div. 1997)
Children 3

Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg (French: [ʒɑ̃ klod kamij fʁɑ̃swa vɑ̃ vaʁɑ̃bɛʁɡ]; Dutch: [vɑn ˈvarə(n)ˈbɛrx]; born 18 October 1960), known professionally as Jean-Claude Van Damme (French: [vɑ̃ dam]; Dutch: [vɑn ˈdɑmə]), is a Belgian actor, martial artist, and conservationist. Born and raised in Brussels, his father enrolled him in martial arts classes at the age of ten, which led Van Damme to compete in several karate and kickboxing competitions. With the desire of becoming an actor, he moved to the United States in 1982, where he did odd jobs and worked on several films, until he got his break as the lead in the martial arts film Bloodsport (1988).

Van Damme became a popular action film star and followed up with commercially successful films such as Cyborg (1989), Kickboxer (1989), Lionheart (1990), Death Warrant (1990), Double Impact (1991), Universal Soldier (1992), Nowhere to Run (1993), Hard Target (1993), Timecop (1994), Street Fighter (1994), Sudden Death (1995), The Quest (1996), which marked his directorial debut, and Maximum Risk (1996). After a decline, Van Damme returned to prominence with the critically acclaimed crime drama JCVD (2008). His big return to the action genre was in The Expendables 2 (2012), in which he starred as the villain, opposite Sylvester Stallone. From thereon, Van Damme continued starring in action films and doing extensive voice work.

Van Damme's films have grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making him one of the most successful action stars of all time. Outside acting, Van Damme has publicly supported various conservationist causes and animal rights organisations. In 2017, he became an international ambassador for GAIA (Global Action in the Interest of Animals), and in 2022, was appointed as DRC Ambassador on Environment.

Early life and education

Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg, on 18 October 1960, in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium, the son of Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, who was an accountant and florist. His father is from Brussels and bilingual, and his mother is Flemish (Dutch-speaking). Van Damme was brought up Roman Catholic. His paternal grandmother was Jewish.

He began martial arts at the age of ten, enrolled by his father in a Shōtōkan karate school. His styles consist of Shōtōkan Karate and Kickboxing. He eventually earned his black belt in karate at 18. He started lifting weights to improve his physique, which eventually led to a Mr. Belgium bodybuilding title. At the age of 16, he took up ballet, which he studied for five years. According to Van Damme, ballet "is an art, but it's also one of the most difficult sports. If you can survive a ballet workout, you can survive a workout in any other sport." Later he took up both Taekwondo and Muay Thai.


Early 1970s to 1980: Martial arts and first film appearance

At the age of 12, Van Damme joined the Centre National de Karaté (National Center of Karate) under the guidance of Claude Goetz in Belgium. Van Damme trained for four years and he earned a spot on the Belgian Karate Team; he later trained in full-contact karate and kickboxing with Dominique Valera.

At the age of 15, Van Damme started his competitive karate career in Belgium. From 1976 to 1980, Van Damme compiled a record of 44 victories and 4 defeats in tournament and non-tournament semi-contact matches.

Van Damme was a member of the Belgium Karate Team when it won the European Karate Championship on 26 December 1979 at La Coupe François Persoons Karate Tournament in Brussels.

Van Damme placed second at the Challenge Coupe des Espoirs Karate Tournament (1st Trials). At the 3-day tournament, Van Damme defeated 25 opponents before losing in the finals to teammate Angelo Spataro.

On 8 March 1980, in Brussels, Belgium, Van Damme competed against his former teammate Patrick Teugels at the Forest National Arena on the undercard of the Dan Macaruso-Dominique Valera Professional Karate Association Light-Heavyweight World Championship bout. Prior to this match, Teugels had defeated Van Damme twice by decision, including a match for the Belgium Lightweight Championship. Van Damme had a 1977 victory over Teugels. Teugels was coming off an impressive showing at the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations World Championships four months earlier, and was favored by some to win this match. According to reports, and Patrick Teugels' own interview (with photos), Teugels lost to Van Damme by TKO in the 1st round. Teugels was kicked in the nose and was unable to continue as a result. In a 2013 interview, Van Damme called this fight his most memorable match.

Van Damme began his full-contact career in 1977, when Claude Goetz promoted the first ever full-contact karate tournament in Belgium.

From 1977 to 1982, Van Damme compiled a record of 18 victories (18 knockouts) and 1 defeat .

In 1979, he had an uncredited role in André Delvaux's Woman Between Wolf and Dog, a Belgian-French drama film starring Marie-Christine Barrault, and Rutger Hauer.

In 1980, Van Damme caught the attention of Professional Karate Magazine publisher and editor Mike Anderson and multiple European champion Geert Lemmens. Both men tabbed Van Damme as an upcoming prospect. Van Damme retired from competition in 1982.

During his early life, Van Damme sold flowers in restaurants, and got a loan to open a gym to save some money before his move to the United States.

1982 to 1988: Early works and breakthrough

In 1982, Van Damme and childhood friend Michel Qissi moved to the United States in the hope of working as actors. They did a variety of jobs to support themselves. Their first job working on a film as extras in the hip hop dance film Breakin' (1984), made by Cannon Films. They are seen dancing in the background at a dance demonstration.

Around that time he developed a friendship with action martial art film star Chuck Norris. They started sparring together, and Van Damme started to work as a bouncer at a bar named Woody's Wharf, owned by Norris.

In the 1984 action film Missing in Action starring Norris, which was also released by Cannon Films, Van Damme is credited in the stunt team crew. That same year he also had a role in the comedy short film Monaco Forever.

On 2 May 1986, Corey Yuen's martial arts film No Retreat, No Surrender premiered in Los Angeles. It was Van Damme's first sizeable role when he was cast as the Russian villain. It starred Kurt McKinney, and was released through New World Pictures. McKinney performs as Jason Stillwell, a U.S. teenager who learns karate from the spirit of Bruce Lee. Stillwell uses these lessons to defend his martial arts dojo against a Soviet martial artist played by Van Damme. He was set to star in No Retreat, No Surrender 2, but backed out.

Van Damme worked for director John McTiernan for the film Predator (1987) as an early (eventually abandoned) version of the titular alien, before being removed and replaced by Kevin Peter Hall. As the first choice to play the titular Predator character, with the intent that he would use his martial arts skills to make the alien an agile, ninja-like hunter, but after few days shot, he left the film. It was reported that Van Damme constantly complained about the monster suit being too hot and causing him to pass out; he allegedly also voiced reservations about only appearing on camera in the suit. Additionally, it became apparent that a more physically imposing actor was needed to make the creature appear threatening against the team of soldiers. The role eventually went to Kevin Peter Hall. After Predator was a success, Van Damme said that he appreciated the movie and that he had no regrets about missing that role.

Van Damme's breakout film was Bloodsport, which opened on 26 February 1988, based on the alleged true story of Frank Dux. It was shot on a $1.5-million budget for Cannon. The film is about U.S. Army Captain Frank Dux (played by Van Damme), trained from his youth in the ways of ninjutsu by Senzo Tanaka, who honors his mentor by taking the place of Tanaka's deceased son Shingo in the illegal martial-arts tournament Kumite in Hong Kong. It became a U.S. box-office hit in the spring of 1988. Producer Mark Di Salle said he was looking for "a new martial arts star who was a ladies' man, [but Van Damme] appeals to both men and women. He's an American hero who fights for justice the American way and kicks the stuffing out of the bad guys." Also in 1988, Van Damme played another Russian villain, in Black Eagle, opposite Sho Kosugi. In the film, Sho Kosugi is a martial artist and special operative for the U.S. government codenamed "Black Eagle", and summoned by his superiors after an F-111 carrying an experimental black ops laser tracking device was shot down over Malta by Russian forces.

1989 to 1999: International stardom

After the success of Bloodsport, Cannon Films offered Van Damme the lead in Delta Force 2, American Ninja 3 or Cyborg, a cyperpunk martial arts film directed by Albert Pyun. Van Damme chose Cyborg which premiered in 1989. The film was a low budget box office success and led to two sequels, neither of which Van Damme appeared in.

Cannon used Van Damme again in Kickboxer released that same year. It was highly successful, returning over $50 million on a $3-million budget. The film started the Kickboxer franchise. Van Damme did not appear in any of the film's four sequels, though he did return as a different character in the reboot series.

In 1990 Van Damme starred in Death Warrant, the first script credit for David S. Goyer. Also that year he starred in Lionheart. Lionheart was directed by Sheldon Lettich who had co-written Bloodsport, and said the film was "the first movie to demonstrate that Van Damme was more than just a flash-in-the-pan "Karate Guy" who would never rise above simplistic low-budget karate movies."

In 1991, Double Impact was released. Directed by Lettich it featured Van Damme in the dual role of Alex and Chad Wagner, estranged twin brothers fighting to avenge the deaths of their parents. This film reunited him with his former Bloodsport co-star, Bolo Yeung and was very popular.

In 1992, Van Damme starred in one of the biggest blockbusters of the year in the sci-fi action picture Universal Soldier directed by Roland Emmerich for Carolco. Van Damme (as Luc Deveraux) and Dolph Lundgren (as Sergeant Andrew Scott) play U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War who are sent to secure a village against North Vietnamese forces. Universal Soldier opened in theatres on 10 July 1992, a moderate success domestically with $36,299,898 in US ticket sales, but a major blockbuster worldwide, making over $65 million overseas, which earned the film a total of $102 million worldwide, on a $23 million budget.

Van Damme was considered to play Simon Phoenix in Demolition Man and was briefly considered for the role of Michael Cheritto in Heat.

Van Damme Cannes
Van Damme at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993

In 1993 Van Damme made a cameo in Last Action Hero, and starred in Nowhere To Run. The film was the first in a three-picture deal between Van Damme and Columbia Pictures and his fee was $3.5 million. Columbia said the film is "true to his audience and goes beyond his audience."

In 1994, he starred in Hard Target for Universal, the first American film from director John Woo. Also released that year he starred in Timecop, playing a time-traveling cop. Directed by Peter Hyams, the film was a huge success, grossing over $100 million worldwide, and remains his highest-grossing film in a lead role to date. Also that year, Van Damme starred in Street Fighter, written and directed by Steven E. de Souza for Universal and based on the video game. It was poorly received critically. Though a commercial success, making approximately three times its production cost.

Van Damme and Hyams re-teamed for Universal' on Sudden Death released in 1995. Van Damme plays a French Canadian-born firefighter with the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau who suffered a personal crisis after he was unable to save a young girl from a house fire. Now removed from active duty, Darren has become demoted to being fire marshal for the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, where a gang of terrorists are holding U.S. Vice President and several other VIPs hostage in a luxury suite during a game.

In 1996, Van Damme starred and turned director for The Quest. That year, he appeared in the TV show Friends in the two-part episode "The One After the Superbowl". He also starred in Maximum Risk, the first American film directed by Ringo Lam, and their first collaboration.

Van Damme's first box office bomb since he became a star was Double Team (1997), a buddy film with basketball superstar Dennis Rodman. It was Hong Kong director Tsui Hark's American debut.

In 1998, he and Hark reunited on Knock Off. Also that year, Van Damme acted in the costume action film, Legionnaire. Despite a $35 million budget, it was not released theatrically in the US, only overseas.

In 1999, Van Damme starred in Universal Soldier: The Return, (1999), where he returns as Luc Deveraux. That year he also starred in Inferno.

2000s: Subsequent films

Jean-Claude Van Damme June 2, 2007
Van Damme in 2007

Released in 2001, Replicant is the second collaboration between Van Damme and director Ringo Lam, and the fifth time that Van Damme has starred in a dual role. It co-stars Michael Rooker. Also that year he starred in The Order, directed by Sheldon Lettich, and written by Van Damme.

In 2002 he starred in Derailed.

In Hell is a 2003 American prison action film directed by Ringo Lam. It is the third collaboration between Van Damme and Lam. Van Damme plays an American working overseas in Magnitogorsk, Russia. That same year, Van Damme employed his dancing training in the music video for Bob Sinclar's "Kiss My Eyes".

His 2004 film was Wake of Death, an action film directed by Philippe Martinez. Ringo Lam was the original director, but he left the project after a few weeks of filming in Canada. It co-stars Simon Yam, Valerie Tian, Tony Schiena, etc.


In 2006, he starred in Second in Command directed by Simon Fellows, and The Hard Corps directed by Sheldon Lettich.

In 2007, played a small role in The Exam, a Turkish comedy-drama film directed by Ömer Faruk Sorak. Also that year he starred in Until Death.

Jean claude Van Damme sur le tournage de JCVD en octobre 2007
Van Damme on the set of JCVD in October 2007

Van Damme returned to the mainstream with the limited theatrical release of the 2008 film JCVD, which received positive reviews. Time Magazine named Van Damme's performance in the film the second best of the year (after Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight), having previously stated that Van Damme "deserves not a black belt, but an Oscar." Also in 2008, he starred in Isaac Florentine's The Shepherd: Border Patrol.

He then reprised his role as Luc Deveraux alongside Dolph Lundgren in the 2009 film Universal Soldier: Regeneration, directed by John Hyams. The film was released theatrically in the Middle East and Southeast Asia and directly to video in the United States and other parts of the world. Since its release, the film has received better than average reviews for a straight-to-DVD franchise sequel.

2010–present: Current work

In 2010, Van Damme directed himself in the barely released Full Love. That same year, he turned down the role of Gunner Jensen in the first instalment of The Expendables and the role went to Dolph Lundgren.

In 2011, Van Damme voiced Master Croc in the computer animation film Kung Fu Panda 2. In the film, Van Damme voices a character who helps the heroes of the previous film. That same year, he co-starred with Scott Adkins in Assassination Games. Also in 2011, he played a role in the French comedy Beur sur la ville. Also that year, Van Damme starred in his own reality TV show Behind Closed Doors. The show showcases his family life, his personal troubles, and an upcoming fight. Since 2009, Van Damme has been planning to make a comeback to fight former boxing Olympic gold-medalist Somluck Kamsing. The fight was a focal point in his ITV reality show Behind Closed Doors. The fight has been repeatedly postponed, with many critics doubting it will occur, especially due to the difficulty of booking the venue.

In 2012, he acted in the Russian comedy film named Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon, and U.F.O. He starred in Dragon Eyes, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, and Six Bullets.

Also that year, he starred as the main villain in The Expendables 2. The film series follows a mercenary group as they undertake a mission which evolves into a quest for revenge against a rival mercenary (Van Damme). The film was a success, grossing over $310 million worldwide. The film was Van Damme’s big return to the action genre. Empire's Nick de Semlyen praised Van Damme's "grandstanding, plutonium-crazed baddie" and Lundgren's "action-troll" as high points in the film. Also that year, Van Damme was seen as part of Kam Sing's ring crew when Kam Sing fought against Jomhod Kiatadisak. He also appeared in commercials for Coors Light beer, showing him on a snow-covered mountain wearing a sleeveless denim jacket, and for the washing powder Dash. On 21 October 2012, Van Damme was honored with a life-size statue of himself in his hometown of Brussels. He told reporters during the unveiling, "Belgium is paying me back something, but really it's to pay back to the dream. So when people come by here, it is not Jean-Claude van Damme but it's a guy from the street who believed in something. I want the statue to represent that".

In 2013, Van Damme acted in the comedy Welcome to the Jungle. Also that year, he played the main villain in Enemies Closer, an American action thriller film directed by Peter Hyams. On 13 November 2013, Volvo Trucks released an advertisement on YouTube that shows Van Damme doing the splits while perched with each of his feet on the outer rearview mirrors of one semi-trailer truck and one box truck moving backwards, which Van Damme describes in the commercial as "the most epic of splits". The video quickly went viral around the web, receiving more than 11 million views in three days, 35 million in the first week. It was dubbed as The Epic Split.

Swelter is a 2014 American action film where he plays one of the leads. It stars Lennie James, and co-stars Grant Bowler, Josh Henderson, and Alfred Molina. James plays a sheriff in a small town who has a dark past that he can not remember, only to have to confront it when his ex-partners show up looking for stolen money they believe he has.

In 2015, he starred in the action thriller film Pound of Flesh, directed by Ernie Barbarash. Also that year, he had a supporting role in a Chinese superhero parody film.

In 2016, he returned to his voice role of Master Croc in the Kung Fu Panda franchise for the third installment. Also that year, he acted in Kickboxer: Vengeance directed by John Stockwell. It is a reboot of the original where Van Damme was the lead. That year he also played the lead in the tv serie Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

In 2017, he starred in Kill 'Em All, an action film directed by Peter Malota.

In 2018, he returned to his role in Kickboxer: Retaliation, a sequel to the reboot. That same year, he acted in Black Water. It co-stars Dolph Lundgren in the fifth collaboration between both actors as well as the first time they appear together as on-screen allies. In 22 August of that same year, he starred in Julien Leclercq's The Bouncer.

In 2019, Van Damme starred in We Die Young. In 2021, Van Damme starred in The Last Mercenary. In 2022, Van Damme voiced the character Jean-Clawed in the computer animation film Minions: The Rise of Gru.

In 2023, he featured his likeness and voice as Johnny Cage in the fighting game Mortal Kombat 1 (2023).


Van Damme Monument in Azerbaijan
Van Damme Monument in Qabala, Azerbaijan

In 2012, a statue of the actor was unveiled in Anderlecht, Belgium. The artwork, which depicts a younger incarnation of the Muscles from Brussels in one of his fighting poses from the movie Kickboxer, was commissioned to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Westland Shopping complex. The unveiling took place on Boulevard Sylvain Dupuis and was attended by Van Damme, his parents, Wallonia-Brussels culture minister Fadila Laanan [nl] and nearly 2,000 fans. Van Damme said the statue "represented the dream of a Brussels kid" and was "for all the children who want something bad", adding that "if you believe in something strongly enough, it can come true".

In 2019, a Van Damme monument was mounted in the Vandam village of Qabala, Azerbaijan, due to the similarity of the village name and Van Damme's name. The actor subsequently published a post on his Facebook account, thanking those responsible.


Outside acting, Van Damme has publicly supported various conservationist causes and animal rights organisations, appearing in a number of PSAs for Animals Australia, and working towards his goal of rallying celebrities and fellow actors in creating sanctuaries for endangered species. In 2022, he was appointed as DRC Ambassador On Environment, with the role of enhancing the protection of forests as well as local fauna and flora.

In 2007, Van Damme, alongside animal rights activists and retired French actress Brigitte Bardot, the Franco-American ice-skater Surya Bonaly and French singer Renaud, called for a ban on bullfighting in France.

In 2011, Van Damme lent his face to a GAIA (Global Action in the Interest of Animals) poster campaign against the suffering of mink raised for fur production. The poster showed a vulnerable Van Damme, holding a dead mink in his hands. In 2017, Van Damme became an international ambassador for GAIA.

In 2015, Van Damme condemned the infamous slaughter of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, describing the act as cowardly, a crime, and disgraceful.

In 2016, Van Damme lent his name to a program to adopt an Australian greyhound.

In 2020, Van Damme threatened to 'hurt' Australian arsonists responsible for the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, and said it was painful watching the tragedy unfold from overseas, and claimed Australia did not deserve the devastating event.


In 2022, Van Damme called on the Brussels parliament to introduce a ban on unstunned slaughter. In a video message to the people of Brussels, he called on the Brussels parliament to ban unstunned slaughter, "as your brothers and sisters in Wallonia and Flanders have done".

Van Damme, alongside several other celebrities including Jane Goodall, Alice Waters, Rosario Dawson, Jelena Djokovic, Toni Garrn, Tom Brady, Maluma, Jesse Williams, Tony Robbins,, Brian Eno, and Ed Begley, supported the Save Soil movement launched by Sadhguru in 2022.

In 2023, the game VAN DAMME – Dawn of the Chihuahuas from the French gaming company, AwareCorp Studios was released. In the sci-fi game for mobile devices, which sees Van Damme pairing up with his chihuahua Lola, players save dogs in distress, while helping real rescued dogs. The game also raises funds for various animal rescue organizations around the world. Van Damme stated: "I’m delighted to be taking part in this fantastic adventure game, and to be supporting animal welfare, a cause close to my heart. I’ve always been a dog lover and I’m determined to help abandoned animals who need a second chance. Lola and I are delighted to be contributing to the success of a game that will not only entertain, but also make a real difference to thousands of vulnerable animals."

In October 2023, Van Damme stated that he planned to plough the profits from his new Northern Irish whiskey Old Oak into building a nature reserve. He told Showbiz Life: "I want to use the profits to give back, and I want that to be put into ecology, the environment and specifically with animals. It will be like a free zoo, land and space for them to live and grow, like a nature reserve. But I can’t tell you where I’m putting it."

Personal life

..... In 1998, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 2011, he discussed the condition on the British reality show Behind Closed Doors, saying, "Sometimes you're gonna like me, and sometimes you're gonna hate me. But what can I do? I'm not perfect ... I'm an extreme bipolar, and I'm taking medication for this ... When I was young, I was suffering those swing moods. In the morning, the sky was blue [when I was] going to school, and to me, the sky was black. I was so sad."

Van Damme has been married five times to four different women. Until 1992 he was married to his third wife, bodybuilder Gladys Portugues, with whom he has two children, Kristopher (b. 1987) and Bianca Brigitte (b. 1990). He had begun an affair with actress Darcy LaPier, whom he married in February 1994. From this marriage, the couple has a son named Nicholas (b. 10 October 1995). ..... LaPier, who was pregnant with their son at the time, did not become aware of the affair until Van Damme publicly admitted it in 2012.

In October 2016, Van Damme expressed his support to presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election. Earlier that year in March, he mentioned that the Illuminati including the Rockefellers and Rothschilds might try to stop Trump from winning.

Van Damme had been in a decade long relationship with model Alena Kaverina, though still married to Gladys Portugues. Kaverina was born in Ukraine; Van Damme visited the country during the Russian invasion of Ukraine to show his support.



Year Title Role Notes
1979 Woman Between Wolf and Dog Moviegoer / Man in Garden Uncredited extra
1984 Missing in Action Soldier Also credited for stunts
Monaco Forever Gay karate man Short film
Breakin' Spectator in the first dance scene Uncredited extra
1985 No Retreat, No Surrender Ivan Kraschinsky
1988 Bloodsport Frank Dux Also editor (uncredited)
Black Eagle Andrei
1989 Cyborg Gibson Rickenbacker Also editor (uncredited)
Kickboxer Kurt Sloane Also writer, fight director and choreographer
1990 Lionheart Lyon Gaultier Also writer and fight choreographer
Death Warrant Louis Burke
1991 Double Impact Alex Wagner / Chad Wagner Dual role; also writer, producer and fight choreographer
1992 Universal Soldier Luc Deveraux
1993 Nowhere to Run Sam Gillen
Last Action Hero Himself Cameo
Hard Target Chance Boudreaux
1994 Timecop Max Walker
Street Fighter Colonel William F. Guile
1995 Sudden Death Darren McCord
1996 The Quest Christopher Dubois Also director and writer
Maximum Risk Alain Moreau / Mikhail Suverov Dual role
1997 Double Team Jack Paul Quinn
1998 Knock Off Marcus Ray
Legionnaire Alain Lefèvre Also writer and producer
1999 Universal Soldier: The Return Luc Deveraux Also producer
Inferno Eddie Lomax Limited release; also producer
2001 Replicant Edward "The Torch" Garrotte (Luc Savard) / The Replicant Dual role; direct-to-video
Order, TheThe Order Rudy Cafmeyer / Charles Le Vaillant Dual role; also writer; direct-to-video
2002 Derailed Jacques Kristoff Direct-to-video
2003 In Hell Kyle LeBlanc Direct-to-video
2004 ... Jean's Ghost by Lenny
Wake of Death Ben Archer Direct-to-video
2006 Second in Command Samuel Keenan Direct-to-video
The Hard Corps Philippe Sauvage Direct-to-video
The Exam Charles
2007 Until Death Anthony Stowe Direct-to-video
2008 The Shepherd: Border Patrol Jack Robideaux Direct-to-video
JCVD Himself Limited release; also executive producer
2009 Universal Soldier: Regeneration Luc Deveraux Direct-to-video
2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 Master Croc Voice role
Assassination Games Vincent Brazil Limited release; also executive producer
Beur sur la ville Colonel Merot Cameo
Rzhevsky versus Napoleon Himself Cameo
Dragon Eyes Jean-Louis Tiano Limited release
2012 The Expendables 2 Jean Vilain Van Damme's first widely released film since 1999
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Luc Deveraux Limited release
Six Bullets Samson Gaul Direct-to-video; also executive producer
U.F.O. George Limited release
2013 Welcome to the Jungle Storm Rothschild Limited release
Enemies Closer Xander Limited release
Swelter Stillman Direct-to-video
2015 Pound of Flesh Deacon Lyle Limited release; also executive producer
Jian Bing Man Himself Cameo
2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 Master Croc Voice role
Kickboxer: Vengeance Master Durand Limited release
2017 Kill 'Em All Philip Direct-to-video
2018 Kickboxer: Retaliation Master Durand Limited release
Black Water Wheeler Limited release; also executive producer
The Bouncer Lukas Limited release
2019 We Die Young Daniel Limited release
2021 The Last Mercenary Richard Brumère / The Mist
Haters Le fan de Thomas
2022 Minions: The Rise of Gru Jean Clawed Voice role
2023 Darkness of Man Russell Hatch
TBA Frenchy Frenchy Also writer, director, producer and editor; complete


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Friends Himself Episode: "The One After the Superbowl"
2004 Las Vegas Himself Episode: "Die Fast, Die Furious"
2009 Robot Chicken Himself / Count Dracula / Rhett Butler (voices) Episode: "Maurice Was Caught"
2011 Jean Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors Himself 8 episodes; also producer
2011 Les Anges Gardiens Himself 20 episodes
2016 Sense8 Himself Episode: "Happy F*cking New Year"
2016–2017 Jean-Claude Van Johnson Johnson / Filip 6 episodes; also executive producer for "Pilot"
2020 Les Anges Asian Dream Himself
2022 Ramez Movie Star Himself Arabian pranks show, represented by him and Ramez Galal
2023 Jean-Claude Van Damme, Coup sur Soup Himself TV special

Music videos

Year Song title Artist(s)
1992 "Body Count's in the House" Body Count
1994 "Time Won't Let Me" The Smithereens
"Straight to My Feet" MC Hammer featuring Deion Sanders
1995 "Something There" Chage and Aska
1999 "Crush 'Em" Megadeth
2003 "Kiss My Eyes" Bob Sinclar
2008 "Ya Lyublyu Ego" Iryna Bilyk and Olga Gorbacheva
2015 "The Hum" Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs. Ummet Ozcan
2020 "Ultrarêve" AaRON

Video games

Year Title Role Note
1995 Street Fighter: The Movie Colonel Guile
2021 Warpath Himself As fictional general
2023 Mortal Kombat 1 Johnny Cage Voice and likeness; DLC skin

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1988 Golden Raspberry Award Worst New Star Bloodsport Nominated
1992 MTV Movie Award Most Desirable Male Double Impact Nominated
1993 Nowhere to Run Nominated
1994 Hard Target Nominated
1998 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Screen Couple (with Dennis Rodman) Double Team Won
2001 Video Premiere Award Best Actor Replicant Nominated
2004 Bollywood Movie Award International Action Super Star Himself Won
2008 Silver Leopard Best Actor JCVD Nominated
2009 TFCA Award Best Performance, Male Nominated
2014 Golden Lotus Award Outstanding Achievement of Action Movies Show Himself Won

Championships and accomplishments

Mr. Belgium bodybuilding Championships (1976 Gold)

Belgium Karate Lightweight Championships (1977 Gold)

Belgium Karate team European Championships (1979 Gold)

Belgium Coupe des Espoirs Karate Tournament Championships (1980 Silver)

Semi-contact / light-contact record

Result Record Opponent Method Date Round Event Location Notes
Win 44-4-0 Belgium Jonny Wellum Decision 7 May 1980 3 WAKO Brussels, Belgium Light-Contact (Van Damme avenges early career defeat)
Win 43-4-0 Belgium Jordy Claes 1980 Gala International WAKO Light-Contact
Win 42-4-0 Belgium Patrick Teugels l'abandon (TKO) 8 March 1980 1 Forest Nationals Light-Contact (Teugels suffers a broken nose and is unable to continue)
Win 41-4-0 Hungary Andras Kovacs Decision 1980 3 WAKO Semi-Contact
Win 40-4-0 Algeria Bekim-Moussa Muhammad
Win 39-4-0 Algeria Mustapha-Ahmad Benamou
Win 38-4-0 Germany Reinhard Krass Disq. 26 December 1979 2 Karate Tournament: Belgium Team vs. German Team Woluwe, Brussels, Belgium Light-Contact
Win 37-4-0 Portugal Gilberto Dias l'abandon November 1979 1 World All-styles Karate Organization Brussels, Belgium Light-Contact (Dias suffers ankle injury and is unable to continue)
Win 36-4-0 Germany Hans Kohler Decision 1979 3 Ingelmunster, Belgium Semi-Contact
Loss 35-4-0 Belgium Patrick Teugels WAKO Tampa, Florida, USA Light-Contact (Both men fight in karate-gi uniforms, no pads or gloves)
Win 35-3-0 Belgium Matthias Evrard Cup of Antwerp World All-styles Karate Organization Antwerp, Belgium Semi-Contact
Win 34-3-0 Belgium Paul Sperati World All-styles Karate Organization Opprebais, Belgium
Win 33-3-0 Belgium Lucus Reinfeld World All-styles Karate Organization, Europe Interland Cup Mulhouse, Belgium
Win 32-3-0 Belgium Robbe Bogaerts 1978 Hope Cup World All-styles Karate Organization Brussels, Belgium Semi-Contact
Win 31-3-0 Belgium Leonard Baptiste World All-styles Karate Organization Izegem, Belgium Semi-Contact
Win 30-3-0 Portugal Fernando Cabanela World All-styles Karate Organization
Loss 29-3-0 Belgium Angelo Spataro Challenge Coupe des Espoirs Karate Tournament (1st Trials) Antwerp, Belgium Light-Contact
Win 29-2-0 Belgium Gabriel van der Driessche
Win 28-2-0 Belgium Farid Muhammad Mousseau
Win 27-2-0 Belgium Jacques van Laere
Win 26-2-0 Belgium Christian Hedin
Win 25-2-0 Belgium Gerard Charon
Win 24-2-0 Portugal David Arranz
Win 23-2-0 Belgium Bernard Redden
Win 22-2-0 Belgium Antoine Redi
Win 21-2-0 Belgium Ben Salah Ellah
Win 20-2-0 Belgium Gaston Airey Foul 1
Win 19-2-0 Belgium Abdembi Hassan Ali Decision 3
Win 18-2-0 Portugal Jonas "Marcel" Cohen Decision
Win 17-2-0 Belgium Christian van Tieghem
Win 16-2-0 Belgium Max Roelandt
Win 15-2-0 Belgium Andre Verbon
Win 14-2-0 Belgium Michel Juvillier
Win 13-2-0 Belgium Joel Maoreau
Win 12-2-0 Belgium Ronald Duivenbode Semi-Contact
Loss 11-2-0 Belgium Patrick Teugels Belgium Lightweight Championship Antwerp, Belgium Light-Contact
Win 11-1-0 Belgium Gris Lubbers 1976 European Karate Union Ingelmunster, Belgium Semi-Contact
Win 10-1-0 Belgium Andre Lemaire 1977 World Association of Kickboxing Organizations Open International Izegem, Belgium
Win 9-1-0 Belgium Patrick Teugels Antwerp Open International Competition WAKO Antwerp, Belgium Light-Contact
Win 8-1-0 Belgium Maurice Devos World Allstyles Kickboxing Organization Semi-Contact
Win 7-1-0 France Jacques Berri 1976 Antwerp Open WAKO
Win 6-1-0 Belgium Johannes Binding Antwerp, Belgium
Win 5-1-0 France Jean-Morin Devigne
Win 4-1-0 Belgium Roland Vedani 1976 3 European Karate Union Ingelmunster, Belgium
Win 3-1-0 Belgium Jean-Paul Gaston Brussels, Belgium
Loss 2-1-0 Belgium Jonny Wellum 22 January 1976 La Federation Europeene de Karate (European Karate Federation) Brussels, Belgium Semi-Contact (J. Vandenberg credit with defaite)
Win 2-0-0 Belgium Bernard Briers Semi-Contact (J. Vandenberg credit with victoire)
Win 1-0-0 Belgium Robin Lomard Semi-Contact (J. Vandenberg credit with victoire - Karate magazine Boxe francaise)

Kickboxing record

Result Record Opponent Method Date Round Time Event Location Notes
Win 18-1-0 India Nedjad Gharbi KKO 1982 1 Brussels, Belgium Kickboxing
Win 17-1-0 Belgium Daniel Le Jaouen 1:05
Win 16-1-0 Belgium Lenny Leikman 3 1st Journée des Arts Martiaux
Win 15-1-0 Turkey Ajom Mahmud Uddin KO 1981 1 0:19
Win 14-1-0 Algeria Mustapha-Ahmad Benamou KKO
Win 13-1-0 Netherlands Henk Besselman KO
Win 12-1-0 United Kingdom Michael J. Heming KKO 1980 0:46 European Karate Federation Middleweight Championship Kickboxing
Win 11-1-0 France Georges Verlugels KO 2 PKA Middleweight Championship Kickboxing
Win 10-1-0 United States Sherman Bergman KKO 1979 Nov 4 1 0:56 Tampa, Florida, USA Full-Contact
Win 9-1-0 Germany Rolf Risberg KKO 1979 Ingelmunster, Belgium Kickboxing
Win 8-1-0 Belgium Emile Leibman Izegem, Belgium Kickboxing
Win 7-1-0 Belgium Cyrille Nollet 1978 Kickboxing
Win 6-1-0 Belgium Orlando Lang KO 0:26 Antwerp, Belgium
Win 5-1-0 Belgium Jacques Piniarski KKO Belgium Kickboxing
Win 4-1-0 Germany Eric "Basel" Strauss 0:18 Antwerp, Belgium Kickboxing
Win 3-1-0 Belgium Andre "Robar" Robaeys Mulhouse, Belgium Kickboxing
Win 2-1-0 Belgium Michel Juvillier KO 0:39 Antwerp, Belgium Full-Contact
Loss 1-1-0 France Etienne "Tuf" Aubry DQ 7 March 1977 1:02 Marseilles, France Full-Contact (Karate magazine Boxe francaise)
Win 1-0-0 Belgium Toon van Oostrum KKO 1977 0:46 Brussels, Belgium Full-Contact

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Jean-Claude Van Damme para niños

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