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What Happened to Jean-Claude Van Damme?

Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of only a handful of action stars who can lay claim to the title of “living legend.” He’s an icon of action and martial arts cinema, with dozens of ass-kicking roles under his belt. Born and raised in Brussels, Belgium, Van Damme began his martial arts training at the tender age of 10, and never looked back. In 1982, the “Muscles from Brussels” moved to the United States to become an actor, and the rest is history. For a while in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the man was a household name, but he’s since disappeared from the spotlight. Here’s what happened to this once most preeminent of kickboxing action heroes.

The Rise of the Muscles from Brussels

After moving to the United States in 1982, Van Damme worked odd jobs and acted as an extra in films like 1984’s Breakin’. He was soon offered the role of the titular alien hunter in Predator and accepted it, hoping it would be his breakout role. Upon realizing he’d be completely obscured and encumbered by the Predator costume, however, he stepped away from the opportunity. His big break came with the 1988 film Bloodsport — a martial arts masterpiece based on the alleged true experiences of Frank Dux. Bloodsport kicked off his superstar heyday which ran from the late ‘80s to the early ‘90s, and he made most of his best films during this period. Cyborg, Kickboxer, Lionheart, and Double Impact are just a few of the classics that he starred in during this time. In 1992, Van Damme acted in the blockbuster action spectacle Universal Solider, which remains one of his most celebrated movies.

The End of a Hot Streak

Unfortunately, the Muscles from Brussels’ international success didn’t last forever. Perhaps the 1994 Street Fighter movie signaled that the star’s hot streak was soon to come to a screeching halt, as that production saw Van Damme suffering from a raging cocaine habit that made the shoot very difficult. In the years that followed, Van Damme continued to star in movies, but most failed to reach the critical and financial successes of his earlier work. According to Screen Rant, “Van Damme claimed he was “blacklisted” when he tried to get studios to give him as much money as stars like Jim Carrey.” As a result, his latter-day films like Derailed and Second in Command still contain much action and martial arts, but are notably lacking in essential moments.

A Crippling Addiction

A major factor that contributed to Van Damme’s fall from superstardom was his crippling addiction to cocaine. It began in the early ‘90s, and by the end of the decade, had soared out of control, with Van Damme reportedly consuming up to $10,000 worth of cocaine per week. The addiction hindered his working relationships, cost him a number of roles, and endangered his life. On top of his struggle with addiction, Van Damme was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which soon sent him spiraling into depression.

Van Damme Today

Although his attempts at drug rehabilitation did not work out, Van Damme was finally successful in kicking the habit by quitting cold-turkey and focusing on his intense exercise regime. In addition to freeing himself of his drug addiction, Van Damme has found new acting opportunities, lending his voice talent to the Kung Fu Panda series and starring in the latest additions to both the Universal Soldier and Kickboxer franchises. In 2008, Van Damme starred in the critically acclaimed JCVD, a Belgian crime drama in which Van Damme plays a semi-fictionalized version of himself. In addition to acting, Van Damme has also worked on another of his passions in recent years: advocacy for animals and endangered species. According to the New York Times, Van Damme “has donated tens of thousands of dollars to animal rights organizations [and] rescued dozens of strays from around the world.” He’s appeared in a number of PSAs for Animals Australia, and has been working towards his goal of rallying celebrities and fellow actors in creating sanctuaries for endangered species.

Clearly, the world still thinks very highly of the Muscles from Brussels; in 2012, a life-sized bronze statue of Van Damme was unveiled in his hometown of Brussels. Van Damme hopes the statue will inspire children everywhere to follow their dreams. In 2013, the action star inspired people all over the internet with a viral Volvo Trucks commercial in which he performs his famous “epic split” over two moving semi-trucks. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out – it’s not just a display of his incredible athleticism, but also a testament to his resilience and determination. You just can’t keep the Van Damme man down.

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The Ultimate List of the Best Action Movie Hero Names

Arnold Schwarzenegger (aka “Arnie”, “The Austrian Oak”, or “The Govenator”) is an ultimate action movie legend of the first class. Both a former Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia champion bodybuilder and former Governor of California, Arnold has risen to the highest levels of worldly success.

Born in Thal, Styria, Austria, Arnold made his breakthrough into Hollywood action movies originally in sword-and-sorcery with Conan the Barbarian and in sci-fi with The Terminator, early roles which let him hide his thick accent and lack of American acting experience.

However, Arnold quickly found his niche and would go on to helm some of the most critically and commercially successful action movie blockbusters of all time. Including Terminator 2: Judgement Day and the Terminator Series, Commando, Predator, Total Recall and True Lies to name a few. While he has eased up in later years to pursue public office, his legacy remains Arnold strong!

Watch more Arnold Schwarzenegger clips here!

Arnold Schwarzenegger Articles

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American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991) Biography, Plot, Trailer

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)
American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation is a 1991 American martial arts action film starring Michael Dudikoff, David Bradley, and James Booth. A sequel to American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989), it is the fourth installment in the American Ninja franchise, followed by American Ninja V and was directed by Cedric Sundstrom. The film marked Michael Dudikoff’s final appearance in the American Ninja franchise.

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)


A Delta Force unit attempts to escape from a pursuing group of ninja in a foreign country but most are killed and the rest are captured. The secret Ninja Army is headed by Colonel Scarf Mulgrew) an ex-British policeman and anti-American who has joined with Shiekh Ali Maksood, a Muslim militant, who plans to bring a suitcase nuke to New York. Mulgrew threatens to burn the commandos alive and use the nuke unless he is paid a ransom of 50 million dollars. Agents Sean Davidson and Carl Brackston are sent on a covert mission to rescue the prisoners and defeat the terrorists.


New York Ninja (2021) Biography, Production, Release, Trailer

Sean and Carl parachute in and meet their contact Pango. While gathering information from a local operative named Freddie, they are confronted by Mulgrew and the corrupt local police headed by O’Reilly. Freddie is killed by Mulgrew but Sean, Carl, and Pango escape. Pango takes them to Dr. Sarah a Peace Corps nurse who hides them from the police. Soon after ninjas attack, capturing Sean, Carl and Sarah alive while Pango escapes, and imprisoning them in an old British fort to be tortured by Mulgrew. Mulgrew assaults Sarah and later it is revealed Mulgrew killed her father.


  • Michael Dudikoff as Agent Joe Armstrong
  • David Bradley as Agent Sean Davidson
  • Dwayne Alexandre as Agent Carl Brackston
  • Robin Stille as Dr. Sarah[3]
  • Ken Gampu as Dr. Tamba
  • James Booth as Colonel Scarf Mulgrew
  • Ron Smerczak as Shiekh Ali Maksood
  • Frantz Dobrowsky as Captain O’Reilly
  • Kely McClung as Super Ninja
  • Jody Abrahams as Pango
  • Anthony Fridjhon as Freddie / Treddle
  • David Sherwood as Gavin
  • Sean Kelly as Norris
  • Jamie Bartlett as Segal
  • John Pasternak as Carlos
  • Robin B. Smith as Schultz
  • Shane Safi as Little Special School Child

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Will Smith CONFRONTS Jim Carrey For HUMILIATING Him On Live TV

Get ready for the ultimate showdown! In this explosive video, Will Smith confronts Jim Carrey after being publicly humiliated on live TV.

The two Hollywood legends have a long-standing rivalry, but things came to a head after Jim’s controversial comments about Will during an interview.
With tensions running high, Will finally has the opportunity to confront Jim face-to-face and demand an apology.

But will Jim be able to make amends for his insulting remarks, or will this confrontation only escalate the feud further?
Watch now to find out!

Here on Just In we are all about the latest spill in Hollywood! You can rest assured that we will bring you all the latest celebrity drama and gossip especially concerning your favorite actors! We´ll also make sure to keep you updated on the newest movie updates and releases – so if you are interested in anything that happens in Hollywood, you should make sure to stay tuned!

And there you have it guys! We hope you enjoyed the video! If you did please consider leaving a like and telling us what you thought in the comments!
But will Jim be able to make amends for his insulting remarks, or will this confrontation only escalate the feud further?
Watch now to find out!

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