JACKIE CHAN Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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The boy who would become Jackie Chan was born April 7, 1954 with the name Chan Kong-sang in Hong Kong. Compared to many other mainland refugees (as a result of China’s Communist revolution), the Chan family had it fairly easy. His parents worked for the French ambassador; his father as a cook, his mother as a maid.


Early on, Chan displayed his trademark energy. His parents nicknamed him “Pao-Pao” (cannonball) because he was always rolling around. However, this energy also got him into much trouble. Young Kong-sang was never good at school, and he was always getting into fights using the martial arts training his father gave him (which would result in his father’s punishments – something that Chan would explore in the Drunken Master films). Deciding he had too much free time on his hands, Chan’s father enrolled the boy in the China Drama Academy.


Chan would spend the next ten years of his life at the academy, taking the name Yuen Lo – all of the students took the surname “Yuen.” Chan would awake at the crack of dawn and train until dusk under the guise of the tough Master Yu Jim-yuen, who would dish out severe punishment just as soon (or even quicker) as he would praise. Chan also faced hardships from his “big brothers” (older students). The toughest of these students, Yuen Lung, would come to work with Chan on some of his most notable films – under the name Sammo Hung. Several other notable Hong Kong stars came out of the academy, including the last of the “three brothers” Yuen Biao.