Martial arts icon and renown action star Jean-Claude Van Damme started out with a humble beginning as Jean-Claude Camille Francois Van Varenberg. Born on October 18th, 1960 in Brussels, Belgium, he became the son to Eugène and Eliana Van Varenberg. The fifty-eight year old is currently married to Gladys Portugues, and is a father to three children Kristopher, Bianca, and Nicholas from former marital relationships.
Growing up, Van Damme became an avid martial-artiste, kickboxer, and bodybuilder. At eighteen years old, he earned a black belt in karate and continued his perfecting his skills as a martial arts champion until he was thirty-six years old. In 1982, Van Damme retired from his career on the mat, and moved to the United States, essentially starting his life over as a carpenter and pizza deliverer.
After becoming an acquaintance to fellow fighting-thespian Chuck Norris, Van Damme’s friend landed the unknown talent a small role in a film called Missing in Action (1984). Over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, Van Damme became a formidable action star in his own right. Cast as a Soviet villain in No Retreat, No Surrender (1986), Van Damme clocked in $250. Similar to his trademark roundhouse kicks, his paychecks made a complete 360 from $25,000 for Bloodsport (1988) to $600,000 for Double Impact (1991). One of his most notable roles as a time-traveling police officer combating corrupt politicians in Timecop (1994) had an impressive pay day of $5,000,000. Known for his eccentric personality and impressive physicality, Jean-Claude Van Damme joined the pack of cinematic action heroes alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
In 2017, Van Damme transitioned to television with a satirical Amazon series Jean-Claude Van Johnson, and has starred in a tongue-in-cheek series of Tostitos commercials. For the past thirty years, the actor has made over fifty films all over the world and continues working internationally in show business among other ongoing projects. He’s expanded his work to other credits including screenwriter, producer, director, and editor as well as entrepreneur and investor. As of 2018, his current estimated net worth is $30 million.