On September 2, news broke that action star Jackie Chan will receive an Oscar for his very first time. After appearing in films for over five and a half decades, the Hong Kong native is being recognized for his contributions to the action genre of film. Chan was selected by the Academy to be one of the coming year’s recipients of the 8th Annual Governors Awards, alongside documentarian Frederick Wiseman, casting director Lynn Stalmaster, and film editor Anne V. Coates. With this Honorary Award, Chan is receiving the recognition he deserves for helping to pioneer the kung fu action movie craze.
Born on April 7, 1954, in British Hong Kong, Chan Kong-sang exhibited his physical prowess since early childhood. As a boy, his peers gave him the nickname “Pao-Pao” (Chinese for “Cannonball”) for his energetic nature. At the age of six, he began training in martial art and acrobatics. Due to his fighting prowess, Chan entered the film industry two years later, appearing in Big and Little Wong Tin Bar (although no complete version of the motion picture is known to exist today). He found success as a career stuntman in Bruce Lee films like Fist of Fury, Enter the Dragon, and Game of Death. However, five years after Lee’s tragic death, Chan made his breakout performance in 1978’s Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. Over his career, the action star performed in over 200 films, including cult classics like Police Story, Drunken Master, and Supercop. Chan’s martial arts skills and on-screen charisma enthralled kung fu enthusiasts all over the globe. His popularity allowed him to cross over into the American mainstream as well, with hits like Rumble in the Bronx, The Cannonball Run, Shanghai Knights, and the Rush Hour series. Over his long career, Chan dazzled audiences with his jaw-dropping stunts and likable personality.
Jackie Chan has become an icon of the industry. His name is synonymous with the kung fu action subgenre of film. He has been a source of inspiration for fictional characters like Jackie Chun from Dragonball and Lei Wulong from the Tekken video game series. Furthermore, he is the namesake of one of the original 151 Pokemon, Hitmonchan, with his counterpart, Hitmonlee being named after his late comrade, Bruce Lee. Chan’s charisma and talents have made him a hero to martial arts fans, young and old. Starting in 2000, he had his own animated series called Jackie Chan Adventures, which lasted for five seasons on the Kids’ WB! programming block. The star power of Jackie Chan is undeniable, as he is one of the most recognizable actors on the planet.
The Hong Kong actor has given all of his effort to the film industry, and in return, he received the adulation of millions worldwide. With all he has accomplished in his career, he has more than earned his Oscar. Jackie Chan has created an extraordinary legacy, and he will certainly be immortalized as one of the greatest in his craft.