Li Lianjie (born 26 April 1963 in Beijing, China), better known by his English stage name Jet Li, is a Chinese film actor, film producer, martial artist, and wushu champion who was born in Beijing. He is a naturalised Singaporean citizen.
After three years of intensive training with Wu Bin, Li won his first national championship for the Beijing Wushu Team. After retiring from Wushu at age 19, he went on to win great acclaim in China as an actor making his debut with the film Shaolin Temple (1982).
He went on to star in many critically acclaimed martial arts epic films, most notably the Once Upon A Time in China series, in which he portrayed folk hero Wong Fei-hung. Li's first role in a Hollywood film was as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), and his first leading role in a Hollywood film was as Han Sing in Romeo Must Die (2000). He has gone on to star in many Hollywood action films, including Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed.
He co-starred in The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) with Jackie Chan, all three of The Expendables films with Sylvester Stallone, and as the title character villain in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) opposite Brendan Fraser.
Considering US box office statistics, the most successful Jet Li film as of August 2010 is Lethal Weapon 4, which grossed over 130 million dollars domestically, while the second is The Expendables with over 103 million dollars. Hero is the third most successful foreign language film in the US, and one of the best critically acclaimed Li movies. Fearless is the seventh most successful foreign language film of all time in the US. From a critical point of view, the best acclaimed Li movie is Fist of Legend (Rotten Tomatoes: 100%) and the worst is War (Rotten Tomatoes: 12%).
Li is a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. His master is Lho Kunsang. In 1987, Li married Beijing Wushu Team member and Kids from Shaolin co-star Huang Qiuyan, with whom he has two daughters, Si and Taimi. They divorced in 1990. Since 1999, he has been married to Nina Li Chi (born Li Zhi), a Shanghai-born, Hong Kong-based actress.
He has two daughters with her also, Jane (born 2000) and Jada (born 2002). Li was in the Maldives when a tsunami hit during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Although it was widely reported at the time that he had died during the disaster, he only suffered a minor foot injury, caused by a piece of floating furniture, while he was guiding his 4-year-old daughter Jane and the nanny holding his 1-year-old daughter Jada to safety.
The four of them were by the pool and slightly above the beach when the wave came ashore. In 2009, Li, who previously had US citizenship after years working in the United States, renounced his US citizenship. He was thought to have taken up Singaporean citizenship, although Singaporean authorities did not initially provide any confirmation of this. On 28 July 2009, the chairman of One Foundation (the Charity fund of Jet Li) announced that Jet Li had indeed become a Singaporean citizen.
He was said to have chosen Singapore for its education system for his two daughters. In 2009, Li launched his own fitness program that he named "Wuji". The programme consists of elements of martial arts, yoga and pilates; Adidas launched a special clothing line for it that bears the initials of "JL". In 2013, Li revealed that he suffers from hyperthyroidism and has been dealing with the issue for the past three years.
Since his heart rate can hit 130~140 at normal, Li takes medication to control his heart rate and has been advised not to do any sort of exercise. In his free time he likes to play badminton, table tennis, volleyball, ride his bicycle, read and meditate. He collects rare Tibetan beads. He says he is never bored in his free time.
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