Biographic by Steve McGarry for July 27, 2014
Biographic Steve McGarry Jet Li Jet Li was born Li Lianjie in Beijing, China, on April 26, 1963. Trained in the martial art of Wushu from an early age, he became a star athlete on the world-renowned Beijing Wushu Team. His martial arts prowess opened the doors to a career in movies and he quickly became one of the biggest stars of Chinese Action Films. In 1998, he made his Hollywood movie debut in "Lethal Weapon 4," and followed up with the lead in 2000's "Romeo Must Die" opposite the late singer Aaliyah. Li turned down the lead in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and passed on the role of Seraph in "The Matrix" trilogy - but starred in "The One" opposite Jason Statham and "Kiss of the Dragon" with Bridget Fonda. The 2002 epic "Hero" was the highest-grossing movie in Chinese film history up to that point and is one of the most successful foreign language films of all time in the U.S. He subsequently starred in a number of Chinese films and such Hollywood action movies as "Cradle 2 the Grave," "Unleashed" and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" - as well as teaming up with fellow martial arts legend Jackie Chan in "the Forbidden Kingdom" - before taking a yearlong hiatus from filmmaking. He returned to the screen in the 2010 all-star ensemble hit "The Expendables" playing Yin Yang - a role he has reprised in two sequels, the latest of which is released next month.