Donnie Yen

Biography

Donnie Yen (Chinese: ???; Hanyu Pinyin: Zhen Zidan, born July 27, 1963), is a martial artist and a film actor. The son of martial arts master Bow Sim Mark, Yen was born in Guangdong, Guangzhou, China and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. He graduated from Boston University. He is a well known film and television actor in Hong Kong and, more recently, in the West, having been featured in many movies with prominent, internationally known actors such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. Donnie's younger sister Chris (Chi-Ching) is also an accomplished martial artist and rising actress, recently appearing in the independent film The Adventures of Johnny Dao. From a young age, Yen was interested in martial arts of all kind, experimenting with various styles, from Taekwondo to Wushu. Yen decided to stick with Wushu, moved to Beijing to train further and even joined the Beijing Wushu Team for two years (Yen became the first non-PRC Chinese to be accepted at the school). During his training in China, his instructor Mr. Lee demanded Donnie cut his hippie-style mullet as it was inappropriate. When he wanted to return to the United States, he made a side trip to Hong Kong and it was there that he met Yuen Woo-ping, a famous Hong Kong fight choreographer. Yen's first film role was at age 21 in 1984 in the film Xiao Tai Ji. The film revolved around drunken Tai Chi, and although not a critical success, the film helped Yen to achieve further notability. Over the years, Donnie would send martial arts magazines and books from North America back to Mr. Lee in China. Sometime after filming Drunken Tai Chi and Tiger Cage, Donnie had cosmetic surgery to give him folded eyelids and to straighten his teeth. The changes are very apparent in subsequent films. However, Yen gained his breakthrough role in 1992 as General Lan in Once Upon a Time in China II. His final fight against Wong Fei-Hung (Jet Li) remains one of the most celebrated fights in martial arts films to this day. This fight scene could be considered one of the very best in martial arts films, and has been revisited to an extent in 2002's Hero, where Yen and Li face off again. He learned how to use a spear from a man named Master Ma. Hero was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2003 Academy Awards but lost to Nowhere in Africa (Germany). In 1997, Yen started a production company known as Bullet Films, and made his directorial debut. Two of his films, Legend of the Wolf and Ballistic Kiss, in which he also starred, are widely considered to be groundbreaking in their style and tone. Donnie went on to choreograph fight scenes (and have small roles in) Hollywood films, such as Blade II and various Highlander projects. Donnie was briefly engaged to ATV actress, Man Yee Man, before marrying in 2003 in Toronto to Cissy Wang, Miss Chinese Toronto 2000, with whom he has a daughter, Jasmine. Donnie also has a son from a previous relationship named Man Cheuk Yen. Donnie Yen choreographed most of the fighting animation in the 2004 videogame Onimusha 3 (Also starring Kaneshiro Takeshi and Jean Reno). Donnie has been very active in Hong Kong cinema as of late and can be seen as Chu Zhaonan in Tsui Hark's wuxia epic Seven Swords, and opposite Sammo Hung and Simon Yam in the brutal crime drama SPL: Sha Po Lang. Both films were featured this year at the Toronto Film Festival. Most recently, he starred as Wong Xiao-Long in Dragon Tiger Gate, an adaptation of a popular Chinese comic book, together with Nicholas Tse and Shawn Yue. Donnie worked on Stormbreaker, starring Alicia Silverstone, as the action choreographer and action director.

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Birth Name

Zhen Zidan

Birth Place

Canton, Chine

Birth Date

7/27/1963
Known For
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Hero

Sky

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Xiang

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Ip Man

Ip Man

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Ip Man 2

Ip Man

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Ip Man 3

Ip Man

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Seven Swords

Chu Zhao Nan

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Iron Monkey

Wong Kei-Ying

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Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen

Chen Zhen

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An Empress and The Warriors

Muyong Xuehu

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Kill Zone

Insp. Ma Kwun

Starring In
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John Wick: Chapter 4

Caine

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Tin lung baat bou

Kiu Fung

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The Monkey King: The Legend Begins

Sun Wukong / Monkey King

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New Kung Fu Cult Master

Zhang Sanfeng

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Come Back Home

De

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Raging Fire

Cheung Sung-Bong

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Mulan

Commander Tung

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Kung Fu Stuntmen

Self

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Enter the Fat Dragon

Fallon Zhu

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Ip Man 4: The Finale

Ip Man

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Big Brother

Henry Chen Xia / Chan Hak

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Iceman: The Time Traveller

Ho Ying

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Chasing The Dragon

Crippled Ho

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On That Night... While We Dream

Master Yen

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Xiang

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Chirrut Îmwe

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

Meng Sizhao / Silent Wolf

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Ip Man 3

Ip Man

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An Inspector Calls

Band Member

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Kung Fu Jungle

Hahou Mo

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Iceman

Ho Ying

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The Monkey King Havoc in Heavens Palace

Sun Wukong / Monkey King

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Golden Chickensss

Yip Man

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Special ID

Chan Chi-Lung / Dragon

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Together

Mr. Cool

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Dragon

Liu Jinxi

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The Lost Bladesman

Guan Yu

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All's Well Ends Well 2011

Arnold Cheng

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14 Blades

Green Dragon

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Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen

Chen Zhen

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Ip Man 2

Ip Man

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Bodyguards and Assassins

Sum Chung-yang

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The Founding of a Republic

Tian Han

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Painted Skin: The Beginning

Pang Yong

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An Empress and The Warriors

Muyong Xuehu

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Ip Man

Ip Man

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Flashpoint

Det. Sgt. Ma Jun

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Dragon Tiger Gate

Dragon Wong

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Kill Zone

Insp. Ma Kwun

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Seven Swords

Chu Zhao Nan

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The 7 Swords

Chu Zhao Nan

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Blade Of Kings

General Lone

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Shanghai Knights

Wu Chow

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Hero

Sky

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Blade II

Snowman

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Highlander: Endgame

Jin Ke

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Ballistic Kiss

Cat Lee

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Shanghai Affairs

Tong Shan

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Legend of the Wolf

Fung Man-hin

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Shaolin Vs. Devil's Omen

Mo Ti Nam

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Iron Monkey 2

Iron Monkey

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The Saint of Gamblers

Lone Seven

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Fist of Fury

Chen Zhen (6 episodes, 1995)

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Asian Cop: High Voltage

Chiang Ho-Wah

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Circus Kids

Danton Lee (as Yin Sze Dan)

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Wing Chun

Leung Pok To (as Yen Chi Tan)

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Cinema of Vengeance

Himself (uncredited)

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Iron Monkey

Wong Kei-Ying

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Butterfly Swords

Yip Cheung

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Heroes Among Heroes

So Chan

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Once Upon a Time in China II

Commander Lan

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New Dragon Gate Inn

Tsao Siu Yan

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Revenge of the Cheetah

Ronald

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Holy Virgin vs. The Evil Dead 

Shiang Chi-Fei

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Crystal Hunt

Chin Chi Leung

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Full Contact

Dragon Yau

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In The Line of Duty IV

Captain Donnie Yan

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Ultra Force IV

Terry

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Drunken Tai Chi

Chan Chuen Chung

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