Donnie Yen

Birthday: Jul 27, 1963
Birthplace: Canton, China
A sharp-skilled martial artist who has gone on to a successful career as a director and choreographer, Donnie Yen has found success in both his homeland China and in the hustle and bustle of Tinsletown. Working on projects ranging from the traditional Chinese martial-arts period piece Once Upon a Time in China II (1992) to the bone-crunching science fiction-vampire opus Blade II, Yen has distinguished himself as a formidable figure in the ranks of action cinema. Born in Canton, China, in July 1963, Yen's family moved to Hong Kong when Yen was two, again relocating to Boston, MA, when he was 11. It was in Boston that his mother, Bow Sim-Mark, a famous Wushu and Tai Chi master, ran the internationally famous Chinese Wushu Research Institute. A musically inclined youngster who excelled at the piano, Yen was educated by his mother in the martial arts from the moment he took his first steps. An addiction to Hong Kong cinema only fueled the energetic teenager's love for martial arts, and Yen would frequently find himself emulating the awe-inspiring moves of such film legends as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Worried that Yen spent a little too much of his time in Boston's notorious Combat Zone, his concerned parents sent him to Beijing on a two-year training program with the Beijing Wushu Team. Studying alongside such future stars as Jet Li, Yen began to build the confidence and self-discipline to become a Wushu master; he also made history as the first non-PRC Chinese to be accepted to the school. Fate intervened at a pit stop in Hong Kong en route back to his home in Boston, and Yen's chance meeting with legendary filmmaker/choreographer/action director Yuen Woo-Ping served as the inspiration Yen was seeking to break into the film industry. After appearing in minor roles in such 1980s Woo-Ping films as Tai Chi Master (1984) and Tiger Cage (1988), Yen received his breakout role in director Tsui Hark's massively popular Once Upon a Time in China II (1992). Cast opposite peer Jet Li, the duo engaged in a pair of fight scenes that would rank among the most inventive and exhilarating in martial arts film history. Even opposite such formidable talent as Li, Yen's creative fighting skills were so effective that he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 1992 Hong Kong Film Awards. Later turning to the small screen to perfect his cinematic fighting skills and sharpen his abilities as a director, Yen began to earn a reputation as a director of unparalleled focus who was always able to deliver in even the most discouraging film shoots. Aiming to create films that would not only thrill, but stir the emotions deep within an audience, Yen made his feature directorial debut with 1997's Legend of the Wolf. Drawing from his choreography experiences on such films as Iron Monkey (1993) and Wing Chun (1994) and combining them with his experience as a filmmaker, Yen made little impact at the Hong Kong box office with Legend of the Wolf, though the upbeat filmmaker would continue to refine his skills both at home and abroad. Subsequent efforts such as Ballistic Kiss (1998) and City of Darkness (1999) found Yen entering John Woo territory in terms of cinematic style, and prominent appearances in such popular American films as Highlander: Endgame (2000) and Blade II (2002) (both of which found Yen serving double-duty as fight choreographer in addition to acting) found his audience expanding and his skills as a choreographer in increasing demand.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Mulan Commander Tung 2020
No Score Yet Big Brother (Taai si hing) Actor 2018
No Score Yet Iceman: The Time Traveler Actor 2018
50% Chasing the Dragon Crippled Ho $0.5M 2017
45% xXx: Return of Xander Cage Xiang $44.9M 2017
84% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Chirrut Imwe $532.2M 2016
20% Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny Silent Wolf 2016
78% Ip Man 3 IP Man 2016
74% Kung Fu Killer Hahou Mo $88.5K 2015
17% Iceman Producer Ho Ying Director 2014
64% 14 Blades General Qinlong 2014
44% Special ID Zilong "Dragon" Chen Producer Executive Producer 2014
No Score Yet The Monkey King (Da nao tian gong) Sun Wukong 2014
No Score Yet Soi Yat Hei (Together) Mr. Cool 2013
85% Wu xia (Dragon) Liu Jin-xi $11.6K 2012
No Score Yet All's Well Ends Well 2012 Carl 2012
No Score Yet All's Well Ends Well 2011 Keung $48.1K 2012
46% Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen Director Chen Zhen $48.9K 2011
96% Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster Ip Man $0.2M 2011
57% The Lost Bladesman (Guan yun chang) Guan Yu 2011
60% Bodyguards and Assassins (Shi yue wei cheng) Sum Chung-yang 2010
85% Ip Man Ip Man 2010
No Score Yet Wa Pei (Painted Skin) Pang Yong 2008
No Score Yet Kong saan mei yan (An Empress and the Warriors) (The Kingdom and the Beauty) Muyong Xuehu 2008
40% Flash Point Producer Jun 2007
No Score Yet Dragon Tiger Gate Director Producer Wang Xiao Long 2006
25% Chat gim (The Seven Swords) Chu Zaonan 2005
No Score Yet Saat po long (S.P.L.) (Kill Zone) Ma 2005
No Score Yet Shaolin Vs Devil's Omen (666 Mo gwai fuk wut) (Shaolin vs. The Evil Dead) (Satan's Return) Mo 2004
95% Hero Long Sky $53.6M 2004
No Score Yet Chin gei bin 2: Fa tou tai kam (Blade of Kings) Hidden Dragon 2004
No Score Yet Gin chap hak mooi gwai (Black Rose Academy) Director 2004
No Score Yet Vampire Effect (Chin gei bin) (The Twins Effect) Director 2003
66% Shanghai Knights Wu Chow $60.5M 2003
57% Blade II Snowman $82.1M 2002
90% Iron Monkey Wong Kei Ying $14.3M 2001
11% Highlander: Endgame Jin Ke 2000
No Score Yet Shanghai Affairs Tong Shan Director 1998
No Score Yet Ballistic Kiss Cat Director 1998
No Score Yet Legend of the Wolf Fung Man-hin Executive Producer Screenwriter Producer Director 1997
No Score Yet Jie tou sha shou (Iron Monkey 2) Actor 1996
No Score Yet Fist of Fury Chen Jun 1995
No Score Yet Revenge of the Kung Fu Master Actor 1994
No Score Yet Ma hei siu ji (Circus Kid) Actor 1994
No Score Yet Wing Chun Leung Pok To Director 1994
No Score Yet Butterfly and Sword Yip Cheung 1993
No Score Yet So Hak-Yi (Fist of the Red Dragon) (Heroes Among Heroes) Beggar So Chan 1993
No Score Yet Cheetah on Fire Actor 1993
No Score Yet Fist of the Red Dragon Actor 1993
No Score Yet Crystal Hunt (No foh wai lung) Leung 1992
93% Once Upon A Time In China II Commander Lan 1992
No Score Yet Tiger Cage 2 Dragon Yau 1990
No Score Yet The Holy Virgin Versus the Evil Dead (Moh sun gip) Actor 1990
No Score Yet In the Line of Duty 4 Captain Donnie Yan 1989
No Score Yet In the Line of Duty IV Actor 1989
No Score Yet Tiger Cage Donnie Yen 1988
No Score Yet Mismatched Couples (Ching fung dik sau) Actor 1985
No Score Yet Drunken Tai Chi (Siu taai gik) Actor 1984
No Score Yet Drunken Tai-Chi Actor 1984

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Jimmy Kimmel Live
2003
Guest
  • 2016
No Score Yet The Talk
2010
Guest
  • 2016

QUOTES FROM Donnie Yen CHARACTERS