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Actor/director/producer Jackie Chan's unique blend of impressive martial arts and screwball physical comedy has helped make him an international film star.
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Back in Hong Kong, Chan's star only rose throughout the 1980s, as he produced impressive action-comedies such as Project A (1983), Police Story (1985), and Armor of God (1986), and the hit period film Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (1989), a clever remake of Frank Capra's 1961 film A Pocketful of Miracles. By that time, however, Chan was far more than a movie star—he was a one-man film industry. In 1986,
he formed his own production company, Golden Way. He also founded a modeling/casting agency, Jackie's Angels, in order to recruit talent for his films. During the filming of Police Story, so many stuntmen were injured that none would agree to work with Chan again; in response, he founded the Jackie Chan Stuntmen Association, whose members he trained personally and paid their medical bills. For his part, Chan claims to have broken every bone in his body at least once while performing stunts. In 1986, during the filming of Armor of God, he fractured his skull after falling over 40 feet while attempting to jump from the top of a building and land on a tree branch below.
In the early 1990s, Chan broadened his range even more, turning in a rare dramatic performance in the melodramatic Crime Story (1993). He also made several sequels to his hits Police Story and Drunken Master. As one of the biggest international box office stars, his popularity in America was limited to the savviest filmgoers. Chan's profile began a meteoric rise in the mid-1990s, however, when a series of events combined to bring him to the attention of a wider American audience.
In 1995, Chan created his own comic book character, the central figure in Jackie Chan's Spartan X, a series that hit newsstands in both Asia and the U.S. That same year, newly anointed directing sensation Quentin Tarantino, fresh off the success of Pulp Fiction (1994), presented Chan with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MTV Movie Awards (the admiring Tarantino reportedly threatened to boycott the ceremony if Chan did not receive the award). In 1996, New Line Cinema and Golden Harvest jointly released Rumble in the Bronx, Chan's fifth English-language (dubbed) release but his first hit in America. The film grossed $10 million in its first weekend of release, shooting to No. 1 at the box office; its success prompted the American debut of two previous Chan films, Crime Story and Drunken Master II.
After two less successful efforts, Jackie Chan's First Strike (1997) and Mr. Nice Guy (1998), Chan had another big box-office hit with Rush Hour (also 1998), an American-produced action-comedy. In Rush Hour, Chan employed his English-language skills as a Chinese police officer on an exchange program in the U.S. who is partnered with a streetwise Los Angeles cop, played by the rising comedian Chris Tucker. In 2000, Chan starred in Shanghai Noon, another crossover comedy-action film set in the Old West and co-starring Owen Wilson and Lucy Liu.
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United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who volunteer to highlight important areas of the U.N.'s work. Actors, athletes, authors and musicians use their celebrity to raise awareness of the issues faced by victims of poverty, famine, and violence worldwide. Goodwill ambassadors make widely publicized visits to the world's most troubled locales, and make appeals on behalf of their people. Here are some of the stars who use their famous names to promote causes close to their hearts.
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