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Top 20 kung fu stars in China | Updated: 2015-07-23 05:09

Donnie Yen

Top 20 kung fu stars in China

Donnie Yen [File photo]

Date of birth: July 27, 1963

Place of birth: Guangzhou, Guangdong province

Notable work: "Once Upon a Time in China II" (1992), "New Dragon Gate Inn" (1992), "Hero" (2002), "Ip Man" (2008)

Born in Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland, Donnie Yen's family moved to Hong Kong when he was two years old, and then to Boston, Massachusetts, when he was 11. Yen's mother is a Fu style wudangquan (internal martial arts) and tai chi grandmaster. Under his mother's influence, Yen started learning martial arts when he was very young, and was sent to Beijing Shichahai Sports School for two years of wushu training.

In 1982, on his way back to the United States, Yen stopped in Hong Kong and met action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. Two years later, he starred in the film "Drunken Tai-Chi." In the past decade, Yen has been one of the top martial arts actors in China, and contributed to popularize the traditional martial arts style Wing Chun. In 2008, he played Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man in the film "Ip Man." which was a box office success and brought him several Best Actor awards.

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