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Published:January 1st, 2011 11:10 EST
Profile: Jean-Claude Van Damme

Profile: Jean-Claude Van Damme

By Garrett Godwin


In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jean-Claude Van Damme received the nickname "The Muscles from Brussels" with Bloodsport (1988), Cyborg and Kickboxer (1989), Universal Soldier (1992), and Timecop (1994), his most successful in his career.

His other notable films were Lionheart (1990), Double Impact (1991), Hard Target and Nowhere to Run (1993), Street Fighter (1994), and JCVD (2008), in which he earned rave reviews.

Though Bloodsport, Cyborg, Kickboxer, Universal Soldier, and Timecop defined his status in the martial arts genre, none of the sequels weren`t as successful as their predecessors.  Why?  They were too straight to video and DVD, as Timecop became a short-lived ABC series (1997-98) with Ted King from General Hospital.  Most of all, Van Damme was not in either of them, for they were potential film franchises/series that would have made a profit at the box office, helping Van Damme succeeding the Governator and Sly Stallone as a big screen action hero during the latter half of 1990s and possibly beyond.

However, he reprised the role of Luc Deveraux for 1999`s Universal Soldier: The Return, and the recent  Universal Soldier: Regeneration with Dolph Lundgren, who returned as nemesis Andrew Scott; the film went straight to DVD, where Van Damme has carved a niche for himself there in recent years, like Lundgren and Steven Seagal.  Both Van Damme and Lundgren will reunite for the upcoming 3-D Universal Soldier: A New Dimension.

There are also rumors and talks of Van Damme being part of the sequel to The Expendables, where he regretfully turned down a role in the hit film.

Van Damme has been married five times, including twice with Gladys Portugues (1987-92, 1999-present), a bodybuilder and fitness competitor who is nicknamed "The Tigress".  The couple has two children: Nicholas (b. 1987) and Bianca (b. 1990).  Van Damme has a son, Nicholas (b. 1995) from a previous marriage with actress and model Darcy LaPier (1994-97).