Donnie Yen

  • Birth Name: Yen Ji-danLin
  • Birth Place: Guangzhou, China
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Action choreographer
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Fast Facts

  • Born to a newspaper editor (father) and martial-arts master (mother) who was named Black Belt magazine's "Kung-Fu Artist of the Year" in 1995.
  • Moved from China to Hong Kong when he was 2; and from Hong Kong to Boston when he was 11.
  • Studied the non-Chinese martial arts, including karate and tae kwon do, during his rebellious teen years. He also took up hip-hop and break-dancing around that time.
  • Hung out in Boston's "Combat Zone" neighborhood—notorious for its seedy and violent elements—during his teen years after joining a gang. It was then that his parents decided to send him to China to study at the Beijing Wushu Academy.
  • Landed his first film role, Drunken Tai Chi, in 1984 after a chance meeting with director-action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping in Hong Kong. 
  • Attacked by a gang outside of a Hong Kong nightclub in the late 1990s. He walked away relatively unscathed while eight of them, it's said, ended up in the hospital.
  • Named "Kung Fu Artist of the Year" in 2009 by Black Belt magazine.
  • Serves as an ambassador for the Free the Children charity.


  • Cecilia Wang — Wife
  • Wen Zhuo Zhen — Son
  • Ji Jia Zhen — Son
  • Kylster Yen — Father
  • Jing Ci Liang — Ex-wife
  • Ji Ru Zhen — Daughter
  • Bow-sim Mark — Mother

Emmys 2019

The contenders you need to know

MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

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