Donnie Yen Chi-Tan was born on July 27th 1963. Yen was born in Canton, but moved to Hong Kong at the age of two, where he lived until he was eleven. From there, Donnie moved to Boston, MA where his mother (Bow Sim-Mark, a world famous Wushu and Tai Chi master, ran the internationally known Chinese Wushu Research Institute) helped train her son in martial arts. Donnie was trained in martial arts as soon as he could walk, and this influenced his decision to drop out of school and going to Beijing to join the Beijing Wushu Team. On his way back to the states, Yen made a detour to Hong Kong and met Yuen Woo-Ping, the director and choreographer of Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master.
Yen starred in many films, but it wasn’t until he fought opposite of Jet Li in Once Upon a Time In China II that he began to get noticed. Yen continued to act in films such as The Iron Monkey, Hero, and the in the Line of Duty 4, but he also took time to appear in American films as well.
Donnie appeared in Blade II, Highlander Endgame, and even fought Jackie Chan in Shanghai Knights, but was never offered a large role in the films. Although Yen did not find mainstream success, it did not keep him from exploring other aspects of martial arts and media. He was the action choreographer for the Storm Rider film as well as the choreographer for the fight animation of the video game Onimusha 3.
In 2005 Yen teamed up with director Wilson Yip for the film Sha Po Lang (known as Killzone in the states.) Yen’s relationship with the director continued as they proceeded to make Dragon Tiger Gate and Flash Point. For his fourth collaboration with Yip, Yen took on the role of Ip Man, which was a financial success across Asia.
Visit Donnie’s Official Site for more info: www.donnieyen.com