About the Author
JAMES ROBERT PARISH, a former entertainment reporter, publicist, and book series editor, is the author of many published major biographies and reference books on the entertainment industry including Whitney Houston: We Will Always Love You; The Hollywood Book of Extravagance; It’s Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks; The Hollywood Book of Breakups; Fiascos: Hollywood’s Iconic Flops; The Hollywood Book of Scandals; The Hollywood Book of Love; Hollywood Divas; Jet Li; Hollywood Bad Boys; The Encyclopedia of Ethnic Groups in Hollywood; The Hollywood Book of Death; Gus Van Sant; Whoopi Goldberg; Rosie O’Donnell’s Story; The Unofficial “Murder, She Wrote” Casebook; Today’s Black Hollywood; Let’s Talk! America’s Favorite TV Talk Show Hosts; Prison Pictures from Hollywood; Prostitution in Hollywood Films; The Great Cop Pictures; Ghosts and Angels in Hollywood Films; Pirates and Seafaring Swashbucklers on the Hollywood Screen; Gays and Lesbians in Mainstream Cinema; Hollywood’s Great Love Teams; and The Fox Girls. Mr. Parish is a frequent oncamera interviewee on cable and network TV for documentaries on the performing arts. The author resides in Studio City, California.
Part of the Encore Film Book Classics series, this is a reprint of the original text to Jet Li: A Biography by James Robert Parish. Jet Li: A Biography is noteworthy as the first English-language biography of the martial arts superstar. Known as the “Gene Kelly of the action film,” Jet Li was part of the wave of new Asian stars taking Hollywood by storm in the 1990s and early 2000s. Along with Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Jackie Chan, and Maggie Cheung, Jet Li kicked and punched his way out of the cult film underground and into global mainstream movie superstardom. This expansive narrative traces the star’s engrossing journey from his humble birth in Beijing, his later life and career in Hong Kong and on to Hollywood moviemaking. It takes the reader from Jet Li’s early days in Hong Kong as a fledgling actor to becoming the successful superstar who appeared in such classics as Once Upon a Time in China. Special attention is given to his Hollywood debut alongside Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 4; his later star turns in the gangland fable Romeo Must Die, and the sci-fi hit The One—proving his power as a top-billed box-office attraction. Jet Li: A Biography examines the actor’s fiercely protected private life and explains the broad appeal of Hollywood’s new Bruce Lee to fans of all ages—from Hong Kong chop-socky cultists to the new Hollywood that eagerly embraced him. This revealing volume includes a detailed filmography of his screen work in Hollywood and Hong Kong.