Following closely on Jackie Chan's well-calloused heels as one of the most dazzling physical performers of the silver screen, Jet Li's lightning-fast moves, friendly sense of humor, and genuine concern for his fans have endeared him to a generation of international action-film lovers as one of the most respected figures in martial arts cinema.
The youngest of five siblings (consisting of two brother and two sisters) whose father died when he was only two years old, one might say that the painfully honest momma's boy has, since reaching adulthood, slightly overcompensated for his admittedly over-protected childhood (the future daredevil didn't even learn how to ride a bicycle until in his early teens). Sent during summer recess to what is now referred to as the Beijing Sports and Exercise school, Li was fatefully assigned to the wushu class and was one of a mere handful of students asked to return when the season ended and students filed back into classrooms in the fall. An exceptionally adept wushu student despite being only eight years of age, the experience boosted the confidence of the shy youth despite urges to join his classmates in after-school play. Leaving home for the first time the following year to attend competition, Li took first place at the event and was concurrently given the honor of performing at the opening ceremony of the eagerly anticipated Pan-Asian-African-Latin American Table Tennis Championships, an honor which also included the youth receiving personal praise from none other than Premier Zhou Enlai.