Jackie Chan is constantly in the public eye, but does not often mention his parents. This has left people wondering if he is an orphan.
Jackie Chan was not an orphan as a child, but as of 2008, both of his parents have died. His parents, however, were not in his life much when he was a child to begin with. They moved to Australia and left him at a boarding school in Hong Kong. So, they may not have died when he was young, but they did not play active roles in his life.
Continue reading to find out more about Jackie Chan’s relationship with his parents.
Jackie Chan’s Parents
Jackie Chan’s parents were Charles Chan and Lee-Lee Chan. They fled China after the Communists came into power in 1949. They moved to Hong Kong, where Jackie Chan was born in 1954.
When leaving China, Jackie Chan’s father left two sons behind from his first wife that died in 1947. Chan’s mother also left behind two daughters from her first husband that died from a Japanese bombing raid.
A lot of parents in China at the time did the same thing when fleeing to Hong Kong during the communist takeover. His parents then did a similar thing when they left Jackie Chan in Hong Kong to move to Canberra, Australia in 1960.
Before his parents left, they enrolled him in a boarding school, the Peking Opera School, where he learned martial arts and acrobatics. Jackie stayed at the school for ten years before entering the film industry in small roles.
He joined his parents in Canberra, Australia in 1976 where he went to Dickson College briefly. His parents were working for the American embassy at the time, but many people did not know about their past.
Jackie Chan later found out that his mother was a famous gambler in Shanghai and an opium smuggler. His father was a Nationalist spy and gang boss. This may be another reason they fled China in 1949.
Jackie Chan’s mother died in 2002 and his father died in 2008, leaving him with no parents as an adult. Not in his childhood as some people thought. When they died, Chan was distraught as he said they were great parents.
Jackie Chan’s Family
Although Jackie Chan was not an orphan, he did have an adopted father of sorts. Since he was only six when he attended the Peking Opera School and had no family in Hong Kong, his parents asked the owner of the school, Master Yu Jim-yuen, to take care of Jackie and adopt him unofficially.
Due to Master Yu adopting Jackie, he had to endure stronger punishments and longer training. But, Jackie Chan does not resent Master Yu, he even says on Facebook under a picture of the two of them: “It was Master Yu Jim-yuen who created Jackie Chan, and I do what I do today—I am who I am today—because of him.”
He also has his long-lost siblings in China that he only found out about in adulthood. Jackie’s father went back to China in 1990 to reunite with his sons, Shide and Shishen. They are farmers in rural China.
He also has his two sisters from his mother’s side, Yulan Chan and Guilan Chan. Jackie Chan has not expressed interest in meeting his siblings as he feels stronger ties to children he grew up with and worked with.
Now, Jackie Chan has been married since 1982 to Joan Lin, who was also an actress, but she gave up acting when the couple had a baby together. Their son, Jason Chan, who is now also an actor and singer.
In 1998, Jackie Chan had an affair with Elaine Ng, and together they have a daughter, Etta Ng Chok Lam. She is estranged from her parents as she came out as a lesbian.
Jackie Chan’s relationship to his immediate family and parents is complex and he may not have been an orphan, but he did lose his parents early in his adulthood.