Rothrock in 2010
|Born||Cynthia Ann Christine Rothrock
8 March 1957
Martial arts instructor
|Years active||1985–2004: 2011–present|
Martial arts achievements
Rothrock is five-time World Karate Champion in forms and weapons between 1981 and 1985. These categories are not combat-oriented, being displays of fluidity of movement rather than fighting, and are therefore not segregated into male and female categories but fully open to both sexes.
She holds six Black belts in various Far Eastern martial disciplines, including Tang Soo Do (also "tangsudo", Korean), Tae Kwon Do (Korean), Eagle Claw (Chinese), Wu Shu (contemporary Chinese), Northern Shaolin (classical Chinese), and Pai Lum Tao Kung Fu (contemporary Chinese). She received her 6th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan in 2006. She was tested by Grand Master Robert Kovaleski, 7th Dan and chair of the I.T.M.A., and was promoted to 7th degree black belt by Kovaleski in 2011. She also works as a martial arts instructor; her favorite weapons are the hook swords.
Northern California was her home in 1983 where she worked with the West Coast Demonstration Team. At this time Golden Harvest was searching in Los Angeles for the next Bruce Lee. Rothrock's forms and maneuvers were observed and Golden Harvest signed a contract with her. It was two years (1985) later that she made her first martial arts movie for them, Yes, Madam (also known as Police Assassins or In the Line of Duty Part 2) which also starred Michelle Yeoh. It proved to be a box office success. She ended up staying in Hong Kong until 1988 doing seven films there.
Rothrock became one of the few western performers to achieve genuine stardom in the local Hong Kong film industry before achieving success in their own country. Producer Pierre David initiated Rothrock's move to the American turf. David offered her a costarring role with Chad McQueen in Martial Law, Rothrock's first U.S. production. For the next ten years she led a successful career in B-grade action movies. Her films include China O'Brien and China O'Brien 2, Guardian Angel, Honor & Glory, No Retreat, No Surrender 2 and Prince of the Sun amongst a roster of thirty films.
Rothrock also appeared as Bertha Jo in the 1997 television film The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion. She was an inspiration for the video game character Sonya Blade from the Mortal Kombat series and lent her voice on the animated series Eek the Cat.
Retired from acting
Rothrock's final movie was the 2004 film Xtreme Fighter (aka Sci-Fighter) where she played Sally Kirk / The White Dragon.
After Xtreme Fighter, Rothrock retired from acting at the age of 47, and teaches private martial arts lessons at her martial arts studio in Studio City, California.
Rothrock returned to acting in 2012 with a role in the family film Santa's Summer House,.
When she was 21 years old she met the kung fu instructor Ernest Rothrock, who would become her husband. Rothrock dated Hong Kong actor Mang Hoi (star of Heart of the Dragon and Legacy of Rage). Rothrock has one daughter, Skylar Sophia Rothrock. She works as a martial arts teacher, and co-owns a martial arts studio in Studio City, California as part of the United Studios of Self Defense chain of martial arts studios.
- 1985 – 24 Hours to Midnight
- 1985 – Defend Yourself / Sybervision
- 1985 – Yes, Madam
- 1986 – Millionaire's Express (Shanghai Express)
- 1986 – Righting Wrongs (aka Above the Law)
- 1987 – No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (aka No Retreat, No Surrender II: Raging Thunder)
- 1987 – Magic Crystal
- 1988 – The Inspector Wears Skirts (aka Top Squad)
- 1988 – Righting Wrongs II: Blonde Fury
- 1988 – China O'Brien
- 1988 – China O'Brien II
- 1989 – Triple Cross (aka Angel of Fury)
- 1989 – Martial Law
- 1989 – Prince of the Sun
- 1990 – Deadliest Art: Best of the Martial Arts Films
- 1990 – Free Fighter
- 1990 – Fast Getaway
- 1990 – Martial Law 2: Undercover
- 1990 – Lady Dragon
- 1990 – Tiger Claws
- 1990 – Rage and Honor
- 1991 – Honor and Glory
- 1991 – Rage and Honor 2
- 1991 – Lady Dragon 2
- 1992 – Rage and Honor 3
- 1992 – City Cops (Beyond the Law)
- 1993 – Irresistible Force
- 1993 – Guardian Angel
- 1994 – Undefeatable
- 1994 – Bloody Mary Killer
- 1994 – Fast Getaway 2
- 1994 – Eye for an Eye
- 1994 – Guardian Angel
- 1995 – Tiger Claws 2
- 1996 – Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (TV)
- 1996 – Sworn to Justice (formerly Blond Justice)
- 1996 – Checkmate
- 1996 – Night Vision
- 1996 – The Encyclopedia of Martial Arts-Martial Combat
- 1997 – The Hostage
- 1997 – The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!
- 1997 – American Tigers
- 1999 – Tiger Claws 3
- 2000 – Manhattan Chase
- 2001 – Redemption
- 2002 – Outside the Law
- 2003 – Bala Perdida
- 2004 – Xtreme Fighter (aka Sci-Fighter)
- 2012 – Santa's Summer House
- 2013 – Badass Showdown
- 2014 – Mercenaries
- 2014 – Rogue Space: The Adventures of Saber Raine
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- "THE FIRST ACTION HEROES 3 FEMALE MARTIAL ARTISTS READY TO BLAZE TRAIL TO BIG SCREEN". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "China Syndrome". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- "Kungfu's Screen Queen – Cynthia Rothrock". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- "Promotions of the 16–23.08.2011, in Seoul".
- "A3U Podcast.com – Cynthia Rothrock Episode". A3U Podcast.com. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "Sly's Match?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- Cynthia Rothrock
- "Action stars unite for Christmas family film "Santa’s Summer House" (exclusive)". BZFilm.com. August 10, 2012.
- Cynthia Rothrock One Tough Black Belt Mama
- The Way of Star Power, Worldblackbelt.com
- Femme Fatales, Volume 4, Number 1, Summer 1995, ISSN 1062-3906, by Frederick C. Szebin, pp. 16–27, 61
- Black Belt, November 1978, page 48.