Gary Daniels

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Gary Daniels
BornGary Edward Daniels
(1963-05-09) 9 May 1963 (age 56)
London, England
NationalityEnglish
Height5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)
Weight12 st 9 lb (80 kg)
DivisionMiddleweight
Light Heavyweight
Reach77.5 in (197 cm)
StyleKickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo
StanceSouthpaw
Fighting out ofCalifornia, United States
TeamThe Jet Center
Piston Kickboxing Gym
Team Daniels
TrainerMickey Byrne
Yuki Horiuchi
Rank2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo
Years active1979-2008
Kickboxing record
Total5
Wins4
By knockout2
Losses1
Amateur record
Total35
Wins31
By knockout30
Losses4
Other information
OccupationActor, martial artist, kickboxer

Gary Edward Daniels (born 9 May 1963) is an English, actor, fight coordinator, and Martial artist.

Prior from being an actor, Daniels was a professional and amateur kickboxer who scored 33 knockout victories, and a former World Light-heavyweight Kickboxing Champion (P.K.A.).

Daniels has performed in over 50 films since his start as an action star in the late 1980s. He is best known for playing Kenshiro in the live-action version of Fist of the North Star. Daniels holds a considerable cult following in martial arts action films, titles that stand out include Final Reprisal, American Streetfighter, White Tiger, Bloodmoon, Recoil, Rage, Riot, Firepower, Spoiler, Skin Traffik and Cold Harvest.

He is also known for his supporting roles in the Jackie Chan film City Hunter, and as Bryan Fury in the 2009 live-action film Tekken, and its 2014 sequel, based upon the popular fighting game series. He was also seen in the Sylvester Stallone film The Expendables as Lawrence "The Brit" Sparks, an ally of the villain James Munroe.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gary Daniels was born in London, England, on 9 May 1963. Inspired by the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon, Daniels began training in martial arts at the age of 8 at a local school where he learned a hybrid martial art known as "Mongolian Kung Fu" that combined wing chun, boxing, Mongolian Wrestling and Wushu, that was founded in the late 1960's. He then took up taekwondo at 12 years old and received his black belt after 3 years. At 16, he became a 2nd dan and began competing in ITF taekwondo tournaments. His aggressive style did not sit well with British officials, however, and he lost 3 fights by disqualification. Daniels also trains kickboxing, muay thai and kung fu.

Career[edit]

1980-1987 Amateur kickboxing career[edit]

Daniels began kickboxing at the age of seventeen under the tutelage of former British Army boxing champion Mickey Byrne. He debuted in 1979, and compiled a record of 13 victories (13 knockouts) and 3 defeats; including two matches with Jean-Claude Van Damme opponent, Michael J. Heming.[2] Daniels early matches in England and in the United States were amateur matches.[3]

In 1980, Daniels decided to leave England and move to the state of Florida in the United States to continue his career.

Daniels had an amateur kickboxing record of 31 wins, 30 by knockout and 4 defeats.

1988-1991 Professional kickboxing career and early action lead roles[edit]

In 1988,Daniels began his film career in the Philippines, with the release of his first two lead roles in the action martial arts films Final Reprisal by Teddy Page, and The Secret of King Mahis Island.

By the late 1980s, Daniels moved to California and began practicing Muay Thai at Benny Urquidez's Jet Center and Yuki Horiuchi's Piston Kickboxing Gym. He also became a professional kick-boxer.

In November 1990, Daniels won the WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship and the PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship in England within the space of a month.

On 3 December 1991 in Birmingham, England, Daniels fought a 3-round, No Decision, exhibition match with 11-time World Kickboxing Champion Don "The Dragon" Wilson (also an action film star) at the World Martial Arts Extravaganza.

Daniels retired with an undefeated professional kickboxing record of 4-0-0 with 2 knockouts.

Shortly after, he had a supporting role in Ring of Fire (1991) starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson.

His second release that year was his first starring role in an American film was in the David Huey film Capital Punishment co-starring David Carradine, Tadashi Yamashita, Mel Novak, and Ava Fabian.

The final movie he was in that year was In Between in a supporting role alongside Robert Forster, Wings Hauser, Robin Mattson, and Alexandra Paul.

1992 to 1999 Action film star[edit]

Daniels started 1992 with two supporting roles in Final Impact with Lorenzo Lamas, Deadly Bet with Jeff Wincott, Charlene Tilton, and Michael Delano, also Bloodfist IV: Die Trying his second film collaboration with Don "The Dragon" Wilson. After these releases he was the lead in the action film American Streetfighter.

The following year, he played a villain alongside Richard Norton in the film adaptation of City Hunter starring Jackie Chan; he was particularly known for a fight scene where he and Chan transform into various characters from the video game Street Fighter II. Afterward he had a supporting role in Albert Pyun' Knights a science fiction film with Kathy Long, Kris Kristofferson, Lance Henriksen, Scott Paulin, Nicholas Guest, and Vincent Klyn. He was also the lead in the action film Full Impact. Finally for 1993, he shared the top billing with Chad McQueen in science fiction film Firepower.

In 1994, he starred in Deadly Target am action/martial arts film co-starring Max Gail, and Byron Mann. Daniels stars as a Hong Kong police detective Charles Prince arrives in Los Angeles to extradite a notorious Chinese gangster back to Hong Kong for trial. But soon, his suspect escapes. He gets caught in the middle of an explosive Triad Gang War.

In 1995 he played the role he is still best known for the heroic Kenshiro in which he portrayed in the American live-action version of Japanese manga Fist of the North Star. Directed by Tony Randel, and co-stars Costas Mandylor, Chris Penn, Isako Washio Malcolm McDowell, Melvin Van Peebles, Downtown Julie Brown, Dante Basco, Tracey Walter, Clint Howard, Tony Halme, and Big Van Vader. The film, which loosely adapts the first story arc of the original manga, centers on Ken (Daniels), the lone master of the "North Star" martial art school, who wanders the post-apocalyptic Earth in search of his nemesis Lord Shin (Mandylor), the man who killed his master and kidnapped his fiancee Julia (Washio). Meanwhile, Shin rules as dictator of the city of Southern Cross with his personal army known as the Crossmen, who are given orders to hunt down Kenshiro.

His second film of 1995 was a supporting role in Heatseeker a science fiction-martial arts film and his second collaboration with Albert Pyun. The film stars Keith Cooke as the lead actor and co-stars Norbert Weisser, Thom Mathews and Tim Thomerson.

In his third film that year, he also got his first producer credit as well as being the lead actor in the Joseph Merhi film Rage.

In 1996, he starred in the martial art movie White Tiger, the urban crime thriller Hawk's Vengeance, and Riot.

In 1997 he had a supporting role in Pocket Ninjas. Following this he was the lead in Bloodmoon, co-starring Chuck Jeffreys and Darren Shahlavi.

In 1998, he starred in Recoil. It's an action thriller about the Los Angeles Police Department officers who kill a young bank robber after a brutal bank heist, the slain criminal's father, mob boss who unleashes a blood bath on the police force. One by one, Detective Ray Morgan's (Daniels) partners are gunned down, but when his family is murdered, Morgan has nothing left to live for except revenge. Also that year he starred in Spoiler an American action sci-fi film directed by Jeff Burr and co-starring Meg Foster. It is set in a futuristic, cyber-punk New York City, convicted felon Roger Mason (Daniels) is serving a sentence and is locked away in a high security prison facility, where Cryonics are applied to some of the inmates, including Mason himself, to keep them in a state of suspended animation. Mason, despite all the security measures applied at his confinement facility, manages to escape repeatedly to see his daughter, which is the only reason why he's making attempt after attempt to break free. However, the authorities are able to catch him and bring him back every time to serve even a longer sentence as punishment for his attempts to escape. Since he's being cryonically frozen to serve his time for years at a time, he remains practically the same age while his daughter grows older normally.

In 1999 he acted in one episode of Sons of Thunder. He was also one of the leads in Master P's No Tomorrow co-starring Pam Grier, Gary Busey, and Jeff Fahey. His last lead role that year was in Isaac Florentine's Cold Harvest.[4]

2000 to 2009 subsequent films[edit]

In 2000, he starred alongside Jeff Fahey and Traci Lords in Epicenter. That year he followed up with lead roles in action oriented film such as Fatal Blade, City of Fear, and Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol.

In 2001, he starred in three action films Black Friday, Queen's Messenger, and Witness to a Kill.

In 2004 he acted in the Dolph Lundgren film Retrograde.[5]

The following year he was seen in the Steven Seagal project Submerged (2005), directed by Anthony Hickox.[6]

In 2006 he starred in Reptilicant.

In 2008, Daniels made a one-fight comeback in Thailand at the age of 45 and he lost by decision after 5 rounds.[7]

Also in 2008, he played the role of Ed Parker in biographical mini series The Legend of Bruce Lee. It stars Hong Kong actor Danny Chan as Bruce Lee. Other martial artists such as Mark Dacascos, Ray Park, Ernest Miller, and Michael Jai White are also featured.

Furthermore in 2008 he acted in the film Cold Earth.

In 2009 he acted in Immortally Yours. He also appeared in La Linea an action-crime film directed by James Cotten. La Linea features an ensemble cast that includes Ray Liotta, Armand Assante, Valerie Cruz, Esai Morales, and Andy García.

2010 to present day current works[edit]

In 2010, Gary portrayed Bryan Fury in the film version of the popular video game series Tekken.

He also that year he co-starred in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables, alongside Jason Statham, Jet Li, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, David Zayas and Mickey Rourke.[8] The film is about a group of elite mercenaries called The Expendables (Stallone, Staham, Li, Lundgren, Couture, and Crews) who are on a mission to overthrow dictator General Garza (Zayas) in Vilena, an island in the Gulf of Mexico. It is revealed that an ex-CIA officer James Munroe (Roberts) is keeping Garza in power as a figurehead for his own profiteering operations. With his two deadly bodyguards Dan Paine (Austin) and The Brit (Daniels), they become a major obstacle in the way of The Expendables.[9]

Shortly after Daniels re-teamed with Steve Austin and Eric Roberts in Hunt to Kill.

The next film he co-starred in was Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright is a 2010 action film starring Aidan Quinn, alongside Andy García, Mario Van Peebles, Jordan Belfi, Corbin Bernsen, Luke Goss, Bokeem Woodbine, etc. The film follows a banker (Quinn) who escapes the U.S. with billions after he is revealed to be a fraud, as well as the authorities (Van Peebles and Belfi) and mercenaries (Daniels and Woodbine) tracking him down.

His last film that year, The Lazarus Papers, also featured an ensemble cast which included Danny Trejo, Bai Ling, and Tom Lister Jr.

In 2011, he played the main villain in the Wesley Snipes vehicle Game of Death, co-starring Zoë Bell, Robert Davi, Aunjanue Ellis, Ernie Hudson, etc.[10][11] Following this release he had a small part in the film Johnny's Gone. His third role that year was a leading part in the action film Forced to Fight.

In 2012 he played a role The Encounter: Paradise Lost the second installment in the The Encounter franchise.

Shortly after he was the main villain in the The Mark with Craig Sheffer, Eric Roberts, and Sonia Couling. The film is about Chad Turner (Sheffer) who is implanted with a biometric computer chip called the Mark of the Beast. The Rapture occurs, and Joseph Pike (Daniels) searches for Turner in hopes of gaining control of the chip.

His third release that year was a role in Angles. In his final release that year, he played in the David DeCoteau's Christmas movie Santa's Summer House with an ensemble cast that also includes Cynthia Rothrock, Daniel Bernhardt, Christopher Mitchum, and Kathy Long.

In 2013, he returned to his role of Joseph Pike in The Mark 2: Redemption, taking place right after the ending of the first film. The plot follows the main cast from the first film right after the events of the last film.

His second release that year played a supporting role in A Stranger in Paradise alongside Colin Egglesfield, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Stuart Townsend.[12]

Finally for 2013, he played the role of Hector in the video game Payday 2 and television series that comes with it.

In 2014, he returned to the role of Bryan Fury in Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge.

Shortly after he was the lead in the thriller Misfire. The film centers around a seasoned Drug Enforcement Administration agent Cole (Daniels), who descends into the underworld of Tijuana drug mafia in search of his journalist ex-wife who he believes has been abducted by a charismatic drug cartel boss with aspirations for public office.

In 2015 he acted in Zero Tolerance alongside. Dustin Nguyen, and Scott Adkins.

Following this he played the lead protagonist in Skin Traffik with Mickey Rourke, Daryl Hannah, Eric Roberts, Michael Madsen, Jeff Fahey, Dominique Swain, and Alan Ford. It's about a jaded former hitman (Daniels) who encounters a savage pimp (Rourke) and a desperate woman under his control, he embarks on a quest to save a young girl from the clutches of the brutal gangsters who trade human beings as currency.

In his third release that year he played a supporting role in Quyên.

Finally that year, he played a supporting role in David Winters' Dancin': It's On! in the musical romance film starring Witney Carson. The film is about Jennifer August (Carson), who's got a passion for dancing. She reunites with her distant father Jerry (Daniels), a well to do businessman who owns a luxurious hotel in Florida, where she is set to spend the summer. She falls in love with a boy who works at her father's Jerry hotel which he doesn't approve.[13]

In 2016, he played in David DeCocteau's The Wrong Child with Vivica A. Fox.[14]

In 2018, he played a supporting role in Vengeance and the science fiction film Astro. His third role that year was the lead role in the action film Rumble.

Missed roles[edit]

Daniels was once considered for the role of Johnny Cage in the movie version of Mortal Kombat.

He was also a front runner for the lead role in the hit series Highlander: The Series but lost the role to Adrian Paul.

Martial art style[edit]

Compared to martial arts actors such as Jet Li or Steven Seagal, Daniels's fighting style is much less classifiable. He has studied muay thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, boxing, ninjitsu, and Northern Shaolin kung fu. In his films, he employs a mixed martial arts style, leading with strong, sweeping kicks and sometimes engaging in close quarters fights with complex hand to hand choreography. As he mentions on the commentary track on the Fist of the North Star DVD, his main discipline is the hybrid kung fu art, Siu Lum Wong Gar Kune (Shaolin Wong Family Fist), which he studied under Sifu Winston Omega, who also served as fight choreographer on Fist of the North Star.

Titles[edit]

  • Professional Karate Association
    • PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship
  • World Kick Boxing Association
    • WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Final Reprisal David Callahan First lead role
The Secret Of King Mahis Island Chuck Second lead role
1991 Ring of Fire Bud First time partnered with Don "The Dragon" Wilson
In Between The Guardian
Capital Punishment James Thayer Lead Role
1992 Jin san jiao qun ying hui Martial Artist in Prologue
Final Impact Nick's Club Fighter
Deadly Bet Fletch
Bloodfist IV: Die Trying Scarface Second time partnered with Don "The Dragon" Wilson
American Streetfighter Jake Tanner Lead role and also fight choreographer
1993 City Hunter Kim First time partnered with Jackie Chan
American Streetfighter 2: Full Impact Jared Taskin Lead role and also fight choreographer
Hardcase Tom Hawke / Hardcase Lead role
Knights David
Firepower Nick Sledge Lead role
1994 Pocket Ninjas The White Dragon Lead role, but not released until 1997
Deadly Target Charles Prince Lead role
1995 Fist of the North Star Kenshiro Lead role
Heatseeker Xao
Rage Alex Gainer Lead role and also associate producer
1996 White Tiger Mike Ryan Lead role
Hawk's Vengeance Eric Hawke Lead role and also fight choreographer
1997 Bloodmoon Ken O'Hara Lead role and also associate producer
Riot Maj. Shane Alcott Lead role
1998 Recoil Det. Ray Morgan Lead role and also associate producer
Spoiler Roger Mason Lead role
1999 No Tomorrow Jason Lead role
Cold Harvest Roland Chaney/Oliver Chaney Lead role
Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol Capt. James Wellford Lead role
2000 The Ides of March Thomas Cane Lead role and unreleased to date. Title also changed to Ultimate Target
City of Fear Steve Roberts Lead role
Fatal Blade Richard Fox Lead role and also associate producer
2001 Queen's Messenger Captain Anthony Strong Lead role
Witness to a Kill Captain Anthony Strong Lead role and it's a sequel to Queen's Messenger
2002 Epicenter Nick Constantine Lead role
Black Friday Dean Campbell Lead role and also producer
2004 Retrograde Markus First time partnered with Dolph Lundgren
2005 Submerged Col. Sharpe
2006 Reptilicant Ryan Moore Lead role
2007 Immortally Yours Sebastian
2008 Dark Secrets Darryl Van Dyke Lead role
2009 La Linea Martin First time partnered with Andy Garcia
Tekken Bryan Fury
2010 Game of Death Zander
The Expendables Lawrence "The Brit" Sparks Second time partnered with Dolph Lundgren
First time partnered with Jet Li, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Eric Roberts
Hunt to Kill Jensen Straight to DVD
Second time partnered with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Eric Roberts
Across the Line Michaels Second time partnered with Andy Garcia
The Lazarus Papers Sebastian Riker
2011 Johnny's Gone Unknown
Forced To Fight Shane Lead role and fight choreographer
2012 The Mark Joseph Pike Third time partnered with Eric Roberts
A Stranger In Paradise Derek
The Encounter: Paradise Lost Charlie Doles
The Mark: Redemption Joseph Pike Fourth time partnered with Eric Roberts
The Rogue Kiefer
Liberty Agent Gunner
2013 Branson's Country Unknown rumored
Human Factor Chad
Payday 2 Web Series Hector
2014 Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge Bryan Fury
Quyên Hans
Misfire Cole Lead role
2015 Skin Traffik Bradley Lead role.
Second time partnered with Mickey Rourke, Michael Madsen and Jeff Fahey.
Fifth time partnered with Eric Roberts.
Rumble David Goran Lead role
Zero Tolerance Sammy aka 2 Guns: Zero Tolerance
Dancin': It's On! Jerry August
2016 The Wrong Child Charles
Rumble David Goran
2018 Vengeance Hatcher Uncredited
Astro Jack Adams

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1986 Miami Vice Male stripper Episode: "Walk-Alone"
Uncredited
1999 Sons of Thunder Lannark Episode: "Daddy's Girl"
2008 The Legend of Bruce Lee Ed Parker 2 episodes
2013 Payday Hector Episode: "Hector"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Payday 2 Hector

Professional kickboxing record[edit]

Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
2008 Loss Thailand Thailand Decision 5 3:00
1993-00 Win England Professional Karate Association London, England KO
1992-00 Win England Professional Karate Association London, England KO
1991-12-03 No Decision United States Don "The Dragon" Wilson World Martial Arts Extravaganza Birmingham, UK Exhibition 3
1990-11 Win England Professional Karate Association London, England
Wins PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship.
1990-11 Win United States World Kick Boxing Association California, USA
Wins WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gary Daniels Bio IMDb
  2. ^ "Home - Website".
  3. ^ "Gary Daniels Expose".
  4. ^ "Cold Harvest | TV Guide". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Retrograde (2004) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Submerged (2005) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Interview: Gary Daniels". Movie Mavericks Podcast. 23 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Expendables, The (2010) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  9. ^ The Expendables (DVD) (in English and and Spanish). USA: Lionsgate, Millenium, and Nu Image. 2010. 0 31398 12842 7.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  10. ^ Game of Death Blu-ray, retrieved 17 February 2019
  11. ^ "Game of Death (2011) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Thesps board 'Stranger in Paradise'". Variety. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Dancin' It's On (2015) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Wrong Child, The (2016) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  • INSIDE KUNG-FU PRESENTS: KICKBOXING-SPORT OF THE 90s, August 1993, Front page story-HIS GAME IS A FOOT! Gary Daniels trades the ring for the reel thing.

External links[edit]