See the Cast of ‘Bloodsport’ Then and Now
Released in 1988, ‘Bloodsport’ gave Jean-Claude Van Damme one of his first starring roles and introduced the world to his insane action skills. The film follows Frank Dux (based on the real-life American martial artist of the same name), who goes to Hong Kong to participate in the Kumite — an illegal underground martial arts tournament in which competitors use freestyle techniques and are eliminated after a single round.
It’s been 25 years since the film was released, so join us as we look back at the cast of the film and see what they’re up to now.
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Frank Dux
Then: Jean-Claude Van Damme, aka “The Muscles from Brussels,” landed one of his first major leading roles in ‘Bloodsport’ as Frank Dux, a martial artist who puts it all on the line in one of the most deadly underground tournaments in Hong Kong.
Now: Van Damme continued his success with films like ‘Kickboxer,’ ‘Hard Target,’ and ‘Timecop.’ He most recently proved he’s still got it in ‘Expendables 2,’ and can be seen next in ‘Welcome to the Jungle.’
Donald Gibb, Ray Jackson
Then: Former football player Donald Gibb used his imposing frame to great effect in ‘Bloosport’ as Ray Howard, an American entrant in the kumite tournament.
Now: Gibb is also known for his role in the ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ series, and in 2012 he played one of the pillagers in a series of CapitalOne commercials. In the photo above, he appeared as his commercial character at the 2012 Espy awards.
Bolo Yeung, Chong Li
Then: Professional martial artist and bodybuilder Bolo Yeung appeared in ‘Enter the Dragon’ and ‘Bloodsport’ as villanous characters. In the latter, he played Chong Li, a formidable opponent for Frank Dux.
Now: Yeung developed a friendship with Van Damme, and the two also appeared in ‘Double Impact’ together. Yeung still occasionally appears in films and attends martial arts conferences.
Leah Ayres, Janice Kent
Then: The former star of daytime soap ‘Edge of Night’ had also appeared on the HBO comedy series ’1st and Ten’ (on which Donald Gibb also appeared). Following that, Ayres joined the cast of ‘Bloodsport’ as romantic interest Janice Kent, a reporter who tries to convince Frank to bow out of the tournament.
Now: Ayres’ last acting credit was on an episode of the 90s sci-fi series ‘Sliders.’ She currently promotes yoga for kids through various programs.
Forest Whitaker, Rawlins
Then: ‘North and South’ and ‘Platoon’ star Forest Whitaker played Rawlins, one of the detectives trying to track Frank down for deserting the army to participate in the tournament.
Now: Whitaker won the best actor Oscar for his role in ‘The Last King of Scotland’ and garnered acclaim for his role in seasons 5 and 6 of ‘The Shield.’ He can be seen this summer in ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler.’