How many bones has Jackie Chan broken? Almost too many to count. Throughout his career, Jackie Chan has famously performed just about every one of his own stunts and has the damage points to prove it. Here’s a chronological list of the most painful Jackie Chan injuries and broken bones from his career.
Hand of Death (1975)
- Concussion: Jackie hit his head while jumping off a truck. The impact to his head was so hard that he admits crying. Despite the pain, he immediately performed the stunt again and then passed out. Director John Woo initially thought Jackie was dying from his injury until Jackie finally woke up about an hour later. This was his first of several major concussions.
Magnificent Bodyguard (1978)
- Broken Hip
- Broken Femur
Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978)
- Hand Laceration: Jackie’s hand was inadvertently slashed on camera with a sharp sword. The crew accidentally used a real sword instead of a blunted sword in a fight scene. The shot, complete with Jackie’s real blood, made it into the final edit of the film.
- Knocked Out Tooth: Famous for his high-kicks, martial arts expect Hwang Jang-Lee, accidentally kicked out one of Jackie’s teeth. Jackie starts the final scene in the film with a full set of teeth but finishes it minus one.
Drunken Master (1978)
- Broken Eye Socket: Jackie broke his superciliary ridge, the upper eye socket bone near the eyebrow, while on the set of Drunken Master. The serious injury was the result of another accidental kick by Hwang Jang-Lee. The injury almost caused blindness.
- Lacerated Eye: In another scene in the film, Jackie’s eye was injured again. This cut made a scar that’s still visible today.
Dragon Fist (1979)
- Broken Nose: Jackie’s nose was accidentally broken during a fight scene. This would be the first of many times that Jackie would break his nose on a movie set.
The Young Master (1980)
- Broken Nose
- Injured Throat: Jackie sustained throat injuries so severe during the film that he had trouble breathing.
Dragon Lord (1982)
- Broken Jaw: Jackie hurt his lower jaw and chin so badly that he was unable to talk for many of his scenes in the film.
Project A (1983)
- Broken Fingers
- Broken Tailbone
- Severe Neck Injury, Broken Nose: In a homage to Harold Lloyd‘s legendary clock tower scene in Safety Last (1923), Jackie dropped 60 feet (18.29 m) in the air from a clock face to the ground below. He made the drop without any safety gear and only two cloth awnings to break his fall. The stunt severely injured Jackie’s neck and broke his nose. Despite the injury, Jackie finished the scene without medical assistance.
Police Story (1985)
- Broken Vertebrae: Jackie fell from the 2nd floor through a decorative garden structure without any padding. The impact broke his 7th and 8th vertebrae.
- Laceration: A flying chair hit him directly in the back of his head causing a major laceration.
- Second-Degree Burns, Spinal Damage, Dislocated Pelvis: In the final scene of Police Story, Jackie slid down a pole covered with electrical lights. The stunt severely burned his hands causing him to lose control on his slide to the ground below. The impact from his uncontrolled fall seriously injured his back (again) and dislocated his pelvis. The injuries almost caused partial paralysis. An investigation later found that a crew member plugged the lights into the building’s main power source instead of a low-wattage car battery.
The Protector (1985)
- Broken Fingers, Hand: Several broken hand bones, fingers of his left hand and injury to his forearm.
The Armour of God (1986)
- Concussion, Skull Fracture, Brain Hemorrhage, Broken Nose, Broken Jaw, Knocked Out Teeth, Hearing Loss: One of Jackie’s simpler stunts turned out to be the worst injury of his career. While filming in Yugoslavia, a short jump from a wall to a tree ended in disaster when he missed the tree trunk and fell 40 feet (12.19 m) to the ground below. The impact of the fall fractured his skull and caused bleeding through his nose, ears, and mouth. A few hours later, he was on the operating table having emergency surgery to remove broken bone fragments from his brain. Luckily for Jackie, a specialist brain surgeon from Switzerland happened to be at a medical conference nearby and performed the operation. As a result of the injury, Jackie ended up with a permanent plastic plug in his skull and partial hearing loss in his right ear.
Police Story 2 (1988)
- Multiple Lacerations: During a chase scene, Jackie leaps between the rooftops of multiple moving buses before jumping through a glass window. His stunt team replaced a window with stunt glass, but Jackie accidentally jumped through a real glass window instead of the fake glass window. The accident resulted in multiple lacerations all over his face, neck, arms, and hands. For the rest of the movie, Jackie had to wear special skin colored bandages on his face.
- Burns: Jackie burned his face during the factory escape scene in the film.
Dragons Forever (1988)
- Ankle Injury: After an intense fight scene with American kickboxing champion, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, both Benny and Jackie were let battered. But Jackie jammed his ankle so badly in the scene that he had trouble flexing it without severe pain.
- Broken Finger: Jackie broke his finger when he stuck his hand into a fan.
- Broken Nose
- Laceration: Deep cut to Jackie’s left eye after the rickshaw he was riding flipped.
Armour of God II: Operation Condor (1991)
- Dislocated Sternum, Broken Ribs, Concussion: During a chase scene in an underground Nazi base, Jackie loses his grip while swinging on a metal chain. The fall resulted in him dislocating his breastbone, several ribs and another concussion (3rd).
Police Story 3: Super Cop (1992)
- Broken Rib, Broken Shoulder, Dislocated Cheekbone: In a scene for Police Story 3: Super Cop, Jackie Chan was hit by a flying helicopter when a stunt went wrong. The impact ripped his shoulder muscles, broke his shoulder bone, broke a rib, and left him helplessly hanging until the crew could rescue him. The accident also dislocated his zygomatic bone (cheekbone). Who knew you could even dislocate your cheekbone?
Twin Dragons (1992)
- Lacerations: An accident with a pipe caused an injury to Jackie’s head.
City Hunter (1993)
- Dislocated Right Shoulder, Broken Foot, Knee Injury: During a skateboard chase scene, Jackie broke the top part of his foot, dislocated his shoulder and injured his knee. As a result, Jackie was unable to run for the shot and needed a stunt double to complete the scene. This was one of the only times in his early career that he used a stunt double.
Crime Story (1993)
- Crushed Legs, Knee Damage: Jackie’s legs were crushed between two cars.
Drunken Master II: The Legend Of Drunken Master (1994)
- Burns: During a fight scene in a steel factory from the 1994 film Drunken Master II: The Legend Of Drunken Master, Jackie Chan was knocked backward onto a pile of hot coals. He then did a “crab walk” on the coals severely burning both hands. He did the stunt twice.
- Eyebrow Bone Injury: He almost went blind from an injury to his eyebrow bone.
- Broken Femur
Rumble in The Bronx (1995)
- Broken Ankle, Toes: While filming his 1985 film, Rumble In The Bronx, Jackie Chan broke his left ankle and several toes while jumping from a bridge onto a moving hovercraft. The injury forced Chan to finish the film wearing a cast that was painted to look like a shoe.
- Facial Lacerations: Multiple cuts to his face during a glass bottle fight with a New York City gang.
Police Story 4: First Strike (1996)
- Concussion, Broken Nose: Ladders are one of Jackie’s favorite fight scene props, but they aren’t always the easiest to work with. While filming the ladder fight scene in Police Story 4, Jackie sustained both a broken nose (6th) and a concussion (4th).
- Lacerated Lips: During a chase scene, Jackie snowboards off a cliff and grabs onto a helicopter ski. A few inches higher and he would have flown into the blades. A few inches lower and he would have missed the helicopter and fallen to his death.
Mr. Nice Guy (1997)
- Broken Nose: Broke his nose jumping from a bridge.
- Neck Injury: Injured neck during a backflip accident. In the scene, Jackie was supposed to land on a mat inside a wheelbarrow. But after a stunt crew mistake up, he landed flat on the ground instead.
Who Am I? (1998)
- Bruised Ribs, Broken Ankle: In one of Jackie’s most memorable stunts, he slides down the roof of the Willemswerf building in the Netherlands without any safety gear. He broke his malleolus ankle bone during the stunt and bruised his ribs.
The Accidental Spy (2001)
- Broken Tailbone: While performing a stunt in his 2001 film The Accidental Spy, Jackie Chan fell so hard on his tailbone during this stunt that he experienced temporary paralysis.
Rush Hour 2 (2001)
- Leg Injury: While climbing up bamboo poles, Jackie slipped and injured his leg. A rainstorm the previous day had made the poles slippery.
- Knee Injury: In the scene where Jackie slides down the chute, he injured his popliteal knee joint.
Shanghai Knights (2003)
- Spine Injury
The Twins Effect (2003)
- Leg Injury: Jackie injured his leg while hanging from a moving vehicle.
The Medallion (2003)
- Eye Injury: A metal cable broke and hit Jackie in the face while shooting the final fight scene.
- Burns: Jackie burned his hands (again) during a jump through a flaming curtain.
New Police Story (2004)
- Hand Injury: Damaged his hand descending from a building while wearing handcuffs.
- Burns: Serious burns to his hands while swinging on a burning rope.
- Back Injury: Jackie fell off a horse injuring his back and leg.
- Laceration: A bayonet accidentally pierced his hand during a fight scene.
The Most Painful Jackie Chan Injuries
This collection of Jackie Chan injuries says a lot. Obviously, Jackie really put 100% of himself into both his stunt work and action choreography. But after turning 50 years old in 2004, Jackie started taking a lot more caution with his body. He began slowing down and reducing the risks involved in his stunt work. And then in 2014, at the age of 60, Jackie announced that he would no longer be performing his own stunts. After entertaining millions of fans around the world in his 200+ films, Jackie Chan had earned a much deserved rest.
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.