Jackie Chan’s Dark Story: His Mother Was an Opium Dealer and Gambler

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1NEWS – Jackie Chan is now an action star legend. Decades of working on the big screen made him wallow in wealth. He is estimated to have a total wealth of around 5.7 trillion from his income as a film star for nearly six decades. But who would have thought, Jackie Chan has a life story that is so dark.

Jackie Chan was born to a poor father and mother. Jackie’s mother, Lee-Lee Chan, was born in 1916 to a modest family in China. She married at a young age, and her first husband died during a Japanese bomb attack. She later became a young widow with two little daughters, Chen Guilan and Chen Yulan.

With no money, Lee-Lee sold his daughter. While it may sound surprising, it is not something that has come as a surprise in China in the past. “That’s very common in China. Life is cheap. It’s always cheap. It’s a very common thing to do, abandon children. In every family, there are abandoned children,” said the director of the documentary Traces of a Dragon: Jackie Chan and His. Lost Family, Mabel Cheung, as quoted by The Guardian.

Lee-Lee also sold opium in Shanghai to survive. He circulated it by sea. In the criminal underworld, Lee-Lee was nicknamed “Third Brother” and became a legendary gambler. “The fact that his mother was an opium smuggler, a gambler in the ‘underworld’ was a huge shock to Jackie as well as us,” continued Cheung.

Lee-Lee’s fate changed when she met Charles Chan who was a customs officer. One day, his mother was arrested at customs while transporting opium, but his father released him after seeing him with two children. Later, they fell in love and got married. The father has two sons from a previous marriage.

When the Communists took over China, Charles moved to Hong Kong. Lee Lee then followed, leaving behind two daughters from his first marriage. The Guardian reported that there was no information on whether the girls were alive or dead. In Hong Kong, Charles worked at the French Embassy as a cook.

When Jackie Chan was born in 1954, his parents had a completely different life, and he grew up unaware of his parents’ past. After he was 6 years old, his parents went to Australia to earn a living. Living without his parents made him do many negative things such as fighting, selling drugs, racing and stealing.

“When I was 16, my father said he could no longer teach me because I was an adult. But he made me promise him three things: not to enter the ‘underworld’, not to do drugs, and not to gamble,” said Jackie Chan in an interview with Chinese television in 2006. “I promised him even though I did those things at that time.”

Several years later, when some of his friends died and others were in prison for life, Jackie Chan realized his father’s words were true. He also stopped from the black world.

Writer Hutapea Binsar

Editor Suyanto Soemohardjo


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