Gary Edward Daniels (born 9 May 1963) is an English actor, producer, martial artist, fight coordinator and former World Light-heavyweight Kickboxing Champion (P.K.A.). At eight years of age, Daniels started to train in martial arts. At seventeen, Daniels began kickboxing and compiled a record of 13 victories in England. Daniels moved to United States to pursue his kickboxing career and it led him to a professional career, with 33 knockout victories and held the title. Daniels who was also interested in films, starred in two motion pictures in 1988 made in the Philippines. These were Teddy Page's action martial arts film Final Reprisal , and the jungle adventure, The Secret of King Mathis Island. Daniels returned to the US, and continued competing. From 1991 to 1994, Daniels was seen acting in several action and martial arts films, within those he had a supporting role in Albert Pyun's Knights, and played an adversary who had showdowns with Jackie Chan in City Hunter, and Don "The Dragon" Wilson in Ring of Fire, and Bloodfist IV: Die Trying. On his own, Daniels was the star of the action films Capital Punishment, American Streetfighter, Firepower, Final Impact, and Deadly Target.
|Born||Gary Edward Daniels|
9 May 1963
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)|
|Weight||12 st 9 lb (80 kg)|
|Reach||77.5 in (197 cm)|
|Style||Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo|
|Fighting out of||California, United States|
|Team||The Jet Center |
Piston Kickboxing Gym
|Trainer||Mickey Byrne |
|Rank||2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, martial artist, fight coordinator, kickboxer|
In 1995, Daniels played the lead role of Kenshiro in Tony Randel's American live-action version of Japanese manga Fist of the North Star. The film had a notable cast which included Costas Mandylor, Isako Washio Malcolm McDowell, among the many more. From its release on, the film was widely seen on television and on home video. While some disapproved of the liberties it took from its source material, it became a cult film over the years. From that point up until 2001, Daniels, now an established action film actor, acted in many films mixed between action, martial arts, and science fiction. Some of these efforts included Albert Pyun's Heatseeker, Joseph Merhi's Rage, Art Camacho's Recoil, Jeff Burr's Spoiler, Master P's No Tomorrow, Isaac Florentine's Cold Harvest, Joseph Zito's Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol, Bloodmoon, White Tiger, Hawk's Vengeance, Riot, Epicenter, Fatal Blade, City of Fear, Black Friday, Queen's Messenger, and Witness to a Kill.
From 2004 on, Daniels took on more supporting roles, this includes the role of Ed Parker in the Bruce Lee biographical mini series The Legend of Bruce Lee, with contemporary martial artists Mark Dacascos, Ray Park, Ernest Miller, and Michael Jai White. He is also known for his supporting role as Bryan Fury in the 2009 live-action film Tekken, and its 2014 prequel, based upon the popular fighting game series. Daniels acted in the action leading man ensemble film alongside Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, and Randy Couture in the Sylvester Stallone film The Expendables. Daniels played Lawrence "The Brit" Sparks, one of the strongmen defending the main villains. Daniels appeared in La Linea , an action-crime film with an ensemble cast that includes Ray Liotta, Andy García, Armand Assante, etc. Next was Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright alongside Aidan Quinn, Andy García for the second time, Mario Van Peebles, etc. Other efforts among many includes David DeCocteau's The Wrong Child with Vivica A. Fox, the Wesley Snipes action vehicle Game of Death, Steve Austin's action vehicle Hunt to Kill, Stu Bennett's thriller I am Vengeance, etc. Some of the lead roles Daniels took are the martial arts fighting films Forced to Fight with Peter Weller, and Rumble. He was also the lead actor in the thriller Misfire, where he plays seasoned DEA agent, who descends into the underworld of Tijuana, and the jaded former hitman in Skin Traffik going against a gangster played by Mickey Rourke, with an ensemble cast including Daryl Hannah, Eric Roberts, Michael Madsen, Jeff Fahey, Dominique Swain, and Alan Ford.
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 1960s. 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.
1980-1987 Amateur kickboxing careerEdit
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. Daniels early matches in England and in the United States were amateur matches.
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 rolesEdit
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.
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. It was David Huey's 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 starEdit
On 7 February 1992, Final Impact starring Lorenzo Lamas started its theatrical run where Daniels played the supporting role of a fighter. Daniels appeared in two other supporting roles that year with 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, Daniels 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. Daniels played cop turned bounty hunter, who is asked to investigate a serial killer's case. Finally for 1993, he shared the top billing with Chad McQueen in science fiction film Firepower. The film takes place in futuristic world where gangs control certain neighbourhoods where cops can't go, however two officers played by Daniels and McQueen are sent to investigate undercover.
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, Daniels played the role he is still best known for, the heroic Kenshiro, which he portrayed the American live-action version of in the movie adaptation of the Japanese manga Fist of the North Star. Directed by Tony Randel, and co-stars Costas Mandylor, Isako Washio, Malcolm McDowell, Chris Penn, Melvin Van Peebles, and many others. The film adapts parts of the first story arc of its source, which 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), a ruthless dictator, who killed his master and kidnapped his fiancée Julia (Washio). Also in 1995, Daniels played Xao a bio-enhanced kickboxing champion in Albert Pyun's science fiction-martial arts film Heatseeker against leading men Keith Cooke who plays Chance O'Brien the only completely human fighter. The CEO (Norbert Weisser) of the fight division forces O'Brien against his will to participate in a tournament. In a third film that year, Daniels got a producer credit as well as being the lead actor in Joseph Merhi's Rage. In the film Daniels plays a school teacher, who accidentally gets captured for a scientific experiment. He escapes and is chased by authorities.
In 1996, Daniels starred in the martial art movie White Tiger. In it he plays a DEA agent who's partner's death leads him to investigate in the Chinese criminal underground. That year Daniels also acted in Hawk's Vengeance, in it he plays a cop who's partner has been killed by a skinhead. He decides to make his own investigation while the official one in ongoing. Also that year, Daniels shared the top billing with Sugar Ray Leonard in Joseph Merhi's urban crime thriller Riot. Daniels plays a British SAS officer and Leonard a major, who must go through a riot in order to save the daughter of a British ambassador.
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 the film Daniels plays a fighter who's being chased by a serial killer who's victims are all fighters.
In 1998, he starred and was an associate producer in Art Camacho's Recoil. It's an action thriller, where Daniels plays a police officer, who with some of his colleagues kill a young bank robber after a brutal bank heist. The slain criminal's father is a mob boss who vows revenge with everyone involved with his death. 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, to keep them in a state of suspended animation. Mason, despite all the security measures applied at his confinement, manages to escape repeatedly to see his daughter, while he remains practically the same age and she grows older.
On 20 March 1999, Daniels acted in the episode Daddy's girl of TV show 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. In a post apocalyptic world, Daniels plays a pair of twin brothers who grow up to be different, one is stable married medical researcher and the other a bounty hunter. The married one is eventually killed on his way to share a plague vaccine that would cure many, which leads the bounty hunter to bring the cure to safety.
2000 to 2009 subsequent filmsEdit
In 2000, he starred alongside Jeff Fahey and Traci Lords in the disaster film 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 2006, Daniels 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. 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. Later in 2008 he acted in the film Cold Earth.
In 2009, Daniels acted in Kiss of the Vampire. Also that year, in La Linea an action-crime film directed by James Cotten, Daniels was among an ensemble cast that includes Ray Liotta, Armand Assante, Valerie Cruz, Esai Morales, and Andy García.
2010 to present day current worksEdit
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, many of the cast includes some of his action film star contemporaries such as Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, and Randy Couture. As well as fellow actors Terry Crews, Eric Roberts, David Zayas and Mickey Rourke. 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 our heroes. 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 was the supernatural thriller The Lazarus Papers, where he played the main villain who maliciously captures girls from small village and leads them into sex trafficking. It featured an ensemble cast that 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. 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 co-starring Peter Weller.
In 2012 he played a role The Encounter: Paradise Lost the second instalment in The Encounter franchise. Shortly after he was the main villain in 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 Angels. 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.
Finally for 2013, he played the role of Hector in the video game and television series Payday 2.
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 dance romance film starring Witney Carson. The film is about a young passionate dancer named Jennifer (Carson). She is set to spend the summer in Florida in a hotel owed by her distant father Jerry (Daniels), who disapproves of a relationship she starts with another dancer.
In 2018, he played a supporting role in I Am Vengeance starring Stu Bennett. The story is about a British military veteran (Bennett) who goes to a small town to investigate the death of his friend. He finds out that a group of former soldiers turned drug dealers who work under a man named Hatcher (Daniels), may be behind it. He followed it with the science fiction film Astro. His third role that year was the lead role in the action film Rumble.
Martial art styleEdit
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 mentioned 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.
- Professional Karate Association
- PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship
- World Kick Boxing Association
- WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|2006||Reptilicant||Ryan Moore||Lead role|
|2008||Dark Secrets||Darryl Van Dyke||Lead role|
|2009||La Linea||Martin||First time partnered with Andy Garcia|
|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|
|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|
|Payday 2 Web Series||Hector|
|2014||Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge||Bryan Fury|
|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|
|2018||I Am Vengeance||Hatcher||Uncredited|
|1986||Miami Vice||Male stripper||Episode: "Walk-Alone"|
|1999||Sons of Thunder||Lannark||Episode: "Daddy's Girl"|
|2008||The Legend of Bruce Lee||Ed Parker||2 episodes|
Professional kickboxing recordEdit
|1993-00||Win||Professional Karate Association||London, England||KO|
|1992-00||Win||Professional Karate Association||London, England||KO|
|1991-12-03||No Decision||Don "The Dragon" Wilson||World Martial Arts Extravaganza||Birmingham, UK||Exhibition||3|
|1990-11||Win||Professional Karate Association||London, England|
|Wins PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship.|
|1990-11||Win||World Kick Boxing Association||California, USA|
|Wins WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship.|
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- Combat, January 1992. Front-page story: Gary Daniels the best of British!. Volume: 18. Number: 1.
- Combat, April 1992. Front-page story: Gary Daniels! Fight for your life. Volume: 18. Number: 4.
- Inside Karate, July 1992. Front-page story: Gary Daniels British kickboxing champ is box office gold.
- Martial Arts Illustrated, January 1993. Front-page story: True Brit. Volume: 5. Number: 8.
- Inside Kung-Fu presents kickboxing sport of the 90s, August 1993. Front-page story: His game is foot! Gary Daniels trades the ring for the reel thing.
- Impact, July 1994. Front-page story: Gary Daniels in Deadly Target.
- Inside Tae Kwon Do, November 1994. Front-page story: How To Finish With a Kick. Volume: 3. Number: 6.
- Martial Arts Movies, December 1994. Front-page story: Brit Gary Daniels stars as Japan's biggest cult hero.
- Impact, May 1995. Front-page story: Manga movie mania.
- Impact, October 1996. Front-page story: Fist of the North Star.
- Combat, October 1995. Front-page story: Gary Daniels the Heatseeker!. Volume: 21. Number: 10.
- Martial Arts Illustrated, December1995. Front-page story: Exclusive Gary Daniels enter the white tiger. Volume: 8. Number: 7.
- Combat, August 1996. Front-page story: Gary Daniels west beats east. Volume: 22. Number: 8.
- Martial Arts Illustrated, August 1996. Front-page story: Gary Daniels at the 'Clash' spectacular success. Volume: 9. Number: 8.
- Martial Arts Illustrated, January 1997. Front-page story: Gary Daniels exclusive. Volume: 9. Number: 8.
- Tae Kwon Do and Korean Combat Arts, February and March 1996. Front-page story: Gary Daniels Fist of the North Star. Volume: 1. Number: 3
- Budo Journal, March 1998. Front-page story: Gary Daniels.
- Martial Arts Illustrated, April, 1998. Front-page story: Mai talks with action stars Gary Daniels & Kevin Brewerton. Volume: 10. Number: 11.
- Martial Arts Illustrated, December 1998. Front-page story: Gary Daniels movies, training, and more! Volume: 1. Number: 5.
- Askmen.com, 10 August 2010. Fury, Mike: Gary Daniels Exclusive Interview on The Expendables
- Askmen.com, 25 August 2010. Fury, Mike: Gary Daniels Interview: Shooting An Action Scene on The Expendables
- Rock! Schock! Pop!, 19 December 2012. Jane, Ian: Forced To Speak! An Interview With Gary Daniels At Rock! Shock! Pop!
- Martial Arts Illustrated, November 2013. Front-page story: Gary Daniels talks action cinema. Volume: 26. Number: 6.