Gary Edward Daniels (born 9 May 1963) is an English actor, producer, martial artist, fight coordinator and former world light heavyweight kickboxing champion. Born and raised in London, England, Daniels started to take martial arts lessons at the age of eight. By his late teens, he became a competitive kickboxer. In 1980, Daniels moved to the United States to continue the sport. In 1990, he won the WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship and the PKA World Light Heavyweight Championship.

Gary Daniels
BornGary Edward Daniels
(1963-05-09) 9 May 1963 (age 60)
London, England
Height5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)
Weight12 st 9 lb (80 kg)
Light Heavyweight
Reach77.5 in (197 cm)
StyleKickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo[1][2]
Fighting out ofCalifornia, United States
TeamThe Jet Center
Piston Kickboxing Gym
Team Daniels
TrainerMickey Byrne
Yuki Horiuchi
Benny Urquidez[2]
Joe Lewis[2]
Rank2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo
Years active1979–2008
Kickboxing record
By knockout2
Amateur record
By knockout30
Other information
OccupationActor, producer, martial artist, fight coordinator, kickboxer

Daniels is also an action film leading man, starting with Final Reprisal (1988) and The Secret of King Mahis Island (1988). He followed up with Capital Punishment (1991), American Streetfighter (1992), Deadly Target (1994), Fist of the North Star (1995), Bloodmoon (1996), Recoil (1997), Spoiler (1998), Misfire (2014), and Skin Traffik (2015). He also plays supporting roles; some of these credits include City Hunter (1993), The Legend of Bruce Lee (2008), Tekken, (2009), The Expendables (2010), I Am Vengeance (2018), and Kung Fu (2021), etc.

Early life Edit

Gary Daniels was born in London, England, on 9 May 1963.[citation needed] Daniels said that at the age of eight he was inspired to learn martial arts after seeing the trailer of the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. Following this, Daniels said he joined a kung-fu school for three to four years, after he made the switch to taekwondo where he received a black belt in his mid-teens.[3] 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.[citation needed]

Career Edit

1979-1995: Kickboxing career to action film leading man 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. Daniels early matches in England and in the United States were amateur matches.[4]

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

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

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 kickboxer.[citation needed]

In 1988, Daniels starred in the action films Final Reprisal, and The Secret of King Mahis Island.[citation needed] According to Daniels, a talent agent introduced him to a production company in the Philippines, with whom he made them.[3][5]

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.[citation needed]

In 1991, Daniels acted in Ring of Fire,[6] and starred in Capital Punishment.[7] On 3 December in Birmingham, England, Daniels fought a 3-round, No Decision, exhibition match with 11-time World Kickboxing Champion Don "The Dragon" Wilson at the World Martial Arts Extravaganza.[citation needed] Daniels retired with an undefeated professional kickboxing record of 4-0-0 with 2 knockouts.[citation needed]

In 1992, Daniels acted in Final Impact,[8] Deadly Bet,[9] and Bloodfist IV: Die Trying.[10] Also that year, he starred in American Streetfighter.[11]

In 1993, Daniels acted in Wong Jing's film adaptation of City Hunter starring Jackie Chan, a significant early role for Daniels.[12][13] Daniels also acted in Albert Pyun's Knights.[14] Daniels said that he was offered the role of one of the villains in City Hunter while filming Knights in Utah, however shooting days overlapped. He went on to ask director Albert Pyun if he could finish his shooting schedule earlier to join the Jackie Chan film in Hong-Kong. Pyun accepted but had to reduce a few of his scenes and use a double. Daniels said he arrived late on the set and the introductory scene of the villains was already shot. He thinks it played to his advantage because the filmmakers edited in parallel a scene of him training and showing his physical prowess to introduce his character.[3] That year, he starred in Full Impact,[15] and co-starred with Chad McQueen in Firepower[16]

In 1994, he starred in Deadly Target.[17]

In 1995, Daniels starred in Fist of the North Star, which offered a notable boost to his career, particularly due to the film's successful home video release in Asian markets.[18][19] That same year, he would star in White Tiger,[20] and had a role in the movie Heatseeker.[21]

In mid-to-late 1990s, Daniels found a niche as lead actor in many of PM Entertainment's action movies, including 1995's Rage,[22]1996's Riot[23] and 1998's Recoil.[24][25]

1996-2009: Subsequent films Edit

In 1996, Daniels acted in Bloodmoon,[26] Hawk's Vengeance,.[27]

In 1997, he starred in and acted in Pocket Ninjas.[28]

In 1998, he starred No Tomorrow,[29] Spoiler,[30] and Cold Harvest.[31]

In 1999, Daniels acted in an episode of the television show Sons of Thunder,[32] and the film Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol.[33]

In 2000, Daniels starred in Black Friday,[34] Fatal Blade,[35] and City of Fear.[36]

In 2001, he starred Epicenter,[37] Queen's Messenger,[38] and Witness to a Kill.[39]

In 2004 Daniels acted in Retrograde.[40]

In 2005, Daniels acted in Submerged.[41]

In 2008, he played the role of Ed Parker in biographical mini series The Legend of Bruce Lee.[42] Also, Daniels made a one-fight comeback in Thailand at the age of 45 and he lost by decision after 5 rounds.[43] That year, he acted in Dark Secrets,[44] Cold Earth,[45] and Kiss of the Vampire.[46]

In 2009 he acted in La Linea,[47] and played the character Bryan Fury in the video game adaptation Tekken.[48]

2010 to present day: Current roles Edit

In 2010, Daniels played a supporting role in The Expendables.[49][50] Also in 2010, Daniels acted in Hunt to Kill,[51] The Lazarus Papers,[52] and Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright.[53]

In 2011, he acted in Game of Death and Johnny's Gone.[54][additional citation(s) needed]

In 2012, Daniels acted in The Encounter: Paradise Lost,[55] The Mark,[56] and Santa's Summer House.[57] That year he starred in Forced to Fight.[58]

In 2013, Daniels acted in The Mark 2: Redemption,[59] Payday 2,[citation needed] and A Stranger in Paradise.[60]

In 2014, he returned to the role of Bryan Fury in Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge.[61] Also that year, he played the lead in Misfire.[62]

In 2015 he acted in Zero Tolerance,[63] and Dancin': It's On!.[64] That year, he played the lead in Skin Traffik.[65]

In 2016, he acted in The Wrong Child,[66] and starred in Rumble.[67]

In 2018, he acted in I Am Vengeance,[68] and Astro.[69]

In 2021, he acted an episode of Kung Fu.[citation needed].

In 2022, he took the lead role in the indie action film Bring Him Back Dead.

Martial arts and fitness Edit

Daniels studied Muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, boxing, ninjitsu, and Northern Shaolin kung fu.[1][2] 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.[citation needed]

Daniels said his main discipline is Siu Lum Wong Gar Kune (Shaolin Wong Family Fist), and studies with Sifu Winston Omega.[3][2]

Titles Edit

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
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. John 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
2018 I Am Vengeance Hatcher Uncredited
Astro Jack Adams

Television Edit

Year Title Role Notes
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
2013 Payday Hector Episode: "Hector"
2021 Kung Fu Master Drake Episode: Guidance

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 Decision 5 3:00
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  

Bob Smith

World Kick Boxing Association California, USA
Wins WKBA California State Light Heavyweight Championship.

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "Daniels' "North Star" Set for '95 Release". Black Belt Magazine (February 1995 issue). 1 February 1995. p. 69. Retrieved 9 March 2023. ... A black belt in taekwondo, Daniels has 23 years of martial arts training, including background in kickboxing, ninjutsu, aikido and shaolin kung fu.
  2. ^ a b c d e Terrence Allen (January 1996). "Meet the Martial Arts Movie Stars of the Next Century". Black Belt Magazine (Jan 1996 issue). p. 57. Retrieved 9 March 2023. Beggining [sic?] his martial arts studies at the age of 8, he has a black belt in taekwondo, has studied kickboxing and muay Thai[sic] with world champion Benny (The Jet) Urquidez, has ample knowledge of Chinese weapons, and has trained with former world full-contact champion Joe Lewis. He is currently studying exclusively with sil lum kung fu instructor Winston Omega.
  3. ^ a b c d Jing, Wong (1983). ''City Hunter'' (Blu-Ray) (in Cantonese and English). England: Eureka!. Event occurs at "Evolution of a fighter" - interview with kickboxer and actor Gary Daniels. 5 06000 703054.
  4. ^ "Gary Daniels Expose". Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  5. ^ Jolliffe, Tom (2 February 2022). "Gary Daniels: Britain's Original Martial Arts Action Hero". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 9 March 2023. A former world champion Kickboxer with an imperious record, [Gary Daniels'] shift into movies began in earnest. Actually it began in The Philippines in a number of shoestring exploitation films (and offers to do 'adult' material along the way).
  6. ^ "Ring of Fire". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Capital Punishment". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  8. ^ "AFI|Catalog". Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Deadly Bet". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  10. ^ Ziller, Paul (1992). Bloodfist IV: Die Trying (VHS). USA: New Horizons Home Video. #NH00454.
  11. ^ Austin, Steven. American Streetfighter (VHS) (in English and Spanish). Lucian. Luc 263.
  12. ^ Jolliffe, Tom (2 February 2022). "Gary Daniels: Britain's Original Martial Arts Action Hero". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 9 March 2023. A first significant role would come as Daniels found himself cast as Richard Norton's henchmen in City Hunter. Complete with blond flowing locks (an early Daniels calling card), he stood out in this Jackie Chan star vehicle, with the showpiece being a bizarre fight scene where Chan and Daniels transform into Street Fighter characters Chun-Li and Ken respectively. Daniels is still the definitive Ken for me too (where was the call for the JCVD film huh?).
  13. ^ "City Hunter". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Knights". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  15. ^ Messenger, Marc (2004). Full Impact (DVD). USA: Trinity Home Video. 6 92865 279334.
  16. ^ Pepin, Richard. Firepower (VHS). PM Home Video. PM 244.
  17. ^ "Deadly Target". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  18. ^ Jolliffe, Tom (2 February 2022). "Gary Daniels: Britain's Original Martial Arts Action Hero". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 9 March 2023. In 1995 Daniels found himself cast in a project which on paper could/should have been the launching pad. By no means lavish, it still marked a significant jump in budget to many of the earlier films he'd appeared in. The live action manga adaptation Fist of The North Star brought with it a ready made fan base, and the addition of an impressive cast to star opposite Daniels (with Malcolm McDowell, Chris Penn and Costas Mandylor). Ending up straight to video in the US, it never quite managed to latch onto that fanbase, nor a growing trend in cyberpunk movies which were popping up with regularity at the time (though almost all were bombing at the box office). [...] Daniel's found his market as a leading man and it was firmly in video, but off the back of Fist of The North Star's popularity (which did well on video and in Asia) he was now on a level with Wilson et al, and a big draw in the market. [...] No longer would he play second fiddle to Chad McQueen for example, he'd be the headliner and given the backing of some of their more ambitiously budgeted films.
  19. ^ "Fist of the North Star". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  20. ^ "White Tiger". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  21. ^ "Heatseeker". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  22. ^ "Rage". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  23. ^ "Riot". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Recoil". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  25. ^ Jolliffe, Tom (2 February 2022). "Gary Daniels: Britain's Original Martial Arts Action Hero". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 9 March 2023. It was around the mid-90's that Daniels went from being a PM entertainment also-ran, to being perhaps their star attraction. [...] Recoil, Riot and Rage in particular were all pretty spectacular, representing the pinnacle of a studio with an impish approach to scraping every penny from the coffers and putting it into the stunt department. PM became a breeding ground for stuntmen to indulge, and a good launching pad for stunt specialists like Spiro Razatos (who's overseen the action on several Fast films among an array of huge movies ). In the center of this chaos was Daniels, who never shied away from performing much of the physical work himself (and always the fight sequences). In delivering the fight sequences and physical prowess, he excelled to a level above most of his rivals.
  26. ^ "Bloodmoon". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  27. ^ "Hawk's Vengeance". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  28. ^ "Pocket Ninjas (1997)". BFI. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  29. ^ "No Tomorrow". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  30. ^ "Spoiler". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  31. ^ "Cold Harvest". TV Guide. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Sons of Thunder". TV Guide. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  33. ^ Zito, Joseph (1999). Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol (DVD). USA: Warner Brothers. ISBN 0-7907-6463-6. 0 85392 20802 9.
  34. ^ "Black Friday". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  35. ^ "Fatal Blade". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  36. ^ "City of Fear (2000)". BFI. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  37. ^ "Epicenter (2001)". BFI. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  38. ^ "Queen's Messenger (2001)". BFI. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  39. ^ "Witness to a Kill". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  40. ^ "Retrograde (2004) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  41. ^ "Submerged (2005) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  42. ^ "The Legend Of Bruce Lee". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  43. ^ "Interview: Gary Daniels". Movie Mavericks Podcast. 23 June 2010.
  44. ^ "Dark Secrets". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  45. ^ "Cold Earth (2008)". BFI. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  46. ^ "Kiss of the Vampire". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  47. ^ "La Linea". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  48. ^ "Tekken". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  49. ^ Stallone, Sylvester (2010). The Expendables (DVD) (in English and Spanish). USA: Lionsgate, Millenium, and Nu Image. 0 31398 12842 7.
  50. ^ "AFI|Catalog". Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  51. ^ "Hunt to Kill". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  52. ^ "The Lazarus Papers". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  53. ^ "Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  54. ^ "Game of Death (2011) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  55. ^ "The Encounter: Paradise Lost". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  56. ^ "The Mark". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  57. ^ "Santa's Summer House". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  58. ^ "Forced to Fight". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  59. ^ "The Mark: Redemption". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  60. ^ "A Stranger in Paradise". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  61. ^ "Tekken: Kazuya's Revenge". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  62. ^ "Misfire". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  63. ^ "Zero Tolerance". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  64. ^ "Dancin' It's On (2015) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  65. ^ "Skin Traffik". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  66. ^ "Wrong Child, The (2016) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  67. ^ "Rumble". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  68. ^ "Review: British action flick 'I Am Vengeance' offers stiff upper lip but little else of note". Los Angeles Times. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  69. ^ "Astro". Retrieved 6 August 2021.

Further reading Edit

  • 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.
  • 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.

External links Edit