Li, who is a superstar of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, only recently made a splash in the United States, with 1998's Lethal Weapon 4. He did most of his own stunts in the movie. He has studied wu shu, a form of kung fu, since childhood and has won several Chinese national championships. He demonstrated his skills on the White House lawn in 1974 in front of President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.
His first film, Shaolin Temple (1982), was the first martial arts movie filmed in China. He solidified his presence in Hollywood with 2000's urban-action hit, Romeo Must Die. His other credits include Once Upon a Time in China (1991) and Cradle 2 the Grave (2003).