New photo of Jet Li has left his fans around the globe worried about his health, though his manager has come out to calm fears.
A picture allegedly of the martial artist has alarmed fans and raised questions about the 55-year-old action star’s health. Long known for his youthful looks and acrobatic moves spanning decades of action movies, in recent years Li has battled hyperthyroidism, a condition that can cause fatigue and weight loss and that has previously ignited rumors of Li’s declining health.
The South China Morning Post reported Saturday that fans were “praying for his health” after the emergence of the photo, which the SCMP said was taken at a temple in Tibet and has been widely shared. Others have speculated that the man they believe is Li looks older because of bad lighting or the angle.
On Monday Li’s manager, Steven Chasman, said that it was just a bad photo of someone who is 55 years old. He said;
“He has hyperthyroidism that he’s been dealing with for almost 10 years. It’s nothing life-threatening and he’s dealing with it,”
For years Li was one of the most electrifying martial arts actors in the world. A national wushu champion, he broke out in film after portraying the legendary folk hero Wong Fei-hung in the “Once Upon a Time in China” series.
His fights, though choreographed and sometimes employing wire tricks, evinced a fierce athleticism and fluidity of movement.
He would then branch out to American and European productions such as “Romeo Must Die,” “The Expendables” and “Kiss of the Dragon,” where his character subdued a room full of French police singlehandedly. Even after going to Hollywood, Li would continue to work with Chinese directors, such as Zhang Yimou in “Hero.”