This topic has been a hot potato from quite some time and there is a reason for that.
It is true that the Chinese martial arts star could rarely be spotted in the public space in the past few years.
Moreover, the last significant movie appearance that the star of ‘Hero’ and ‘Romeo Must Die’ had was back in 2014 when he was part of the cast of ‘Expendables 3’.
By the way, since you are here, feel free to check out my article about the stars expected to join the cast of ‘Expendables 4’.
Since then, what happened to Li Lianjie (as his real name is) has been an object of many rumors, speculations, and gossip.
That is why in the paragraphs below I will try to demystify the mysterious by providing an insight into Jet Li’s life in the years following his last popular role.
Is Jet Li Dead – Breathe Out and Relax
I urge to reassure you that Jet Li is very much alive and in good spirits, even though he was not in an excellent health condition.
Before jumping to that, probably it would be a surprise for many to learn that the Asian superstar made an action-fantasy movie in 2016 entitled ‘League of Gods’ in which he portrays a wise sage, affected by a spell that reverses his age.
The Chinese production was a box-office flop and received poor critic reviews and that, along with the weak marketing campaign doomed the popularity of the movie.
At least, that was a good sign for every Jet Li fan that was anxious about the fate of his idol.
However, Jet has been fighting a serious illness which also prevented him from working on action movies.
Jet Li’s Health Issues Explained
In 2010 the Kung Fu-skilled action star was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism – a condition characterized by the excessive production of the hormone thyroxine, which can lead to a significant acceleration of the metabolism causing a drastic weight change, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness.
Jet Li stated numerous times that he was able to control the disease thanks to various medications.
Of course, all that created a huge buzz full of controversy and unconfirmed rumors.
Some media news even reported that the 54 years old actor could easily be wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life.
But guess what!
In 2016 Jet Li showed in public to tear all arguments to shreds by saying that he has completely recovered from the illness, thus destroying all speculations for his allegedly deteriorating health.
He then declared that he was preparing for his role in the Chinese movie ‘League of Gods’ and he scaled back from acting projects mainly because of his extensive charity work.
Charity Work and Philanthropy
Jet Li has been very busy during the past years in favor of his charity organization and that was one of the main reasons which kept him apart from the movie business.
In 2007 Jet founded the ‘One Foundation’ – a Chinese non-governmental organization which centers on supporting and sponsoring disaster relief events and children’s welfare.
As per Li’s own words, the inspiration for the foundation of the organization came from his own bad experience with the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the followed tsunami.
Since then, the Beijing-born actor was an avid supporter of any causes dealing with disastrous events and all kind of welfare.
In February 2017, Jet Li and his team launched jetli.com – an inspirational community platform having the goal of spreading to the world the kung fu philosophy and lifestyle.
A five-time kung fu champion and longtime martial arts practitioner, Jet definitely has a lot to offer to everyone who wants to learn kung fu and to dive into the philosophy of this ancient martial art form.
Another popular welfare company founded by Jet Li is Taijizen.com – a lifestyle organization having for a mission to spread the Taiji Zen philosophy which revolves around health and happiness achieved by physical and mental balance.
The company offers various training programs and products that help people all around the world to live a better, healthier and more balanced life.
Jet Li has been also a Red Cross Ambassador in China since 2006, thus financially contributing to different educational and health projects.
A curious fact is that this year it has also been reported that a while ago Li donated a huge amount of money of his personal income to his stunt double who died on the set of ‘Expendables 2’ in Bulgaria back in 2011.
So Li gave priority to helping people in need through the medium of different organizations, thus putting his film career on hold.
An important update about his recent activity is the fact that the critically acclaimed actor will produce and also star in the short martial arts movie Gong Shou Dao (GSD).
It is a Kung Fu flick aiming to popularize the Chinese martial arts culture that will team up iconic Asian stars such as Donnie Yen, Wu Jing, Tony Jaa, Yuen Woo, Shiming Zou, Jacky Heung and many others.
The Bottom Line
The man just has priorities.
Despite his immense worldwide success and significant financial wealth, Jet Li remains a modest and humble person before being a high-grossing Hollywood star.
He is a winner not only on the big screen, where we are all used to see him kicking ass but also in his jealously guarded private life where no one has the right to enter.
He managed to go through a severe, life-threatening disease proving his mental and physical prowess.
It is true that Li’s decision to escape from exposing himself publicly and to resolve more efforts on his health condition and charity work, created many speculations about his well-being but in the end, it is relieving to know that now the Kung Fu master is in good physical and mental shape.
That being said, he still remains among the finest martial arts actors who continue to thrill the action movie buffs around the world with his unparalleled fighting skills and charisma.
It is simply a matter of time to see Jet in a next film project that will provide great joy for us, the Jet Li fans.
Is Jet Li alive – you bet he is!
Sources: Wikipedia, Jetli.com, IMDB.COM
In what kind of action movie do you want to see Jet Li next? Leave a comment below!