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10.3k voters

The All-Time Greatest Martial Arts Actors

Updated April 27, 2021 61.1k votes 10.3k voters 424.0k views188 items

List RulesVote up your favorite film fighters of all time!

This list of the all time greatest martial arts actors (and actresses) is ranked by kung fu fans worldwide. Anyone can vote on the best martial artists here, which means these actors are truly fan favorites. Whether they have magical screen presence or just the physical abilities to make your jaw drop, these famous actors represent the best in kicking butt.

Though the genre of martial arts films is also occasionally known as "kung fu films," the term in fact only refers to a subset of Chinese martial arts, and can also apply to a variety of traditional practices not directly related to self-defense. (Wushu is the more accurate blanket term for Chinese martial arts and fighting techniques.) The performers on this list practice a variety of martial arts traditions and styles, including the "Jeet Kun Do" techniques innovated by people like Bruce Lee, the Muay Thai style of Tony Jaa, or the traditional karate employed by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Who are the best martial arts actors of all time? These performers also represent a variety of nationalities, including Chinese, Japanese, Thai and American actors. Vote up your favorite martial artists below, and then check back to see if they topped our list! 

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    Dolph Lundgren

    Spånga, Stockholm

    Credits (Film)Rocky IV, The Expendables, The Expendables 2, Rocky V, A View to a Kill

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  • 27
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    Pat Morita

    Isleton, USA

    Credits (Film)The Karate Kid, Mulan, Midway, The Karate Kid, Part II

  • 28
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    Maggie Q

    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Credits (Film)Mission: Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard, Around the World in 80 Days, Rush Hour 2, Divergent

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  • 29
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    Cynthia Rothrock

    Wilmington, Delaware

    Credits (Film)Fast Getaway, Millionaires Express, China O'Brien, Lady Dragon, The Inspector Wears Skirts

  • 30
    361
    185

    Credits (Film)Batman Forever, Say Anything..., Thank Your Lucky Stars, Stealing Harvard, CyberTracker

  • 31
    240
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    Mako Iwamatsu

    Kobe, Keihanshin

    Credits (Film)Pearl Harbor, Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, Memoirs of a Geisha, RoboCop 3

  • 32
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    Jim Kelly

    Millersburg, Kentucky

    Credits (Film)Enter the Dragon, Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way, Take a Hard Ride, Death Dimension

  • 33
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    Sonny Chiba

    East Asia, Asia

    Credits (Film)Kill Bill Volume 1, Kill Bill Volume 2, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Street Fighter, Virus

  • 34
    1,098
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    Steven Seagal

    Lansing, Michigan

    Credits (Film)Machete, Above the Law, Exit Wounds, Under Siege, Executive Decision

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  • 35
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    Dan Inosanto

    Stockton, California

    Credits (Film)Big Trouble in Little China, Redbelt, The Chinese Stuntman, Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey

  • 36
    160
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    Lucy Liu

    Queens, New York

    Credits (Film)Kill Bill Volume 1, Kill Bill Volume 2, Jerry Maguire, Kung Fu Panda, Chicago

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  • 37
    103
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    Hwang Jang Lee

    Japan, Aomori

    Credits (Film)Drunken Master, Millionaires Express, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, Dance of the Drunk Mantis, Ninja in the Dragon's Den

  • 38
    120
    60

    Jason Scott Lee

    Los Angeles, California

    Credits (Film)Back to the Future Part II, Lilo & Stitch, The Jungle Book, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Soldier

  • 39
    276
    173

    Toshiro Mifune

    Qingdao, China

    Credits (Film)Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Midway, 1941, Yojimbo

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  • 40
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    Stephen Chow

    China, Hong Kong

    Credits (Film)Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer, A Better Tomorrow, Dragonball Evolution, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

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  • 41
    214
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    Sho Kosugi

    Minato, Japan

    Credits (Film)The Godfather Part II, Enter the Ninja, Blind Fury, Ninja Assassin, Ninja III: The Domination

  • 42
    81
    37

    Will Yun Lee

    USA, Virginia

    Credits (Film)The Wolverine, Elektra, Die Another Day, Total Recall, Red Dawn

  • 43
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    Cheng Pei-pei

    Shanghai, China

    Credits (Film)Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Come Drink with Me, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Wing Chun

  • 44
    154
    121
  • 45
    168
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    Benny Urquidez

    Tarzana, California

    Credits (Film)Spider-Man, Grosse Pointe Blank, Road House, 1408, Street Fighter

  • 46
    98
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    Andy Lau

    Tai Po, Hong Kong

    Credits (Film)Infernal Affairs, House of Flying Daggers, The Legend of Drunken Master, The Warlords, A World Without Thieves

  • 47
    239
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    Ernie Reyes, Jr.

    San Jose, California

    Credits (Film)Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Rush Hour 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, The Rundown, The Last Dragon

  • 48
    202
    150

    Jeff Speakman

    Chicago, Illinois

    Credits (Film)Hot Boyz, The Perfect Weapon, Deadly Outbreak, Land of the Free, Running Red

  • 49
    275
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    Ray Park

    Glasgow, Scotland

    Credits (Film)X-Men, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Fanboys

  • 50
    135
    111

    Tony Leung Chiu Wai

    Hong Kong, China

    Credits (Film)Hero, Infernal Affairs, Hard Boiled, Chungking Express, Lust