While Jackie Chan is one of the most popular men in the world, his relationships are pretty private, so much so that more people know about his daughter Etta Ng, than his wife of over 40 years.
So, you might find it surprising to know that Joan Lin, Jackie Chan’s wife, was an exceptionally famous Taiwanese actress. In a career of only 10 years, she’s starred in over 70 movies. However, Lin chose to retire and care for her family.
Do you want to find out more? In this article, we’ll tell you everything about Joan Lin, her interesting upbringing, and her rocky relationship with the legendary actor, Jackie Chan. Let’s dive in!
Joan Lin’s Early Life
Joan Lin, born Feng-Lin Jiao is a Taiwanese actress. She was born on June 30, 1953, in Taipei, Taiwan.
Lin’s early life has been kept private, particularly because her family struggled with poverty. The family was in debt, yet they had to care for five children, including Joan Lin.
For this reason, the Taiwanese actress didn’t get to finish her education. Instead, she dropped out of school when she was just 12 to ease the financial burden on her family. Then, she started working on farms.
Joan Lin’s Acting Career
There’s no denying that Lin had a difficult childhood. However, she was incredibly resilient. From a young age, she decided to become a film actress and stopped at nothing to achieve this dream.
Luckily, when she was only 19, Joan Lin made her debut on the silver screen by starring in the Kung Fu Taiwanese film The Hero of Chiu Chao.
Afterward, Joan Lin became a household name in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The actress was highly in demand and made about three movies each year. Many of those movies were adaptations of the widely popular Chiung Yao’s novels.
The starlet reached a new level of fame after her movie The Story of a Small Town, in which she played a mute woman. She was praised for her talents, as well as earned the Best Leading Actress award at the 16th Golden Horse Awards.
Unfortunately, Joan Lin’s promising acting career came to an end soon after, as she announced her retirement. Though Joan Lin had a short-lived career, spanning from 1973 to 1982, she starred in over 70 movies.
The filmography of the prominent Taiwanese actress includes:
- Chinese Kung Fu (1973)
- The Two Tigers (1973)
- Shaolin Vengeance (1974)
- Shaolin Long Arm (1974)
- Our Land Our People (1975)
- The Valley of Butterfly (1976)
- Coffee, Wine, and Lemon Juice (1976)
- The Sang Sisters (1977)
- Shining Spring (1977)
- Flowers Under Rain of Love (1977)
- A Different Story (1978)
- Touch of Fairlady (1979)
- Good Morning Taipei (1979)
- Land of the Brave (1981)
- Devil Returns (1981)
Joan Lin and Jackie Chan’s Relationship
Though Joan Lin is a significantly popular actress in Taiwan and Hong Kong, she’s now better known for being the wife of legendary star Jackie Chan.
That’s why you might find it surprising to learn that when the pair first met, Joan Lin was more famous than Jackie Chan.
The couple has crossed paths numerous times due to their working environment. They were polar opposites, with Lin being more level-headed and mature, and Chan describing himself as an unruly person.
Still, even Jackie Chan’s close friends and family noted that Lin had a positive impact on Jackie, hoping they’d date.
However, it wasn’t until 1981 that they officially started dating. Only a year later, they got secretly married in an intimate ceremony that took place in Los Angeles.
While Jackie Chan and Joan Lin were happily in love, their marriage was for practical reasons. That’s because Joan got pregnant with their first and only child, Jaycee.
Since the pair didn’t know how their fans and the Chinese media would react to their pregnancy news, Lin moved to California in order to hide her pregnancy.
Unfortunately, Jackie was preoccupied with filming in China at the time, so he wasn’t able to support Joan when she needed him most. For this reason, their marriage got off to a rocky start.
Jackie’s friends and family weren’t happy with the news of the couple’s marriage. Many of Chan’s friends called Lin a gold digger, implying that she trapped Jackie to benefit financially from him.
Yet, that wasn’t the case, as Joan Lin was already an established actress. Additionally, Jackie Chan was a careless spender, but he never allowed Joan to gain any access to his bank accounts at the beginning of their relationship.
On December 3, 1982, Jackie and Joan welcomed their son, Jaycee. Jaycee, who’s now 40, has lived a life of parting and extravagance.
Though Jackie Chan and Joan Lin have supported their son and funded his education, Jaycee dropped out of college. Instead, he decided to focus on his music and film career.
Unfortunately, Jaycee didn’t have his parents’ talent for acting and performing. Numerous Chinese news outlets labeled Jaycee as an unsuccessful nepo baby.
He has worked with numerous studios and starred in multiple Chinese movies, all of which were badly received.
Additionally, he tried to appeal to Chinese audiences by starring alongside his father, Jackie Chan in his 100th movie, 1911. Sadly, this was Chan’s least profitable film to date.
In 2014, Jaycee got in trouble for using prohibited substances. However, Jackie Chan refused to help his son or show him any type of support. Instead, Jaycee spent six months in prison.
After getting released, the father and son were practically estranged. Jaycee kept a low profile, living with his mother in Taipei.
During the 2020 pandemic, Chan and his son reconciled. Though, they’re rarely seen together in public.
Undoubtedly, Jackie Chan and Joan Lin didn’t share the most romantic love story before getting married. Still, their marriage suffered significantly due to Jackie’s infidelity.
In particular, Chan’s affair with Hong Kong Actress Elaine Ng made headlines in 1999, after Ng announced that she was pregnant.
While Chan stated that he made a mistake many men would make, Joan’s reaction to his infidelity shocked him. Later, this convinced him to change his ways forever.
Lin told Chan that she neither wanted him to hurt their family nor Elaine and her daughter. Yet, she promised Jackie that she’d support him as his wife, no matter the consequences.
Chan then began crying and promised himself that he’d change. Since then, he has become a devoted husband. Furthermore, he paid no mind to the allegations that call Lin a gold digger. The superstar changed his will, leaving everything for his supportive wife.
Joan Lin’s Net Worth
Joan Lin is a self-made starlet who started from the bottom. Yet, she currently has a net worth of about $5 million. All of Lin’s fortune belongs to her as a result of her hard work.
Still, her husband is one of the highest-paid actors in the industry, with a net worth of a whopping $400 million. The actor stated that he won’t leave any of his fortune to his children. Instead, his estate will be equally divided between his devoted wife and charity organizations.
Joan Lin is best known for being Jackie Chan’s wife. However, she’s also a resilient, self-made actress, who’s made over 70 successful movies. Though Lin had a promising future, she decided to retire and support her family.
Lin has been by Jackie’s side through thick and thin. Though Jackie appreciated Lin’s mature personality and was attracted to her from the get-go, it took a while before the superstar fully trusted her.
Fortunately, Jackie quickly realized the extent of Joan’s loyalty. He made amends with his family, apologized for his infidelity, and promised half of his assets to his devoted wife.