Jet Li was one of the biggest kung fu/martial arts superstars of the late 90s/early 00s and also had the coolest name out of any of them, but in recent years he seemed to fade into obscurity.
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That wasn’t that surprising as it seems to be the career trajectory of the majority of people that were involved in martial arts films over that period, but unfortunately it seems as though Jet Li’s health has seriously declined in the last few years, to the point where he’s hardly recognisable as the high kicking action superstar of yesteryear. Li revealed back in 2013 that he was suffering from hyperthyroidism and a heart condition which wasn’t helped by the many on set injuries that he’s sustained over the years and have led him to currently end up looking like this:
Damn. I know it’s expected for people to alter their appearance dramatically as they grow older, but I don’t think that anyone would guess that was Jet Li when they saw that picture unless they had been told. He just looks like some frail old doctor or something that’s never hit a high kick in his life. You gotta feel sorry for him.
In case you’re wondering, hyperthyroidism occurs when due to excessive production of the thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. The symptoms include irritability, muscle weakness, trouble sleeping, a fast heartbeat, heat intolerance, diarrhoea, enlargement of the thyroid and weight loss. Probably explains why he looks like he’s about 90 years old when he’s actually only 55.
Li retired from making films back in 2016 and admitted that he often found it hard to stand for long periods of time and had to get around in a wheelchair. I would say I hope he gets better but it seems like the guy is fighting a losing battle by the way he’s looking right now. I can still hope though and wish him a pain free and long life. Thanks for the memories.
For more Jet Li, check out the most ridiculous business card in the history of the world. You’re welcome.