Gladys Portugues is a former bodybuilder, fitness model, actress, and author. She is also known for being the wife of Jean-Claude Van Damme, a famous action movie actor.
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Early life, training, career source, interests
Gladys Portugues was born on September 30, 1957 in Manhattan, New York, United States. Her name may sound Portuguese, but she holds American citizenship as she was born and raised in the United States. Details of his childhood and early education have not been revealed.
On the other hand, after graduating from high school, she continued her studies at Marymount Manhattan College and studied English. It was during her college days that she began to enjoy bodybuilding, as she had watched Rachel McLish on television win the women’s bodybuilding competition title, Ms. Olympia. Portugues was moved by McLish, leading her to participate in bodybuilding and bodybuilding.
Bodybuilding and Modeling Career
After graduating from college, she pursued her passion for bodybuilding and turned professional. and won several bodybuilding competitions. She also became a part of Ms. Olympia, placing her in the top ten contestants twice, and as a result, she also became a fitness model.
During the 1980s, Portugues was one of the most notable role models of the status of women. She has graced the covers of many bodybuilding magazines, such as “Strength Training for Beauty”, “Flex”, “Muscle & Fitness” and “Muscle Training”, and has also been featured in fashion and beauty magazines.
Gladys Portugues appeared in a 1985 documentary film “Pumping Iron II”, in which she herself was heavily featured, and Rachel McLish whom she adored had a special participation in it.
The following year, Portugues starred as a bodybuilder in “The Morning After”, then in 1987 she appeared as a waitress in “It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive”. In the 1993 film with an action-comedy genre, “Last Action Hero”, she played a cameo role in an early screening of a film with Van Damme. After these appearances, she did not become involved in any further films.
Gladys is also an author and published her first book, “Hard Bodies” in 1986, with co-author Joyce L. Vedral. The two collaborated again in 1988 when they published another book called “Hard Bodies Express”, which detailed fitness routines for women on the go.
Personal life, actor husband Jean-Claude Van Damme
Gladys Portugues and Jean-Claude Van Damme met during a photoshoot, and seemed great together like a marriage made in heaven.
Van Damme was a stunning action star, while Portugues was the well-known actress and a pretty-faced bodybuilder. The two have a lot in common, and in 1987 they decided to get married and welcomed their eldest, Kristopher Julien van Varenberg that year as well. A day before Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 30th birthday in 1990, Portugues gave birth to their daughter whom they named Bianca Brigitte van Varenberg.
However, in 1992, their relationship became unstable, which resulted in parting ways. Later, Van Damme remarried Darcy LaPier, but eventually the same story happened, and the relationship did not last long, divorcing in 1997. He then found his way back to Gladys Portugues, and they remarried on June 25, 1999. Their marriage is not perfect, however, and in fact, on March 18, 2015, it was reported that Gladys had filed for divorce for a second time.
Two months later, they reunited and Gladys called off what she filed for, and their union has apparently remained strong to this day.
Who is Jean-Claude Van Damme?
It was October 18, 1960, when Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg was born in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium. His parents are Mrs. Eliana, accountant and Mr. Eugene Van Varenberg, florist; he has a sister, Véronique.
Van Damme had his first Shotokan karate lesson at the age of eleven, and he also focused on weightlifting training. Not only that, he took ballet classes with strict routines. Van Damme won the award in several competitions he participated in, such as the EPKA middleweight battle during his teenage years. He has also been hailed as “Mr. Belgium”, in which he exhibits his perfectly built body.
In addition, he opened a gym in his hometown, after receiving modeling offers.
However, he was fascinated with becoming a big star and wanted to be in the film industry. To pursue this dream, he traveled to Hong Kong and China, attempting to get into the martial arts film business. In 1982 Van Damme pursued his passion and his dream and moved to Los Angeles, California to reach Hollywood.
Career, personal life, achievements of Van Damme
Van Damme started small before rising to stardom, playing several small roles in films such as waiter, taxi driver, aerobics instructor and club bouncer. Before adopting the name Van Damme, he went by the name “Frank Cujo”. He got a big break in the 1988 movie “Bloodsport”, in which he showed off his karate skills, especially with his unique jumping helicopter kick. The film became a blockbuster and earned around $35 million. The following year, the name of Jean-Claude Van Damme really became known as he starred in the movie called “Kickboxer”, which also became a big hit.
The films in which Van Damme starred filled the big screen, action films such as “Double Impact” in 1991, “Universal Soldier” in 1992, “Time Cop” in 1994 “Sudden Death” in 1995 and “Maximum Risk” in 1996, overwhelming his restricted acting ability with his flexible kicks and quirky gymnastic splits. In 1996, Van Damme ventured to direct a film called “The Quest” and it was a success. He continued with two other films but which failed to interest the public.
On the other hand, in 1990, Van Damme’s name became embroiled in controversy while he was at the height of his fame. He reportedly used cocaine and sleeping pills, which he became addicted to. Additionally, he was arrested for driving under the influence in 1999. Additionally, Van Damme was found to have bipolar disorder, but under medication he got his personal life in order and his mental health deteriorated. also improved.
Van Damme reappeared in 2008 as a better version of himself in the movie “JCVD”, which caught viewers’ attention with his performance and got positive feedback. This sparked Van Damme’s resurgence in stardom, which led to a role in 2010’s ‘Universal Soldier: Regeneration’ and in 2011 he was cast in ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, voicing the character Master. Fang. The following year 2012, he returned to his original genre in an action film, as a member of the kick-ass band in “The Expendables 2”.
In the middle of the last quarter of 2012 in Brussels, a bronze statue of Van Damme representing a fighting pose was unveiled.
Speaking of relationships, Van Damme has five marriages to four women and became a father of three. His first wife was Maria Rodriguez, but their union only lasted four years from 1980 to 1984. Then Van Damme married Cynthia Derderian in 1985, but they separated after just one year.
His marriages to Gladys Portugues and Darcy LaPier have already been covered.
Van Damme has three children, two with Gladys, and the other, his son Nicolas with LaPier.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
Gladys Portugues loves to inform her fans on her Instagram account, which has more than 35,000 followers. There, she posts great photos with her family, selfies, model photoshoots, and endorsed brands.
In addition, to maintain her body, she still manages to go to the gym regularly, following some intensive training. Along with this, she also eats a balanced diet to stay in good shape.
Additionally, Portuguese falls under the astrological sign of Libra, which makes her diplomatic, idealistic, energetic, and social.
Appearance and style of dress
Gladys has thick, voluminous black hair and enchanting black eyes. She is 1.65m (5ft 5in) tall, weighs 55kg (120lbs) and her vital stats are 35-25-38. As for her clothing style, Gladys prefers simple but elegant looks, often wearing coats and tank tops. Not to mention his handsome face, mesomorphic body, and outstanding personality are unique features that play a vital role in finishing his looks.
Net worth, income and lifestyle
As of early 2021, Gladys net worth is estimated to be around $5 million while her husband is said to have a wealth of $40 million. Gladys did not share valid details of vehicles, home and other assets, and current income. Looking at her social media appearances, one can easily tell that she is currently living luxuriously with her loved ones.