Based on his ability to perform amazing stunts and to portray likeable characters in Hong Kong action and action/comedy films, Jackie became one of the most popular stars of international cinema. For many years he unsuccesfully tried to break into the U.S. mainstream. His earliest attempt was in Battle Creek Brawl (1980), also known as The Big Brawl. He finally achieved success in this regard with Rush Hour (1998) and again with Shanghai Noon (2000).
Last year, he co-starred with Jaden Smith in the remake of The Karate Kid, which I thought was a fine re-imagining of the 1984 original that starrd Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio. (Of course, it more correctly should have been titled "The Kung Fu Kid," but I believe there were issues that necessitated keeping the same title in the remake.)
His succeess in English-language films has not precluded him from making continuing to make Asian films as well. While he's getting a bit "long in the tooth" for some of the more demanding stunts for which he became famous, he still has the capacity to please, entertain, and amaze, both in live-action films and in doing voice overs for such films as Kung Fu Panda and its sequel, which is due out this year.
So, Happy Birthday, Jackie, and many, many, many happy returns to the big screen!