Profile: Jerry Trimble

Posted in Profiles by - May 22, 2016
Profile: Jerry Trimble

Date of birth: May 12, 1961 (Newport, Kentucky, United States)

Full name: Jerry Foster Trimble, Jr.

Occupation: Actor, stuntman, martial artist, youth speaker.

Style: Kickboxing, taekwondo, boxing.

Biography: Jerry Trimble is a former world kickboxing champion and has appeared in over 50 films, TV shows and commercials. Jerry was born in the small US town of Newport, Kentucky, to parents Patricia and Jerry Trimble, Sr. At the age of 12, he was inspired to take up the Korean martial art of taekwondo after watching the Bruce Lee film, Fist of Fury (released as The Chinese Connection in America). He studied under Richard Hamilton at the American Taekwondo Association in Newport and within 18 months he had earned a first-degree black belt. He started to compete in tournaments around the country in both sparring and forms competitions. Jerry also began training in boxing under Terry O’Brien at the Shamrock Boxing Gym in Kentucky, and in 1980, he took part in his first competitive kickboxing match. He knocked out the Amateur Athletic Union champion, Tommy Marshall, in the fourth round to win the Kentucky State Championship. Once Jerry had graduated from Newport High School, he gave up his job at a warehouse and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to pursue a career as a professional fighter.

Jerry Trimble won the Georgia, South East and US championships. In 1986, he was crowned Professional Karate Association and Professional Karate Commission Kickboxing Champion of the World, a title he retained for four consecutive years. Jerry fought under the nickname ‘Golden Boy’ and was known for his flashy fighting style. He was noted for his fast kicks; his famous hook kick was measured at a speed of 118 mph. Jerry retired from competitive fighting in 1990 and moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue an acting career.

Within four months of arriving in Hollywood, Jerry had signed with an agent and was booked into two auditions for which he landed both roles. His first film, The Master (1989), was directed by Tsui Hark and was designed as an attempt to launch the Chinese action star Jet Li in the west. Jerry played Jonny, the villain in the film. Over the next four years, Jerry enjoyed a fruitful career in action movies, both in supporting roles and as a lead actor, with many of the films requiring him to perform his own stunts. He played another crook in Breathing Fire (1991), alongside Bolo Yeung, and had a small role in the Seasonal Films production, The King of the Kickboxers (1991). He played the hero in a number of lead roles for the prolific exploitation filmmaker Roger Corman, including titles like Full Contact (1993) – which featured a young Michael Jai White – Live by the Fist (1993), One Man Army (1994) and Stranglehold (1994). He would go on to make a total of nine films with Corman.

In 1995, Jerry Trimble was cast in the role of Detective Schwartz in the Michael Mann film, Heat, alongside Al Pacino. The role signaled Jerry’s arrival into mainstream cinema and over the following five years, he predominantly acted in films outside of the action genre. In 2000, he returned to action as a stuntman in the big-screen adaptation of the Charlie’s Angels TV show. His fight scene with Drew Barrymore was nominated for a Taurus World Stunt Award. Jerry appeared in a fight scene with Tom Cruise in the 2006 film, Mission: Impossible III. He has also worked with Eric Roberts in the action film, The Butcher (2009), and had a small role in the 2011 superhero film, The Green Hornet.

Jerry also works as a youth speaker. His motivational Trimble Talks program has seen Jerry visit schools, detention centres and police departments to help educate young people on issues relating to drugs, bullying and self-confidence. In 2002, Jerry married the author and artist Ami Dolenz, the daughter of Micky Dolenz from the American pop group The Monkees. The couple live between Los Angeles and Vancouver, Canada. Jerry Trimble continues to train and holds the rank of 6th Dan black belt in taekwondo.

Speech! “I didn’t have any role models as a kid… When Bruce Lee jumped onto the screen something sparked in me that I had never felt before… I remember at 12 listening to a motivational speaker, Earl Nightingale, and he said, ‘you become what you think about’, and that stuck with me.” In conversation with Kung Fu Movie Guide.

Click here to listen to KFMG Podcast S01 Episode 09 with Jerry Trimble.

Filmography: 1989 The Master; 1991 Breathing Fire; The King of the Kickboxers; 1992 Invincible; 1993 Full Contact; Live by the Fist; Loving Lulu; Terminator Woman; 1994 One Man Army; Stranglehold; 1995 Heat; 1997 Executive Power; Starquest II; 1998 The Man in the Iron Mask; 1999 Shogun Cop; 2000 Charlie’s Angels; 2001 All You Need; 2003 In the Name of Justice; 2005 Today You Die; War of the Worlds; 2006 Mission: Impossible III; 2007 The Butcher; The Last Sentinel; 2009 90201; Charlie Valentine; Green Street Hooligans 2; The Colony (TV); Dark Blue (TV); Eleventh Hour; 2011 The Green Hornet; Hunt for the I-5 Killer; 2012 The Package; Duke; 2013 Bailout: The Age of Greed; She Made Them Do It; 2014 Tied; When Sparks Fly; Signed, Sealed, Delivered (TV); 2015 Pretty Little Addict; Mother of All Lies.

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Hi there. I'm the editor of Kung Fu Movie Guide. Be sure to visit regularly for the latest analysis, interviews, profiles, podcasts and reviews on martial arts movies made around the world.

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