Joan Lin: The Celebrated Muse of Taiwanese Cinema

Joan Lin Feng-jiao, a former Taiwanese actress, has etched her mark in the entertainment industry, albeit more quietly than her world-renowned husband, Jackie Chan. Born on June 30, 1953, Lin gained popularity in her own right through her work in film before she married Chan. Despite her spouse’s overshadowing fame as a martial artist and an actor frequently compared to the late Bruce Lee, Joan Lin’s contribution to cinema and her support for her husband’s endeavors remain significant.

While Lin’s net worth is a modest $1 million compared to her husband’s, her career in acting holds its own accolades. She stands 165 cm tall, and her presence has resonated in many films, securing her a place among admired figures in the Taiwanese acting scene. The partnership between Lin and Chan goes beyond their personal relationship, intertwining their professional lives in a shared tapestry of cinematic history.

Early Life and Career

Joan Lin Feng-jiao was born in Taipei, Taiwan, in June of 1953. She came from a family facing significant financial challenges and was the second among five siblings. By the age of 12, Lin had to leave school and start working to help support her family.

Despite the early hardships, Lin’s tenacity led her into the Taiwanese film industry at just 19 years old. She began her acting career with the film “The Hero of Chin Chow,” also known as “Hero of Waterfront,” which was predominantly a Kung Fu movie genre.

  • Nationality: Taiwanese
  • Number of Films: Over 70
  • Acting Career Span: ~10 years

Lin swiftly made a name for herself in the acting world, with her career flourishing predominantly in the 1970s. The roles she took on were varied, with many films based on the popular novels of Chiung Yao. Notably, she was part of a renowned group in the Taiwanese and Hong Kong cinema industry, known as the “Two Chins, Two Lins,” alongside Charlie Chin, Chin Han, and Brigitte Lin, who were celebrated for their performances in box office hits.

Notable Achievements

  • 1979 Best Leading Actress at the 16th Golden Horse Awards for “The Story of a Small Town”

Her portrayal of a mute woman in “The Story of a Small Town” is particularly memorable, earning her the prestigious Best Leading Actress award at the 16th Golden Horse Awards. The same year, she also starred in the well-received film “Wang yang Zhong de yitiaochuan.”

By the late 1970s, her talent and consistent performances had established her as a dominant figure in Taiwanese cinema. However, after marrying international movie star Jackie Chan, Lin decided to retreat from acting in the early 1980s to focus on her family, a choice that marked the end of her acting career. Despite her early retirement, her contributions to Taiwanese cinema continue to resonate, having left an indelible mark through a vibrant repertoire of around 70 films across a condensed but impactful decade-long career.

Personal Life


Joan Lin, an acclaimed actress in her own right, met Jackie Chan in 1981, a meeting which blossomed into a romantic relationship. The couple welcomed their son Jaycee the day after their covert marriage in Los Angeles in December 1982. Their union has been a topic of public interest due especially to the longevity and the challenges they faced.

Marriage Date Child Location
December 1982 Jaycee Chan Los Angeles

Post childbirth, Lin stepped back from the film industry to focus on her family, exemplifying her dedication to personal life over her professional career. Despite the turbulence caused by her husband’s infidelities, such as a widely publicized affair with actress Elaine Ng in 1999, Lin decided to uphold her marriage, a testament to her belief in forgiveness and commitment.

Within their nearly four-decade-long relationship, Lin’s choice to maintain her marriage after Chan’s affair and subsequent public admission of marital intentions solely based around their impending parenthood was noteworthy. It highlighted her values of family and forgiveness amidst trying circumstances.

  • Family-Oriented: Lin has consistently shown her commitment to family, underlined by her leaving a thriving career for her familial roles.
  • Monogamy: Standout in her monogamy, Lin has not engaged in affairs outside her marriage. Her loyalty starkly contrasts with her husband’s admissions of infidelity.
  • Private Life: Maintaining a low profile, Lin has abstained from creating a public persona through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, choosing privacy and family over public acclaim.

Despite these complexities, their relationship endures, with Lin remaining away from the limelight, neither active in the film industry nor on social media. Her life is centered around her family in Taipei, anchored by relationships with her husband and son.

Awards and Achievements

  • Golden Horse Awards:
    • Nominated twice in the 1970s
    • Won Best Leading Actress for The Story of a Small Town (1979)
  • Professional Milestones:
    • More than 70 film credits in the 1970s
    • Renowned for box-office successes and notable performances
  • Industry Recognition:
    • Acknowledged for acting craft prior to the 1980s

Joan Lin

Net Worth

Joan Lin, renowned for her illustrious acting career in Taiwan and her significant contributions to the film industry, has an estimated net worth of approximately $1 million. Despite the absence of an official statement regarding her earnings, her success in the industry and her property dealings, such as the sale of her Los Angeles house in 2007 before her move to Hong Kong, suggest a commendable financial stature.

Contrasting Wealth:

  • Husband, Jackie Chan, significantly eclipses Lin’s net worth with an estimated fortune of $520 million as of July 2022.
  • Jackie Chan stood as the world’s second-highest paid actor in 2016, a validation of his global fame and financial success in the cinematic world.

This comparison highlights the distinct financial trajectories within the same household, shaped by their respective careers and the broader entertainment industry.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.