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Loren Avedon - Information, Updates, Discussion, and Appreciation

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Loren Avedon was a name in the 1990's B-movie circuit who got his start when he replaced Kurt McKinney for the lead role in the sequel to No Retreat, No Surrender. However, it was 1990's King of the Kickboxers that made him a household name amongst the martial arts film fandom.

 

Loren Rains Avedon was born July 30, 1962 in Los Angeles. He actually started showbiz at the tender age of five when he was cast as the boy in a series of commercials for Carnation Milk. He didn't begin his martial arts training until he was living in England at the age of 17 when he studied Tae Kwon Do. Upon returning to the U.S. and graduating, he became a protege of Simon and Phillip Rhee, who at the time were instructors at Jun Chong Tae Kwon Do. As a matter of fact, Loren made his film debut with a small role in the now cult classic Furious starring the Rhee brothers, followed by an appearance as a member of James Lew's gang in L.A. Street Fighters

 

However, in 1987, Loren's life would change when he met producer Roy Horan, who was looking for a replacement for actor/martial artist Kurt McKinney for the sequel to No Retreat, No Surrender. According to Keith Strandberg, McKinney had just gotten married and his new bride was worried about McKinney shooting in the jungles of Southeast Asia for a sequel and in addition, Jean-Claude Van Damme declined to return as well. Avedon signed a three-picture deal with Seasonal Film Corporation and made his lead role debut in No Retreat, No Surrender II: Raging Thunder.

 

Avedon would follow it up with No Retreat, No Surrender III: Blood Brothers with karate champion/actor Keith Vitali as rival brothers who join forces to avenge their father's death. However, it was Avedon's next and final film for Seasonal that made him a fan favorite: King of the Kickboxers. The tale of a NYPD cop who is on loan to Interpol to stop a snuff movie ring only to the learn the man killing people on screen in the man who killed his brother ten years ago. Seeking revenge, Avedon trains under the hermit Prang, who has been the only man to come close to defeating the killer, played by the future Mr. Tae-Bo himself, Billy Blanks. Keith Hirabayashi Cooke is great to watch as the mentor to Avedon. The fight scenes, choreographed by Tony Leung Siu-Hung, are great, including the finale between Blanks and Avedon. Corey Yuen was brought in only to choreograph Cooke's one big fight against some thugs. 

 

Avedon would continue his film career after Seasonal, playing both heroes and villains. Some memorable villain roles came in Jalal Merhi's Operation Golden Phoenix, Don "The Dragon" Wilson's Virtual Combat, and an episode of Baywatch, where he went one on one with the Hoff. In 1992, he starred in the low budget Fighting Spirit, which was released in some markets as King of the Kickboxers 2, yet the premise had more to do with a man avenging his friend, who as a ghost, offers him advice. 

 

In 1999, Avedon got to take on one of kung fu cinema's greatest veterans, Carter Wong, in Tiger Claws III. He reunited on that film and on Manhattan Chase, a Godfrey Ho-directed flick, with NRNS2 co-star Cynthia Rothrock. The two had been good friends since making NRNS2 and as a matter of fact, Avedon is the godfather of Rothrock's daughter Skyler. He has also worked with Jalal Merhi again on a few films, including a non-action role as Det. Sykes in the first and third installments of the Circuit films with Olivier Gruner and the recently released in Canada film, Risk Factor, where we do get to see him fight. He also has been on TV quite a lot. 

 

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Avedon holds an 8th-degree black belt in Hap Ki Do and a 5th-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. 

 

Filmography

  • Furious (1984)
  • L.A. Street Fighters (1985)
  • No Retreat, No Surrender II: Raging Thunder (1987)
  • No Retreat, No Surrender III: Blood Brothers (1989)
  • The King of the Kickboxers (1990)
  • Fighting Spirit (1992)
  • Operation Golden Phoenix (1994)
  • Virtual Combat (1995)
  • Safety Zone (1996)
  • Carjack (1997)
  • Deadly Ransom (1998)
  • Tiger Claws III (1999)
  • Manhattan Chase (2000)
  • The Silent Force (2001)
  • The Circuit (2002)
  • Into the Heat (2003)
  • The Circuit III: Street Monk (2006)
  • Risk Factor (2015)

Official website: http://www.lorenavedon.com

 

Edited by AlbertV

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You may call him Grandmaster Loren Avedon. He has earned his 9th-dan in both Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do in 2009. He now lives in Clearwater, Florida.

 

Edited by AlbertV

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