Miércoles 5 de Julio de 2006, Ip nº 160

Action star Chan leaving half his money to charity
Jackie Chan announced Wednesday he has bequeathed half of his fortune to charity, saying he looks up to philanthropists like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Chan disclosed the terms of his will when asked about tycoon Warren Buffett's recent $37-billion US donation at a news conference on a tiger conservation campaign.

Buffett said he'd give away the bulk of his stock holdings in the company he runs, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with five-sixths of the shares earmarked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the fund set up by the Microsoft chairman and his wife.

“I admire the efforts by Buffett and Gates to help those in need a lot,” Chan said. “Like Buffett and Gates, I want to help people, but I don't have as much money as they do.”

The 52-year-old action star said the portion of his fortune reserved for charity would go to his own Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, which was launched in 1988 to help needy Hong Kong youngsters but has since branched out into disaster relief, medical donations and supporting the performing arts.

The exact amount that the fund would receive remains unknown, because Chan refused to disclose his net worth.

Comparable stars make millions each year, according to estimates. Will Smith earned $25 million US in the period from June 2005 to June 2006, and Jennifer Anniston made $18 million, Forbes magazine has reported.

Chan's earnings may be lower because he primarily works out of Asia, where pay levels are generally lower in the entertainment industry.

A significant source of Chan's income comes from his Hollywood films like the Rush Hour series. The actor has said he can fund entire movies made in Hong Kong with his Hollywood paycheques.

His last Hollywood film was Around the World in 80 Days, released in 2004, but Chan is due to start filming Rush Hour 3 late this summer.

Earlier this year, Forbes named Chan one of the world's 10 most generous celebrities.

As for the remaining 50 per cent of his wealth, Chan said his wife may get 25 per cent but the amount wasn't fixed. Chan also has a son, actor-singer Jaycee.

Wednesday's press conference aimed to raise awareness of the endangered South China tiger, which now numbers fewer than 100. Chan has filmed a video for the cause in which his face is painted in yellow and black stripes. “Tigers are the king of animals and are very beautiful, Chan said Wednesday.

  28/06/2006. The Globe and Mail.