Legends of Action

December 14, 2012

Legends of Action: Cynthia Rothrock

BirthDate: March 8, 1957

Cynthia Rothrock is arguably the most important woman in the history of action movies; she was a trailblazer who showed that women could do more in action movies rather than waiting to be rescued by the hero. She was the hero and could kick ass with the best of them.

Not only is she a great action star but she’s an incredibly accomplished martial artist. According to her official site: She holds 5 Black Belts in various Far Eastern martial disciplines. These Arts include; Tang Soo Do (Korean), Tae Kwon Do (Korean), Eagle Claw (Chinese), Wu Shu (contemporary Chinese), and Northern Shaolin (classical Chinese).

The first film I ever saw of Cynthia’s was China O’Brien and it’s still a classic today; great fight scenes, an entertaining story and Rothrock shows her instant likability.

This wasn’t her first movie role however; her first was Yes Madam which also starred Michelle Yeoh.

This made both women huge stars in Hong Kong and Cynthia would spend 5 years working there creating martial arts action movies for Golden Harvest.

She would go on to be the very first non-Chinese westerner to carry an action movie single-handedly in Hong Kong.

When she left Hong Kong, Cynthia would be celebrated as one of the most popular action stars in Hong Kong’s cinematic history.

Producer Pierre David initiated Rothrock’s move to the US with a co-starring role with Chad McQueen in Martial Law,which is one of my personal favourite films of Cynthia’s (aside from China O’Brien). Any film with David Carridine in it already has my stamp of approval. This movie just clicked for me with great fight scenes, excellent pacing and an awesome electric guitar filled music score.

She would  go on to star in over 40 movies and provided vocal talents to several video games, proving that she was extremeley versatile in any role. Just look at the folmography below; that’s a lotta movies. I’m not going to go into every movie here, I’ll leave that up to you.

Cynthia Rothrock apparently retired from acting in 2004 with a final role in Xtreme Fighter (aka Sci-Fighter). After Xtreme Fighterr she now teaches private martial arts lessons at her martial arts studio in Studio City, California.

Word on the street is, with the success of The Expendables movies it may just be time for a comeback. I would love to see her in either Expendables 3 or The Expendebelles (the all women action movie). Come on, Cynthia, do it for your fans!


  • 2004, Sci-Fighter, Sally Kirk/The White Dragon
  • 2003/I, Lost Bullet, Cynthia
  • 2002, Outside the Law, Julie Cosgrove
  • 2002, Redemption (video), Erin Murphy
  • 2001, The Untouchable 2 (Video Game)
  • 2000, Manhattan Chase, Nancy
  • 1999, Tiger Claws III, Linda Masterson
  • 1998, Fatal Passion, Laurel 1998, The Hostage,
  • 1997, Deep Cover, FBI special agent Kate Mason
  • 1997, The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! (TV movie), Bertha Jo
  • 1997, Night Vision, Kristin O’Connor
  • 1996, Tiger Claws II, Linda Masterson
  • 1996, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (TV series), Enforcer II
  • 1996, Sworn to Justice, Janna
  • 1996, Eye for an Eye, Martial Arts Instructor
  • 1995, Portrait in Red, Laurel
  • 1994, Guardian Angel (video), McKay
  • 1994, Fast Getaway II (video), Lily
  • 1993, Undefeatable, Kristi Jones
  • 1993, Lady Dragon 2, Susan ‘The Golden Angel’ Morgan
  • 1993, Irresistible Force (TV movie), Charlotte Heller
  • 1993, Rage and Honor II, Kris Fairchild
  • 1993, Honor and Glory, Tracey Pride
  • 1992, Lady Dragon, Kathy Galagher
  • 1992, Rage and Honor, Kris Fairchild
  • 1992, Tiger Claws, Linda Masterson
  • 1992, Martial Law II: Undercover (video), Billie Blake
  • 1991, Martial Law (video), Billie Blake
  • 1991, Angel of Fury, Nancy Bolan
  • 1991, China O’Brien II, China O’Brien
  • 1991, Fast Getaway (video), Lilly
  • 1990, China O’Brien, China O’Brien
  • 1990, No Witnesses,
  • 1990, Prince of the Sun, Bencheuk
  • 1989, Miao tan shuang long ,Cindy
  • 1989, Female Reporter, Cindy
  • 1988, The Inspector Wears Skirts, Madam Lo
  • 1988/I, Rapid Fire,
  • 1988, Jungle Heat,
  • 1987 No Retreat, No Surrender 2, Terry
  • 1987, Fight to Win ,Sensei Lauren
  • 1986, Righting Wrongs, Cindy Si
  • 1986, The Magic Crystal, Cindy Morgan
  • 1986, The Millionaires Express
  • 1985, Yes Madam ,Inspector Carrie Morris
  • 1985, 24 Hours to Midnight, Devon Grady

Source: Cynthia Rothrock’s Official Site

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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