August 31, 1965
Worblaufen BE, Switzerland
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Daniel Bernhardt is one of a very small club of European martial arts aficionados who have kicked and chopped their way into movies and TV. His path to get there was a unique one: originally trained as an architectural drafter, the Swiss national was discovered in his early 20s by a modeling agency, and his angular looks won him steady work in that profession. While still a student, Bernhardt opened a martial arts studio. The combat arts and modeling combined to get Bernhardt a job opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in a TV ad, and soon after this he was tapped to replace the Belgian muscleman as the lead in the "Bloodsport" franchise. The newly anointed star played Alex Cardo in two installments of the martial artist vs. bad guys series, specifically "Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite" (1996) and the straight-to-video "Bloodsport III" (1997), while he played a different character, John Keller, in "Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite" (1999). He spent the rest of the 1990s taking similar roles in straight-to-video productions in the same genre, as well as a regular part in "Mortal Kombat: Conquest," the TV series based on the popular video game. The following decade, his skills and looks were put to good use in the second installment of the popular "Matrix" film franchise, "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003), in which he played one of the menacing, sunglasses-wearing FBI men, Agent Johnson. The film vaulted Bernhardt into more substantial roles than those early in his career.
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