A Viral Photo of Martial Arts Superstar Jet Li Looking Shockingly Frail Stuns Fans - Maxim

A Viral Photo of Martial Arts Superstar Jet Li Looking Shockingly Frail Stuns Fans

The badass action star is now almost unrecognizable.
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Jet Li in "Hero." 

Jet Li in "Hero." 

A shocking new photo of Jet Li shows the drastic toll physical ailments have taken on the martial arts legend's body. 

The 55-year-old Lethal Weapon actor revealed in 2013 that he was battling hyperthyroidism—a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.

Hyperthyroidism can lead to a myriad of health issues including sudden weight loss and rapid heartbeat. At the time, Li said his doctor told him he could “either continue making [action] films or spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.  

Li is still standing and smiling in a fan-shot photo taken this year, but he doesn't have the powerful presence fans remember from Once Upon a Time in China and Hero.  

"I’m just a regular guy, I’m not Wong Fei Hung, I’m not Huo Yuan Jia [kung fu masters he portrays on film]," he said while taping of a Chinese talent show in 2013. "I’m not a hero. I’m just like you. … I’m in pain, but I’m not suffering. I’m happy." 

As the photo made the rounds on Twitter, an outpouring of concern and support for Li rolled in. 

The photo appears to show a noticeable change from a video released just months ago in which a bald Li wishes his fans a prosperous New Year. 

He last appeared on American movie screens in 2014's The Expendables 3, but reports as recent as last month stated that he would likely star as the Emperor in Disney's live-action remake of Mulan.  

In lieu of of filmmaking, Li has devoted much of his time over the past few years to the One Foundation, a charity he founded that focuses on providing disaster relief and improving children's welfare in China. 

Let's hope he gets better soon. 

h/t: Yahoo