Lee Jun-Fan, better known to his fans as Bruce Lee, is one of the biggest and most famous martial arts heroes of all time. Loved by both young and old fanatics of martial arts, it’s of no wonder that his films are still in the market over thirty years after his death. Born on November 27th, 1940, Lee was a martial arts instructor, Hong Kong actor, film producer and director, screen writer, philosopher and the sole founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement. Bruce Lee is one of the biggest and most influential names in the martial arts industry and a great cultural promoter and icon.
Bruce Lee bio
Lee was born to Lee Hoi Chuen, an opera singer and Grace Ho in San Francisco. His mother called him Lee Ju Fan meaning return back because she hoped he would go back to the US. He was born to a Hong Kong heritage and he was raised in Hong Kong till he was 18. Lee was the fourth of Chuen and Grace’s five children. His siblings were Agnes, Robert, Phoebe and Peter.
In Hong Kong, Bruce Lee took part in films by playing children’s roles like in the film the Birth Of Mankind (1946) when he was five. When Bruce Lee was twelve, he was roughened up by a street gang on his way to Tak Sun School where he was attending classes. This led him to taking up martial arts for self defense. Little did he know the skills would earn him worldwide recognition and fame for a long time to come.
Bruce Lee also took dancing lessons for cha-cha dance which is popular in Hong Kong. He won a dance championship at the age of 18 in Hong Kong. The same year, he moved to the US to receive an education after claiming his citizenship there.
When Bruce Lee moved to the US, he got a job as a martial arts trainer which attracted film and television interest and he soon began landing film and television roles.
Bruce Lee also studied philosophy and drama at a university in Seattle in Washington. He majored in drama and minored in philosophy. In the university, he met Linda Emery who was training to be a teacher in the same institution.
Hollywood soon caught up with him and he starred in some of their films like Marlowe (1969), and the television series called Longstreet (1971), among others. He returned to Hong Kong for a visit where he met a film producer who convinced him to play a starring role in Fist of Fury (1971) which was an instant success due to his popularity with young funs of martial arts.
Soon after, the producer, Raymond Chow, knew they had hit a jackpot with the film in Hollywood standards so he upgraded the budget of the film and in 1972, a new version of Fist of Fury was out on another script. The film was on everybody’s lips as Hong Kong streets thronged with Chinese film fans. Lee therefore started his own production company and over the next years produced and directed legendary martial arts films like The Big Boss (1971), Way Of The Dragon (1972), Enter The Dragon (1973), The Game Of Death (1978), among others.
Lee married Linda Emery in August 1964 and they had two children: Brandon Lee who was born in 1965 and died in 1993, and Shannon Lee born in 1969.
Most of Lee’s life was about martial arts. He had been involved in many street fights of both arranged and unarranged category and had won in records time, some with renowned and revered karatekas. In those times, he would get challenges from different people, some who even invaded his home to challenge him.
Lee followed a strict fitness and nutrition routine; so his physique and prowess in martial arts was small wonder. He was a renowned philosopher whose most famous is the ‘Be like water’ philosophy where he urges people to be flexible and resilient with life.
Lee died on July 20, 1973 after succumbing to cerebral edema. He was buried in his hometown Seattle on 31st July 1973 at Lake View Cemetery. He was a great hero in his life and he left a legacy as the greatest martial arts icon that no one can supersede.
For more information on Bruce Lee, visit www.imdb.com/name/nm000045/bio