Most people would of heard of Bruce Lee even today as he was incredibly famous and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He was also one of the most influential martial artist's of all time. He starred in his first movie at the tender age of 3 months as a stand in for an american baby for the film Golden Gate Girl 1941. He was good looking and had an amazing physique Lee was extremely fit throughout his career. He had his own ideas and philosophies on life and he helped to change the way Asians were represented in American film.
Lee Jun Fan or better known as Bruce Lee was born November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973, was an American actor, Film Director Martial Artist, Martial Artist instructor and Philosopher. He was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi Chuen.
Lee was born in Chinatown San Francisco to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon.
Bruce Lee at 3 months old in the film Golden Gate Girl 1941
China Town San Francisco
Lee Hoi Chuen and the young Bruce Lee
Lee moved to the United States when he was 18 to further his education and attended the University of Washington which is in Seattle.
The University Of Washington Seattle.
Master Wong Shun Leung
Bruce Lee had two children with Linda Emery, They were Brandon Lee and Shannon Lee.
Wing Chun is a traditional Chinese martial art specializing in close range combat. It is known for it's direct and efficient exercises.
Yip man or Ip Man Born 1 October 1893 – 2 December 1972 was a Chinese martial artist and a master teacher of Wing Chun. He started to train Bruce Lee in the art when Lee was 16 in 1957. After a year into training other students refused to fight with Lee as they found out he was non Asian and the Chinese were generally against teaching there martial art techniques to someone with a mixed ancestry. Lee was a keen student and began to have private lessons with Yip Man. Wong Shun Leung also trained Lee and claimed to have won over 60 street fights in various fighting styles.
While studying at the University of Washington Lee met his future wife Linda Emery who was studying to become a teacher, They married in August 1964.
Interracial relationships were a little taboo back in the 1960's but the US Supreme court legalized marriage between different nationalities in all states in 1967.
Brandon Lee Born February 1, 1965 – March 31, 1993 was the son of Bruce Lee, He was an American actor and martial artist. Brandon Lee was filming a scene for the movie The Crow when he was accidentally shot with a prop gun and died of his wound.
A scene from The Crow Movie 1994
Shannon Lee Daughter of Bruce Lee, Born April 19, 1969 is an American Actress Martial Artist and Businesswoman.
1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Role Party Singer
1994 Cage II, Role Milo
1997 High Voltage Role Jane Logan
1998 Blade Role Resident
2001 Lessons for an Assassin Role Fiona
2002 She, Me and Her Role Paula Jemison
Movies Shannon Lee has starred in.
Lee started teaching Kung Fu in the united states in 1959 and it was his approach at Wing Chun. He taught many famous people including Joe Lewis Bob Wall and Chuck Norris who wished to refine there skills. Norris was already a famous martial artist but came to Bruce Lee for inspiration. Incidentally Norris founded Chun Kuk Do which is Korean and a hybrid martial art style in 1990. Joe Lewis born March 7, 1944 – August 31, 2012 was an American kickboxer point Karate fighter and actor, Lee considered him to be the greatest karate fighter of all time. Winning World heavyweight full contact karate champion and United States Heavyweight kickboxing champion, and United states National Black Belt Kata Championship titles.
Joe Lewis Black Belt Karate Champion
Ed Parker Born March 19, 1931 – December 15, 1990 was an American martial artist, He helped Bruce Lee gain national attention with his International Karate Championship events. He was also Elvis Presley's bodyguard during the singers final years. Parker died of a heart attack in Honolulu on December 15th 1990 he was 59. After his death some martial artists began to question if Parker was as qualified and skilled as he made out. He had an undeserved reputation as a master as the American public at the time had little knowledge of authentic martial arts.
Ed Parker with Elvis Presley
At the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships, Bruce Lee demonstrated the one inch punch performed at a range of 0–15 cm (0–6 in). It is explosive power which he learned from Wing Chun. A quick movement of the wrist produces the force needed, the wrist is held with the knuckles facing out on a vertical axis, the wrist is then moved up and a strike is produced with the bottom two knuckles. Lee also performed two finger push ups using his thumb and his index finger.
Bruce Lee performing the one inch punch.
As mentioned earlier the Chinese community issued an ultimatum to Lee to stop teaching martial arts to non Chinese people. Because he was teaching white people a man called Wong Jack Man a Chinese martial artist and teacher offered Bruce Lee a fight. If Lee won then he could continue to teach non Chinese if he lost then he would have to close his school. Wong Jack Man strongly denied he having a problem with non Chinese and said he asked Lee for a fight because he heard Lee boasting at a Chinatown theatre that he could beat anyone in San Francisco. Wong expected a serious but polite bout but Lee went straight for the kill and was very aggressive tricking Wong into a spear shaped karate chop to the eyes instead of a handshake. Wong refrained from using lethal force when the opporttunity arose for fear of a lengthy prison sentence. Neither fighter won outright as Lee was winded and the fight was broken up. Lee states he had him on the ground and said do you give up Wong said yes.
Pierre Berton Born July 12, 1920 – November 30, 2004, Also a Canadian Non Fiction Author.
Wong Jack Man
Bruce Lee went on the Pierre Berton Show on 9th December 1971, It is the only known interview of Bruce Lee speaking in English and was lost for sometime until it was found and rebroadcast on 2nd November 1994. On the show he explains who he is where he is from and also he tells Pierre he has a son. He gives Pierre a little physical demonstration of his skills and then goes on to explain some philosophies of his martial arts, Here are some quotes from the 1971 show.
Martial art has a very deep meaning, as far as my life is concerned, all type of knowledge ultimately means self knowledge, as an actor and a martial artist, as a human being all these I have learned from martial art.
It might sound to philisophical but it's unacting acting or acting unacting. so therefore it's not pure naturalness or unnaturalness, the ideal is unnatural naturalness or natural unnaturalness.
The art of expressing the human body. i mean here is the natural instinct and here is control, you are to combine the two in harmony. not if you have one to the extreme you will be very unscientific, if you have another to the extreme you become all of a sudden a mechanical man
The Wrecking Crew Movie 1968
Famous Barber to the stars Jay Sebring working on actor Paul Newman's hair on the set of the film Moving Target at Warner Bros July 19th 1965.
Bruce Lee was good friends with Jay Sebring after they met at the International Karate Championships Long Beach in 1964. He helped Lee by introducing him to Bill Dozier a film and television producer who cast him as Kato in The Green Hornet. Jay Sebring clients included Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra and Sammi Davis Jr. He had a playboy lifestyle and his business salons were flourishing. He met Sharon Tate by journalist Joe Hyams in October 1964 and they started a relationship. She was always at his Los Angeles salon and spent a lot of her time there.
In early 1966 Tate went to London to start work on The Fearless Vampire Killers with film director Roman Polanski, She fell in love with Polanski and split from Sebring. Sebring accepted the decision and actually became good friends with Polanski and would travel to London to meet him. Polanski thought Sebring was a lonely person but he regarded Polanski and Tate as his family.
The Green Hornet was a television series on the ABC US network that aired from September 9, 1966, and ran through until March 17, 1967, lasting 26 episodes. Starring Van Williams, Britt Reid, and Bruce Lee.
Cinematography is by Douglas Slocombe, The movie has a surrealist quality visual imagery and lighting are notable, The outdoor scenes in the snow and the visuals inside the inn, the castle and the minuet scene are filmed to create a dreamlike image. The production design by Wilfrid Shingleton contributes to the captivating visual impression.
The Fearless Vampire Killers is a 1967 horror comedy directed by Roman Polanski, Set in the heart of Transylvania during the 19th century. Professor Abronsius and his apprentice Alfred are on the hunt for vampires. This vampire flick tells the story of two fearless hunters that go to a small village and stay in the local inn that's full of people affected by evil who perform rituals to keep the monsters away. The tavern keepers daughter Sarah is captured by Lord Count von Krolock, The tavern keeper tries to rescue her but is caught by vampires and killed. The tavern keeper attacks Shagal the lady of his fantasies but the two vampire hunters follow his blood trail to the castle of the count. they break in but are caught by the hunchback servant Koukol who take them to the count, They stay the night and in the morning Abronsius one of the hunters plans to find the crypt and stake the count in the heart. The crypt is guarded by the hunchback so they attempt to climb through a window, Abronsius gets stuck but Alfred's nerve fails him and he cannot kill the count, Alfred finds Sarah having a bath in her room he pleads with her to leave with him she is oblivious to the danger. She then vanishes into thin air, Both hunters reenter the castle and meet Herbert the counts son who happens to be homosexual, Herbert tries to seduce Alfred but he realizes there is no reflection from Herbert from a mirror and then Herbert tries to bite Alfred, Both hunters flee through a dark stairwell only to get trapped behind a locked door in a turret. As night falls they are horrified to witness the graves around the castle coming alive with vampires who hibernate and once a year come alive to feast on any poor souls caught in the castle. The count appears and says your fate is sealed then leaves to go to the ball where Sarah is the next victim to become a vampire. The hunters escape by firing a cannon at the door by using steam pressure for gunpowder and go to the ball in disguise. They manage to grab Sarah and escape in a horse drawn sleigh but it was to late Sarah turns into a vampire and bites Alfred allowing vampires to be released into the world.
Charles Milles Manson Born November 12, 1934 is an American criminal Convicted mass murderer and former cult leader who led a group of people called the Manson family. At a young age he would break into stores and carry out armed robberies. He was agressively antisocial and had an IQ of 109. He claimed he was brutalized sexually and by March 21 1967 his release day he had spent more than 16 years in prisons and other institutions.
On the night of August 8th 1969 Sharon Tate Jay Sebring and three other people were murdered by members of the Manson family in brutal circumstances. Tate was 8.5 months pregnant with Polanski's child at the time. Tate and Sebring were staying at 10050 Cielo Drive Los Angeles California a luxury home that was used by various famous Hollywood and music industry people. Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger and Steven Parent were also murdered by the hands of Tex Watsons group leader, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkle. Polanski was not there at the time as he was working on a new film in Europe. In 1972 the death penalty is abolished in California and all the manson family members involved receive life sentences.
Ironically Jay Sebring had bought a home on Eastern drive in Benedict Canyon with a dark history. It was the former home of actress Jean Harlow and MGM producer Paul Bern. On Labor Day of 1932, after just 2 months of marriage to Harlow, Bern killed himself in the house. Three more people would die at 9860 Easton Drive; one man committed suicide, another drowned in the pool, and years later a maid hung herself. Tate even saw a ghost in the middle of the night at the house, She awoke to see a little man by the bed, terrified by this she ran out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Tied to the foot of the staircase she saw the body of a man with his throat slashed, In the blink of an eye the atrocious image was gone she fixed herself a drink and went back to bed convinced that she had seen the ghost of Paul Bern. Sebring was still in love with Tate I don't know how he could live the way he did knowing she was carrying another mans child, He died trying to protect the woman that meant the world to him.
Lee played his first leading role in the movie The Big Boss 1971,
The film was released in 1971 to Hong Kong audiences, In 1972 the Hong Kong movie censorship crackdown censored martial arts films for extreme violence and explicit content. This film suffered many cuts and even full sequences including the infamous saw in the head scene in which Lee plays Cheng Chao An a young man, who slams a handsaw into a villians head this scene and many more were cut out, The movie to increase confusion was released as Fists Of Fury and Fist of Fury Lee's second film was released as The Chinese Connection. I don't think Lee was happy with the major destruction the censorship had on his work I am sure he wanted it released in it's entirety. The film also has three different music scores, The first score was composed by Wang Fu Ling, The second by German composer Peter Thomas and the third which is the 1983 Cantonese score by Joseph Koo and uses Pink Floyd music cues.
Upon its release The Big Boss became the highest-grossing film in the history of Hong Kong and remained unsurpassed until Bruce Lee's second film, Fist of Fury.
Fist Of Fury was Lee's second mainstream movie directed by Lo Wei and released in 1972. This film spawned three sequels New Fist Of Fury 1976, Fist Of Fury II 1977, and Fist Of Fury III 1979, Jackie Chan starred in the 1976 film giving him his first starring role in a widely released movie.
In the New Fist Of Fury plot 1976 version. A brother and sister escape from Japanese occupied Shanghai to Japanese occupied Taiwan. They stay with there grandfather who has a Kung Fu school there. A master of Japanese Karate teaching martial arts also living there wants to bring all schools under his control and domination, the plan involves murdering there grandfather. A final confrontation erupts with the Japanese karate master who wants to trample the rights of the Chinese people. Similar to the Jack Wong fight lee had, He supposedly wanted Lee to stop training non Chinese martial arts at Lee's school and they had a fight, If Lee won he could continue to teach non Chinese if he lost he would have to close his school and leave.
The Way Of The Dragon 1972, Is a martial arts action comedy film, Lee's only directorial film being Written Produced and Directed by Lee, He is also the lead star in the movie.
Chen Ching hua and her uncle Wang are experiencing trouble with there restaurant from a mob boss who wants there establishment for himself.They refuse and gangsters are sent to scare away customers. Chen receives help from Bruce Lee who plays Tang Lung a martial artist. The gangsters keep arriving at the restaurant and Tang beats them and then trains the staff in martial arts for self defence. Chuck Norris also stars as Colt a hired hitman to beat Tang from America.
Tang takes on Colt Fight Scene, The Way Of The Dragon 1972.
Enter The Dragon was released on 26th July 1973. The plot involves Han an evil overlord who has his own private island where he has illegal fights to the death and he is also manufacturing class A drugs in his factory. Many people are imprisoned on the island and Lee is contacted by Braithwaite a British intelligent agent who wants Lee to infiltrate the island and found out about the illegal activities. Lee's sister is attacked at the begining of the film and she commits suicide with a piece of glass after innumerable odds against some nasty men who want her dead.
Su Lin, Lee's sister (as Angela Mao Ying
John Saxon as Roper on his way to Hans Island.
The film has an elegance about it and a James Bond type of sound score and moments.
The ending has Bruce Lee entering a room of mirrors where he has to fight Hans, Hans is a cheat as he uses a bladed hand to kill his opponents. At the beginning of the fight Lee gets the better of Hans and he escapes into the mirrored room, Lee here's a message to break the image if he wants to beat Hans and he does as he smashes the mirrors with his fist, Hans gets karate kicked onto a spike sticking out a door which he had tried to kill Lee with at the start of the fight. The film ends with a close up shot of Hans bladed claw.
On January 6, 2009, it was announced that Bruce's Hong Kong home (41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong) will be preserved and transformed into a tourist site by philanthropist Yu Pang-lin.
Bruce Lee died On July 20th 1973 of a brain edema believed to be caused by an adverse reaction to a pain medication he was 32 years old. There are many controversies regarding Lee's death including he being murdered by the Triad's and there being a curse on him and his family. Chuck Norris attributed his death to a reaction between the muscle relaxant medication he had been taking since 1968 for a ruptured disc in his back and an Antibiotic he was given for the headache on the night of his death. He was at the house of Betty Ting Pei a Taiwanese actress that evening and complained of a headache, Ting gave him a painkiller which contained Aspirin and Meprobamate which is a tranquilizer. At aroung 7.30 pm he went to lie down but was found later on by producer Raymond Chow who had come to the apartment but was unable to wake Le up. He was found by doctors to have had a swollen brain about a 13% increase, Up from 1.400 grams to 1.575 grams a considerable increase. Linda Lee Cadwell Bruce's wife states that Bruce died from cerebral edema caused by hypersensitivity to an ingredient in a prescription medication called Equagesic. Many other accusations and theories have evolved and Linda Lee Cadwell complained about the article found in the Los Angeles times for it's article sensationalizing Bruce and it's fabrication for making up stories as to why he died. A small amount of Cannabis was found in his stomach and they said he had a drug addiction to cannabis which is not true the amount found in his stomach would of had no more effect than a cup of tea. He was also accused of having extramarital affairs with Betty Ting Pei these stories can only hurt Linda Lee Cadwell as she knows him better than anyone else as obviously she was his wife for 9 years and had two children by him.
Bruce Lee is buried next to his son Brandon Bruce Lee at Lake View Cemetery Seattle Washington United States.
Bruce Lee was a very fit man and had virtually no body fat, He ran most days and did a lot of stretching exercises to maintain his lean exterior. Obviously he took his diet very seriously and would consume special protein drinks and vegetable mixes that he consumed on a daily basis. His foods were made up of powdered milk eggs vegetable oils peanut flour and bananas, He liked to juice and would consume drinks made from carrots celery and apples, He also took a lot of vitamin and mineral pills and restricted his intake of refined flour so did not each much bread.
Aspirin has been found to cause severe brain swelling coma confusion and seizures, Such dangerous side effects from a drug that can be purchased cheaply without prescription from all most anywhere. Aspirin reduces pain by blocking the COX-2 enzymes that make prostaglandins, Prostaglandin is a chemical that under pain sends signals to the neurons which when sensitized carry pain signals to the brain. The side effects are by blocking prostaglandin the natural healing of a swelling in the body can not function properly. When Bruce Lee complained of a headache it may of well been the swelling in his brain and because he took Aspirin the swelling could not decrease it only made it worse. Because Bruce Lee was involved in contact sport wing chun and also in movies and tournaments he may of been hit in the head without him noticing any ill effects. It took time but eventually he became sick from the gradual swelling the impact caused. Maybe Lee wanted to be seen as a perfect fighter and was too worried to admit a defeat that he kept his injury quiet thinking it would heal by itself. Maybe he wanted to go out at the top and commited suicide, I can't say for sure he did this but he was a perfect individual and never accepted defeat.