Bruce Lee is known primarily from such films as “Big Boss”, “Fists of Fury”, “Way of the Dragon” and “Enter the Dragon”. He was also a master, martial artist, and creator of his own martial art called Jeet Kune Do, which drew on many disciplines: it was a mixture of ancient kung fu, swordsmanship, and boxing, with an equally important component being the accompanying philosophy.
From gang to philosophy
Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco. His Chinese name is Li Junfan. He was the son of Grace Hun and Li Hui Chuen. His parents were professionally involved in theater and opera. Bruce Lee had two brothers and two sisters. When Bruce Lee was 3 years old, the family moved to Hong Kong.
Thanks to his father, who worked as an actor (mostly) in supporting roles, Bruce Lee began appearing in films as a child. He “debuted” (at the age of 3 months) in the movie Friday. Golden Gate Woman. Later, he was most often cast in the roles of juvenile delinquents. As a teenager, Bruce Lee became involved in local gangs. Soon, he started learning kung fu to better defend himself. During this time, he also began taking dance lessons, honing his footwork and balance. In 1958, he became the Hong Kong Cha-Cha Champion.
Bruce Lee’s parents became increasingly concerned about his street fights and fights with the police (Lee joined the “8 Junction Street Tigers” gang around this time), so they decided to send him to the United States shortly after he turned 18. Lee was staying with his parents’ friends in Seattle. He graduated from high school there. He later studied philosophy and drama at the University of Washington.
In Seattle, Bruce Lee opened his first martial arts school. In 1964, he moved to Oakland, California, where he established a second school. It was around this time that he developed his own style called Jeet Kune Do – a mixture of philosophy, kung fu, swordsmanship and boxing. Soon he opened another school in Los Angeles. Lee began working with many famous martial artists in the United States.
In 1964, at the International Karate Championships in Long Beach, California, Bruce Lee met designer Jay Sebring, thanks to which he soon got a role in the series “The Green Hornet”. Lee, as an actor in the Kato series, gained more fame than the actor who played the main role in the movie. Although the series disappeared from the air after the first season, Lee as Kato was still very popular – he played the role again, this time in the series “Batman”.
Bruce Lee became a real star thanks to the broadcast of the program “Green Hornet” in Hong Kong. He landed more roles, and also received offers to give private lessons in martial arts from famous actors and athletes such as: Steve McQueen, Roman Polanski, Lee Marvin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Garner.
In the early 70s, Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong, where he starred in the films “Big Boss” and “Fists of Fury”, which made him even more famous. Soon after, he started his own film production company, Concorde Film Production. The first movie made by the studio was The Way of the Dragon. The scene of the fight between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, which took place in the Roman Colosseum, has become legendary. And the most famous film with his participation “Enter the Dragon” was released after the death of Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee died suddenly on July 20, 1973. He was barely 33 years old. The cause of his death remains unknown to this day. One of the most repeated theories is that the cause was brain swelling caused by stress and a stroke.
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