BRUCE LEE BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco, California on November 27, 1940 with the birth name Lee Jun Fan. He was the fourth child born to his Chinese father, lee Hoi Chuen a famous opera singer and his mother was Grace of Chinese and German ancestry. At the young age of three months, he was already involved in the acting industry with his first role as a stand in for an American baby in, "Golden Gate Girl" (1941). In 1946 he starred in another film working as a child actor, "The Birth of Mankind" which was still uncompleted at the time of his death in 1973 and ended up changing titles to be, "Game of Death".
His family moved to Hong Kong after his father finished his three month tour working as an Opera singer. At the age of twelve he enrolled in a High School called La Salle College and later on continued his education at St. Francis Xavier College which was also another High School.
Bruce also became interested in martial arts, influenced by his father after being involved in a couple of street fights in Hong Kong.
With his father having concern for his son's safety, his father became his first martial arts instructor. He learned the type of Tai Chi Chuan. In 1954 he got involved with a Hong Kong street gang and realized he needed to improve his fighting skills, therefore, he began studying with Wing Chun Gung Fu under Sifu Yip Man. He continued his martial arts training there until the age of 18. Not only was he proficient in Kung Fu, he also trained in western boxing and won the 1958 boxing championship. He was also talented with his fencing technique, learned from his brother, Peter Lee. It was after a match that Lee decided he had failed to live up to his talent and so he created a martial arts style that was practical for street fighting which he called Jeet Kune Do. His father was becoming more and more concerned with Lee's safety that he felt it was best lee return to the united States in search of a more peaceful lifestyle.
So, at the age of nineteen, Lee left Hong Kong and completed his High School education and then received a diploma from Edison Technical School located in Seattle. He then chose to pursue a degree in philosophy at the University of Washington in the United States. However, the School records state, he had actually chosen drama as his major but would not admit to it. Bruce also worked part time as a waiter and martial arts trainer.
At the university where he was studying, he met his wife, Linda Emery in 1964. He continued to pursue his education but also opened up his own martial arts school. His school was so successful that he decided to open up two more schools and only certified three trainers in his particular style of martial arts, Taky Kimura, Jams Yimm and Dan Inosanto.
During 1959 to 1964, he had put his acting career on hold to pursue his Martial arts school and also his college education. At exhibitions he would demonstrate examples of his martial art talent and at one particular demonstration, Lee was spotted by a producer and signed to do "The Green Hornet Series" (1966-1967) where he completed a total of 26 episodes. The series turned out to be quite a success in the United States but even more well received in Hong Kong. Lee portrayed the character of Kato and even though "The Green Hornet" only lasted one season, he also played the same character in three cross over episodes of Batman. He made appearances in two other television series as well, "Ironside" (1967) and "Here Come the Brides" (1969).
Lee was also hired to do various choreography for films using his Martial Arts talent. He choreographed the fight scenes for, "The Wrecking Crew" (1969) and "A Walk in the Spring Rain" (1970). He continued to take acting roles such as playing a martial arts instructor on four episodes of, "Longstreet" (1971).
Lee decided in 1971, to return to Hong Kong and was highly surprised to find out how well known he was due to his role on "The Green Hornet". Producers in Hong Kong were desperate to sign Lee to a martial Arts Film and soon after negotiations with Shaw Brothers
Studio and Golden Harvest, he signed a film contract and played his first leading role in, "The Big Boss" (1971) which was a huge success and lead to his next role on, "Fist of Fury" (1972). This film was even more successful and Lee decided to form his own filmcompany, Concord Productions Inc. The first film done by his company was titled, "Way of the Dragon" (1972) where he was the director, producer, writer and star of the film.
Lee continued to work with Golden Harvest films and did another feature, "Game of Death" (1972) however, when Lee was offered the chance to work with Warner Brothers on "Enter the Dragon" production halted on his film with Golden Harvest. This film was the first film that Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers would produce with a joint effort.
Unfortunately, Bruce Lee died at a very young age. At only the age of 32, he passed away on July 20th, 1973. The cause of death was said to be a brain edema which was caused by a bad reaction to a pain killer he was taking for a back injury. He left behind his wife and two children, Brandon Lee and Shannon. One month after Lee passed away, the film, "Enter the Dragon" (1973) was released in the United States and grossed over $200 million. Sadly, in 1993, his son Brandon, who was also an actor was shot on the set of "The Crow" by a real gun that was supposed to have blanks in it.
The director of "Enter the Dragon" Robert Clouse tried to finish the incompleted film,"Game of Death" which had been put on hold to film "Enter the Dragon". He managed to do so by using a look alike to fill in for scenes that had not been completed yet and in 1978 the film was released even though only fifteen minutes of the footage is actually Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee's legacy lives on. He has a sculpture on the Avenue of the Stars in Hong Kong and Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
1941 Golden Gate Girl
1946 The Birth of Mankind
1948 Wealth is Like a Dream
1949 Sai See in the Dream
1950 The Kid
1953 A Myriad Homes
1953 Blame it on Father
1953 The Guiding Light
1953 A Mother's Tears
1953 In the Face of Demolition
1955 An Orphan's Tragedy
1955 Orphan's Song
1955 Love Part 2
1955 We Owe It to Our Children
1956 The Wise Guys Who Fool Around
1956 Too Late For Divorce
1957 The Thunderstorm
1957 Darling Girl
1960 The Orphan
1969 The Wrecking Crew
1970 A Walk in the Spring Rain
1971 The Big Boss
1972 Fist of Fury
1972 Fist of Unicorn
1972 Way of the Dragon
1972 The Game of Death
1973 Enter the Dragon
1978 Game of Death
1981 Game of Death II