Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee
Lee in the 1971 film The Big Boss
Lee Jun-fan

(1940-11-27)November 27, 1940
DiedJuly 20, 1973(1973-07-20) (aged 32)
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Cause of deathCerebral edema
Resting placeLake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Other namesBruce Lee Siu-Lung, Lee Yuen-cham, Lee Yuen-kam
CitizenshipUnited States
Hong Kong[1]
Alma materUniversity of Washington
  • Martial artist
  • philosopher
  • actor
  • director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active1941–1973
(m. 1964)
ChildrenBrandon Lee (son), Shannon Lee (daughter)
FamilyPeter Lee (brother)
Robert Lee (brother)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Lee Jun-fan
WebsiteBruce Lee Foundation
Signature of Bruce Lee.svg

Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), commonly known as Bruce Lee (Chinese: 李小龍), was a Chinese-American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor and philosopher.[2] He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA). Lee is considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West. He is credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.[3]

The son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-chuen, Lee was born in the Chinatown area of San Francisco, on November 27, 1940, to parents from Hong Kong, and was raised with his family in Kowloon, Hong Kong.[4] He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education at the University of Washington in Seattle,[5] and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in the Chinese nation and Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films dramatically influenced and changed martial arts and martial arts films worldwide.[6]

He is noted for his roles in five feature-length martial arts films in the early 1970s: Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest's Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; and Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.[7] Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, based upon his portrayal of Chinese nationalism in his films[8] and among Asian Americans for defying stereotypes associated with the emasculated Asian male.[9] He trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other influences from various sources into the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). Lee had residences in Hong Kong and Seattle.[10]

Lee died on July 20, 1973, at the age of 32. There was no visible external injury; however, according to autopsy reports, Lee's brain had swollen considerably. The autopsy found Equagesic in his system. When the doctors announced Lee's death, it was officially ruled a "death by misadventure". Since his death, Lee has continued to be a prominent influence on modern combat sport, including judo, karate, mixed martial arts, and boxing. Time named Lee one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do". Bruce Lee Foundation. Archived from the original on July 23, 2010.
  3. ^ Stein, Joel (June 14, 1999). "Bruce Lee: With nothing but his hands, feet and a lot of attitude, he turned the little guy into a tough guy". The Time 100. New York. Archived from the original on June 5, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  4. ^ "Bruce Lee". Bruce Lee. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Lee 1989, p. 41
  6. ^ "Bruce Lee inspired Dev for martial arts". The Times of India. July 1, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2011.[dead link]
  7. ^ "How Bruce Lee changed the world-Series". The Hindu. India. May 29, 2011. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  8. ^ Dennis 1974
  9. ^ McDermon, Daniel. "How Bruce Lee Exploded a Stereotype With a One-Inch Punch". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 15, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  10. ^ Bruce Lee Archived November 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine at Hong Kong Cinemagic. (look under the 'nationality' section)