Bruce Lee Biography
Biography - Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was one of the most important and most influential
personalities in the United
States of the early second half of the 20th
century. His exceptional skills in martial arts made him become one of the
greatest actors of his time in Hong Kong and with these he also influenced America’s
media, immigration and people’s free time activities greatly.
He was born as the third child of fairly famous Hong Kong
opera singer Lee Hou-Cheun in San
Francisco on November 27, 1940 while his father was on
tour with the 'Cantonese Opera Company.'
His father had moved with his family to the United States
in 1939. He received his later name from his mother, who called him Bruce
(Gaelic for 'the strong one').
His career as actor began early at the age of 3 months, when
he played in the movie Golden Gate Girl. In 1941, the Lees moved Back to Hong Kong, because his father got occupied by the
Japanese. There he played in more than 20 movies as a child actor. He seemed to
be born as an actor, because he had a natural way of acting in front of the
camera and he was gifted with athletic skills.
Although Lee was more of a privileged child, he became a
member of a Hong Kong street
gang in his early teens. He was a passionate fighter, and that is also the
reason why he joined a Kung Fu club to work on his fighting skills. He turned
out to be an excellent fighter and soon mastered in Kung Fu. But his passion
for fighting eventually got him in trouble with the police in Hong
Kong. So his family decided to send him back to America and let him stay with friends of theirs
close to Seattle, Washington. He finished high school in Edison, Washington and
went on as a philosophy major in the University
of Washington. There he
taught the Wing Chun style of martial arts to his fellow students and anyone
else who would pay him. He met his later wife, Linda Emery though his
teachings. They married in 1964. His interest for martial arts also made him
earn his livings with it and he started a martial arts school in Seattle, where
he taught the style of Jeet Kone Do, which he had developed himself. Other
martial arts teachers in Washington
disagreed with his methods and tried to get rid of him. But nevertheless he was
successful and he moved to the state of California
with his wife, where he opened two more martial arts schools in Los Angeles and Oakland.
He played in a number of TV series, like The Green Hornet, Ironside
and Longstreet, which made him some sort of a celebrity. But in 1971, he
decided to move back to Hong Kong, because he saw himself too much confronted
with racial prejudices in the United
States, where people still had low opinions
about Asians. It turned out to be a good decision, because back in Hong Kong he signed a film contract for two movies, Fists
of Fury (released in 1971) and The Chinese Connection (released in 1972). The
movie Fists of Fury set new box office records in Hong
Kong and his next movie The Chinese Connection broke the records
of his former movie. In the United
States though, the critics were more
Through his acting in these two movies, he became a major
celebrity in Asia and he started his own
production company, called Concord Pictures. The first movie it released was
called Way of the Dragon.
He was not a movie star in the United States yet, but he was
highly rated to become one of the biggest celebrities of its time. So he acted
in the Hollywood production Enter
the Dragon in 1973. This movie was supposed to become the big hit, but Bruce
Lee could never enjoy his fame in America, because he died under
mysterious circumstances one month before it was released on July 20, 1973.
Although there are several theories about his death, the real cause is not
clear. The most popular theory says that he died because of a brain edema,
which is said to be caused by painkillers which he took because he had gotten a
serious back injury by lifting weights before.
Bruce Lee created a completely new genre of movies, which
was not very popular before. He built the path for martial arts movies and
Actors like Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal and Yun-Fat Chow.
He inspired many people around the globe to be active in
martial arts and helped to get sports like Kung Fu and Karate a lot more