Bruce Lee Biography
Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco on November 27, 1940. His father was a member of
the Cantonese Opera Company, which was on tour in the United States. After the tour Lee's
family returned to Asia
and settled in Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, he appeared in over 20 films as a child
actor. In 1959, Lee returned to
America. In Seattle, he earned a high school diploma and later studied philosophy at the
University of Washington.
Also in Seattle, Lee met and later married Linda Emery.
Later on, Bruce Lee earned
a role in the television show The
Green Hornet. Although Lee was very popular playing Kato, the Green Hornet's sidekick, he
still faced a lot of
adversity in Hollywood. At the time, it was very rare for Asians to appear on screen, except in
stereotypical roles. One example of this was the
development of the television show Kung Fu , which Lee helped to create. Lee really wanted
the starring role, but
instead it was given to David Carradine, a Caucasian actor with absolutely no martial arts
Lee returned to Hong Kong in 1971. In Hong Kong, Lee was well
known for his role as Kato in The
Green Hornet. This popularity led producer Raymond Chow to offer Lee the chance to play
the lead in a movie for
Chow's studio, Golden Harvest. Three films and millions of dollars in ticket sales later,
Hollywood came knocking
on Lee's door. Warner Brothers approached Lee with Enter the Dragon, Lee's ticket back to
In 1973, Bruce
Lee was poised to make a triumphant return to America. Although he had spent much time
in Hong Kong, his family was
thoroughly American. He was ready to return to their home. Tragically, on July 20, 1973,
Bruce Lee died of a
cerebral edema, a few days before the premier of Enter the Dragon. Bruce never saw the
impact that he had on the
martial art world.
In 1973, Bruce Lee was approaching the pinnacle of his career. Bruce Lee was
riding on the success of three
martial arts films produced in Hong Kong. These films, Fists of Fury, The Chinese Connection
, and Return of the
Dragon , established Bruce Lee as an international movie star. Now Bruce Lee was poised
to return to America with his Warner
Brothers feature, Enter the Dragon .
Although Lee's greatest successes occurred
while living in Hong Kong, he was
eager to conquer Hollywood.