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Bruce Lee Edit Profile

also known as Lee Jun-fan

actor , martial arts instructor , Philosopher , Film director

Bruce Lee was a Hong-Kong and American film actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, founder of Jeet Kune Do.

Background

Lee was born in San Francisco's Chinatown on 27 November 1940 to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon with his family until his late teens. He was the son of Cantonese opera actor Lee Hoi-ChuenLee.

Education

He returned to San Francisco at the age of 18 to claim his U.S. citizenship and receive his higher education. It was during this time that he began teaching martial arts, which soon led to film and television roles.

He studied philosophy at the University of Washington, and then in his mid-twenties he did some American television—in episodes of Batman, and playing Kato in The Green Hornet (66-67).

Career

His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked a major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world. He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.

Lee’s rise was cut off almost as soon as it had begun. The supposed perfect specimen collapsed suddenly with some kind of brain seizure, leaving behind a few pictures—the famous “chop socldes,” mostly made by the Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong, in which Lee the tiny, coiled street fighter took on all comers, and dispatched them (sometimes with grisly violence, sometimes with balletic aplomb): Marlowe (69, Paul Bogart), where his impact is comic; Fists of Fury (71, Lo Wei); The Chinese Connection (72, Lo Wei); Enter the Dragon (73, Robert Clouse); Return of the Dragon (73, Lee).

Views

Lee's philosophy was very much in opposition to the conservative world view advocated by Confucianism

Personality

In a way, it’s hardly worth including Bruce Lee unless one can speak about him with passion.

It was an extraordinary file. Born in California, he actually spent much of his childhood in Hong Kong, where he made his first film—The Birth of Mankind—at the age of six.

Neither of those shows gave a real hint of what was to come: for physical perfection turned into martial arts, and the pixie became, by many accounts, a rather tyrannical figure, the very self-aware manager of his own cult. And just as with James Dean.

Millions loved him, and clearly he is the pioneer figure in the West’s adoption of Jackie Chan and John Woo as “masters." Moreover, Lee was a purist in that he preferred not to use movie tricks, or extra boosts in his leaping attacks. He did the stunts himself. He had unquestioned charisma. He seems to celebrate a spur of cinema that separates violence from life, and revels in it. To join with a Bruce Lee film is to forget such things as damage and pain.

By today, the human image of Bruce Lee has turned into not just generations of imitators (including his son, Brandon), but the flickering pixel in video games.

He is widely considered by many commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist and pop culture icon of the 20th Century. He is often credited with changing the way Asians were presented in American films.

Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese nationalism in his films. He initially trained in Wing Chun, but later rejected well-defined martial art styles, favouring instead the use of techniques from various sources, in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).

Quotes from others about the person

  • “Kenneth Turan wrote, “Lee is refreshing, youthful. invigorating, with an ingratiating grin and a totally unexpected, totally winning boyish personality. It is this pixie quality, coupled with his boggling, deadly physical abilities, that makes him, despite the amiable dross of low-grade exploitation films, irresistible."”

Interests

  • Other Interests

    martial arts

Connections

father:
Lee Hoi-chuen

mother:
Grace Ho

wife:
Linda Emery

Children:
Brandon Lee(1965–93)

Children:
Shannon Lee (born 1969)