For martial artists, Bruce Lee is a god. Due to his charismatic personality and mastery in the field of martial arts, he has become a legend. Lee’s difficult background may have served to enhance his acting prowess, the skills that gave him iconic status in the entertainment world.
He was born on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco to Chinese father Lee Hoi-Chuen, and Chinese-German mother Grace Lee. Bruce Lee is not his original name. His original name was Li Yuen Kam, later changed to Jun Fan, and then later, given a feminine name Sai Fung, to prevent evil spirits. After acting in films, he was known as Lee Siu Lung, which was also his screen name.
Lee studied academics as well as martial arts. His interest in Kung Fu started with his father, who practiced Tai Chi Chuan, a form of martial arts. Lee added training in Wing Chun, a martial art, under the guidance of Sifu Yip Man. Later, Lee later learned Jeet Kune Do, a martial art, with his knowledge of Wing Chun.
At the age of 19 in 1959, Bruce Lee was involved in a fight with a gang member’s son. His father got so worried that he sent Lee to the US for studies. There, he earned a diploma from Edison Technical School. He later majored in philosophy at Washington University. Studying there, he met his friend Linda Emery, whome he married in 1964. They had two children—daughter Shannon, and son Brandon Lee, who would later die in a tragic film set accident.
While Lee was studying in Washington University, he headed towards Hollywood. With the invitation from friend Ed Parker, he met Chuck Norris who was a Karate Champion, at a martial arts show in Long Beach, California. He was offered a chance in the television serial “The Green Hornet,” which enjoyed great success during the 1960s. Lee also opened his own school, the Jeet Kune Do School, while he continued to experiment with his fighting prowess in filmmaking. According to documentaries, Bruce Lee could do push-ups using only two fingers. Among his many well-known films, Enter the Dragon stands out as the most popular film of Bruce Lee.
Sadly, Bruce Lee died at the young age of 32. The circumstances of his death remain shrouded in mystery. Was there foul play? Producer Raymond Chow offered in one interview that Bruce Lee had been allergic to Equagesic, which contains compositions like aspirin and meprobamate, and that this hypersensitivity was a possible cause for the brain swelling that ensued.