If there were an award given to the actor that moved so fast, no one could catch him, the recipient of that award would be Mr. Bruce Lee. He was so fast that his speed was considered "inhuman". On November 27, 1940 a martial arts legend was born in the heart of San Francisco, CA. Although Bruce Lee's original name was "Jun Fan" in Cantonese, he chose to use the English translation of Bruce Lee.
At only age 12, Bruce was forced to move to Hong Kong to attend an all boys school. Bruce was very educated, but he always felt as if he were meant to do something bigger than what he was doing at that time. It was quite obvious that Bruce has always been a fighter since the moment he was born, hence why he won several championships on and off throughout his life, up until this point. It wasn't until about age 14 that Bruce started a variety of martial arts training that would prepare him to be the master he was and the legend he would become. As time proceeded and a variety of conflicts floated in Bruce's direction, he decided to make the move back to the United States where he was born. Bruce was determined as a child to become an actor one day, but was more into teaching and educating others about what he learned. He wanted to inspire people and give them a purpose for living and a reason to believe that they can have much more than what they have.
After living in San Francisco, at 19 years of age Lee decided to relocate to Seattle. At this point, Bruce was very skeptical about pursuing a career in entertainment, so he enrolled in the Philosophy program at the University of Washington. At this time, he met his wonderful wife. Lee was heavily influenced by a variety of philosophical teachings such as the Jeet Kun Do, as well as, Taoism and Buddhism. He would also construct a variety of regimes he used that would make a huge impact later on, as a result. Bruce took himself seriously, as well as, anything that became a part of him. He decided to create a martial arts school and use his what he learned, as well as, what founded himself to help others benefit from his knowledge. After days of thinking and working, as well as, many hours of soul searching, Lee decided he wanted to become an actor and pursue that particular route. It wasn't until the 1960s era that Bruce decided to pursue acting. Although Lee acted as a child, he became internationally known as playing Kato, the limo driver and guard in The Green Hornet. As time proceeded, he gave birth to his son Brandon in 1965 (another actor who ends up sharing a similar fate 20 years later) and to his daughter Shannon in 1969. After working over a decade as an actor, Lee was determined to find his big break and eventually found out when he was offered the role of a lifetime as Lee in Enter The Dragon. In 1971-1972 Lee began filming Enter The Dragon. Little did anyone know, this movie would become his biggest success yet.
After over 30 different movies and television sets, as well as, numerous appearances luck did not find Mr. Lee. On July 20, 1973 Lee's life came to a halt, when he mysteriously died. He was only 32 years of age. At this time, he was a success and praised in the media as someone who should be respected for bringing something new to the industry. All anyone could do was question - "Why Bruce?". Some theorists believe that Mr. Lee was murdered by a private martial arts organization because he introduced martial arts into cinema, however; others believe it was an allergic reaction to a drug he used, to attempt to treat a headache he endured, earlier that day. Some theorists still are questioning his death and there are still many unanswered questions.
As someone who is a huge fan of Bruce Lee and possesses a collection of Bruce Lee movies, I am reluctant to state that if I had to choose my favorite Bruce Lee film, I would definitely choose "Enter The Dragon" as it was not only one of his very first American films, but his final film. The film was created with a budge of a little over $750,000 and has managed to grow a revenue of over $30 million. After shedding many tears, for many years from Bruce's unexpected death, Lee's legend remains. Although tears have fallen and Bruce is gone, Bruce's spirit and soul lives on.
Written by Sarah Afshar, 2007
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