Lee Jun-fan (November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce Lee, was a Hong Kong and American actor, film director, martial artist, martial arts instructor, philosopher,and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do, one of the wushu or kungfu styles. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century.
Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco, on November 27, 1940, to parents from Hong Kong, and was raised with his family in Kowloon, Hong Kong. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education at the University of Washington in Seattle, and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts.
He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei’s The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest’s Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers’ Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, based upon his portrayal of Chinese nationalism in his films and among Asian Americans for defying stereotypes associated with the emasculated Asian male. He trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other influences from various sources into the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). Lee held dual nationality in Hong Kong and the US.He died in Kowloon Tong on July 20, 1973, at the age of 32.
Lee had his first role as a baby who was carried onto the stage in the film Golden Gate Girl. By the time he was 18, he had appeared in twenty films.
While in the United States from 1959 to 1964, Lee abandoned thoughts of a film career in favour of pursuing martial arts. However, a martial arts exhibition on Long Beach in 1964 eventually led to the invitation by William Dozier for an audition for a role in the pilot for “Number One Son”.
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The Bruce Lee Family Company has been a labor of love for me that grows out of my love for my dad and his message of personal freedom. I started looking after my father’s legacy at the end of 2000, but the business was truly launched in 2011 when I was able to regain full control of my father’s name and image. So, although Bruce Lee has been a beloved global icon for more than 4 decades, the Bruce Lee Family Company is really a small start up that has been in existence and lovingly run only for the past 5 years. And that’s how I like it –personal and authentic!
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