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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 clearly defined, 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 background.

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 Hollywood.

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.

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