Remembering Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee died on July 20, 1973.  I remember him for a friend.

Bruce Lee appeared in 20 films as a child actor in Hong Kong beginning in 1946.  He went on to gain prominence and a huge following in the U.S. on television and feature films until 1973, when he died at the age of 32.

I am not a fan of martial arts films by any means yet Bruce Lee’s films, the scenes with him in them doing what he did best in particular are forever etched in my memory.

As is the case with so much having to do with film, I happened upon Bruce Lee movies by chance – film Kismet if you will.  While I pined for Elvis as a child and through adolescence (well, even today) I had a friend who loved Bruce Lee.  We swapped and watched each other’s favorites whenever they were shown on television.  When the 4:30 movie, a television program that aired weekday afternoons on WABC-TV in New York, dedicated a week to either of these two men we scrambled home from school to compare notes.  A very unlikely coupling, I admit, but we did discuss who was the coolest – Elvis or Bruce – ad infinitum.  I always advocated for Elvis and always will.  But through time I grew fond of the cool, talented Lee.  He put the “artist” in martial artist as far as I’m concerned.

In remembrance, I share some of my favorites images and clips.  To Bruce Lee, the artist.  And, if I may, I dedicate this to my friend as well.  She has since passed – far too short a life as was the case with her idol.  I think she’d get a kick out of knowing I remember her through Bruce Lee.

My favorite of Lee’s movies has always been Fists of Fury (1971).  Here’s the clip from the final fight scene in that – a classic.

I read that the following fight sequence from Enter the Dragon(1973) is considered one of the best fight scenes ever filmed.  I can only say it’s quite enjoyable.  I love when he uses those sticks.  Amazing!

I must – at the very least – mention Bruce as Kato in The Green Hornet television series, which ran from 1966 to 1967.  The Hornet and Kato appeared in several episodes of the campy but beloved 1960s classic television series, Batman.  Here’s a scene of Bruce as Kato and The Green Hornet as they battle the caped crusader.

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” – Bruce Lee

6 thoughts

  1. I didn’t remember the date he’d died, but I remember it too. Was at a friend’s house and his mom saw it in the paper. Bruce was his idol and we were both devastated. It was a sad afternoon over there, I remember too. It’s really something – we just watched The Way of the Dragon on Netflix the other day! I knew Chuck Norris and he had studied together so it was fascinating to watch them in that battle. Their mutual respect was definitely seen. I’m glad you shared this. He was amazing to watch. A cutie, too.

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