Bruce Lee is already an undeniable classic, and in November 2020 the legend would have turned 80 years old, however, he will always remain 32 years old.
His fans to this day admire his film work, his athletic prowess, his almost mystical physical fitness, the advancement of Chinese culture and even his philosophy of life. Nevertheless, the lion’s share of fame and recognition came to Bruce Lee only after his death in 1973.
Want to know some little-known facts about the life of this mysterious superstar?
1. Bruce played his first movie role at the age of 10
The boy played Kid Cheng, a bully and street orphan, based on the popular comic book of the time. The main role of the factory owner was his father Li Huicheng, a famous opera singer. The film was successful in China, but a sequel was never produced. The father did not allow Bruce to continue filming because of his bad behavior at school.
2. Bruce Lee was declared unfit for military service
Although Bruce was healthy and strong, he nevertheless managed to fail the exam for the US draft board in 1963. The reason was a little intimate problem – a testicle that did not descend.
3. Bruce danced the cha-cha-cha beautifully
Before martial arts, Bruce shone on the dance floor, or rather, he preferred cha-cha-cha. The popularity of this dance came to China from Cuba via the Philippines, and the Chinese youth were delighted with it. Bruce has been dancing since he was 14 and even won the Hong Kong Dance Championship in 1958. Subsequently, he kept records of all 108 steps of this dance.
4. Bruce Lee didn’t want to lose a scripted fight
The first episode of the series “The Green Hornet” appeared in September 1966 with Bruce Lee as the agile Kato, assistant to the Hornet (Van Williams). The series immediately began to be compared to Batman, and since Batman was a much more popular TV show, a battle between Robin, played by Bert Ward and Kato, was fought in the script, which was supposed to end with Robin’s victory. Bruce Lee flatly refused to play, and the script was rewritten. The battle ended in a diplomatic draw.
5. Among his students were Hollywood stars
Bruce initially made his living as a coach for the stars. His students were James Garner, James Coburn, Steve McQueen, spouses Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. For his coaching services, Lee charged about $ 275 an hour, or $ 1,000 for 10 sessions. McQueen and Coburn grew so close to him over the years that they remained close friends until Bruce’s death. Both actors (along with Chuck Norris) carried his coffin.
6. Polanski may have suspected Bruce killed his wife
Bruce Lee not only gave kung fu lessons to Polanski and Sharon Tate, but also lived next to them in Los Angeles in August 1969, when a pregnant Sharon was killed along with close friends. Before the arrest of the real criminals, the grief-stricken Polanski was literally obsessed with the search for suspects and figured out potential murderers even among his inner circle.
7. He removed his sweat glands
The roles of Bruce Lee required incredible physical exertion, so during the filming he was covered in sweat. In 1973, the actor decided to undergo surgery to remove the sweat glands in his armpits so that sweat stains did not appear on his clothes when he was in the frame.
8. The cause of Bruce Lee’s death is still unclear
The official cause of his death in 1973 is cerebral edema, especially since the day before the actor complained of headaches. Actress Betty Ting Pei gave him pain relievers before bed and Bruce Lee never woke up. One of the versions says that death could be caused by heatstroke. The actor was in a hot shooting studio for a long time, and the absence of sweat glands prevented his body from cooling naturally. As a result, heatstroke led to cerebral edema.
9. Footage from the actor’s funeral was used in the 1978 film “Game of Death”
At the time of his death, the actor was involved in many projects, including the film, which was released five years later under the title “Game of Death”. The picture was unfinished, but the production company wanted to restore everything that was possible. The result is an extremely unfortunate film, compiled from 11 minutes of Lee’s footage, overlays from his previous films, and understudy actors. When the character of Bruce Lee faked his death in the film, the director calmly used footage from his real funeral.
10. Bruce Lee’s posthumous fame led to the creation of a separate type of action movie
The actor’s career developed rapidly in China, and by 1973 he had become popular in the States, but Bruce Lee had passed away just a month before the release of his hit “Out of the Dragon”. The film, which grossed more than $ 200 million at the worldwide box office, made the late Lee an icon of oriental action movies. This was followed by a wave of forgeries and imitators trying to take advantage of the martial arts hobby. In some of them, even a very young Jackie Chan was filmed at that time.
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