Bruce Lee died on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32 from a brain aneurysm. It was before the release of his last movie, Enter the Dragon.
Bruce starred in Enter the Dragon, made by Warner Brothers, which was the most successful martial arts movie of all time. In fact, his hand strikes were so fast, the camera speed had to be adjusted.
On July 20, 1973, Bruce had a headache and was given a prescription for Equagesic. After taking it, he lapsed into a coma and could not be revived. A coroner’s inquest determined that he had a severe allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the painkiller. This reaction caused an increase in the cerebrospinal fluid on the brain, and he died that same day at the age of 32.
Bruce Lee had two children with Linda Emery, Brandon and Shannon. A funeral ceremony was held in Hong Kong, attended by over 25,000 people. Bruce wore the Chinese outfit he had worn in Enter the Dragon. A smaller ceremony was held in Seattle, Washington where his body is interred. Pall bearers included James Coburn, Steve McQueen, and his brother, Robert Lee.
Bruce Lee was born Lee Jun Fan on November 27, 1940 in the Chinatown section of San Francisco, California. He was born in the hour of the dragon (between 6am and 8am) and in the year of the dragon. According to Chinese astrology, this was a powerful omen for a life that would have great impact on other people.
Bruce’s dad was a comedian and an actor, and his parents were touring with an opera company when he was born. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Hong Kong where he lived until he was 18 years old. As a child, he acted in over 20 movies and, in 1952, attended La Salle College.
When he lost a street fight with a gang, he began studying Wing Chun under Sifu Yip Man. His skills improved rapidly, and he never lost another fight. Since there was so much violence in Hong Kong, his parents decided to send him to California to get an education.
After living in San Francisco for a while, he moved to Seattle, where he enrolled in Edison Technical School. To support himself, he waited tables at a Chinatown restaurant and taught martial arts in a park.
In 1963, he opened two martial arts studios, and the next year, gave a demonstration of his skills at the International Karate Championships in Long Beach, California. He demonstrated his “One Inch Punch,” which is a punch which stops an inch from the opponent’s torso, followed by another punch that can propel an opponent backward several feet into the air.
Jay Sebring, who worked on the “Batman" TV series was so impressed that he put him in touch with Batman’s producer, William Dozier. Dozier invited Bruce to do a screen test in Los Angeles. At the age of 24, he got a part on the Green Hornet TV series. During this time, he fully developed his own martial arts style called Jeet Kune Do. It is also referred to as “The Way of the Intercepting Fist."
In 1970, Bruce visited Hong Kong with his young son, Brandon. There he was offered a part on a movie called The Big Boss. It was a huge success and made Bruce very famous overnight. Next, he starred in Fist of Fury, followed by Way of the Dragon, which he starred in and directed. He showed his nunchaku skill by using two sets at the same time, and this became his trademark weapon.