This weekend is the 40th anniversary of the death of Bruce Lee.
Since first seeing ‘Enter the Dragon’ at six years old, I’ve been a fan of his, with a respect that grows the older I get. Lee’s ‘Way of the Dragon‘, in which he famously battles Chuck Norris, was the first foreign film I ever saw and began my long standing love for Hong Kong cinema.
Lee’s life was one of defiance and perseverance. The (true) stories of Lee building his body through childhood illness with training, fighting for the right to teach Westerners Kung-Fu and rehabbing through a debilitating back injury, have added to his legend.
Breaking down racial barriers for Asian actors in US produced films, his movies are recognised as being more than just standard Kung-Fu flicks. In film and TV appearances, Lee’s philosophies about martial arts are peppered throughout his dialogue and can be applied to everyday life.
‘Enter the Dragon’, which co-starred the recently deceased Jim Kelly, will always be regarded as his zenith. It made a superstar of Lee, albeit posthumously, and kick started a wider appreciation for eastern culture.
Bruce Lee once said “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” 40 years on from his premature death at age 32, and he is still an important figure with an immeasurable influence.