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Published:July 21st, 2008 09:42 EST
35th Anniversary of Bruce Lee

35th Anniversary of Bruce Lee

By Garrett Godwin

HONG KONG: Today marks the 35th anniversary of Bruce Lee`s death, as fans came together this weekend to commemorate with an exhibit of movie posters, magazine covers, and books about him.  Among them were the letters written by Lee that chronicles his time in America, where he went to college and taught kung fu before moving his family back to Hong Kong, where he was raised.

Bruce Lee

Danny Chan, who will be playing Lee in a new Chinese series, went to the opening exhibit on Friday, which was organized by the Hong-Kong based Bruce Lee club.  He believes that this will give people more understanding of Lee.

"A lot of people like Bruce Lee", Chan said, "but know very little about him."

Born in America, Lee got first noticed as Kato on The Green Hornet on ABC (1966-67).  Though lasted one season, the series developed a cult following overseas with the Chinese because of Lee.  Over there, The Green Hornet was called The Kato Show.  Lee also starred on another ABC series, Longstreet, in a recurring role as an instructor to an blind insurance investigator.  It was confirmed that Lee was supposed to star on Kung Fu (1972-75).  However, the role of an Shaolin priest in the 19th-century American West went to David Carradine.

Like his Longstreet character, Lee taught martial arts to actors such as Steve McQueen and Chuck Norris, who later went on to become Lee`s onscreen opponent in Return of the Dragon (1972).

In the movies, Bruce Lee portrayed Chinese characters that defends the working people and the oppressed -- fighting for honor and justice.  Films such as Fists of Fury (1971), The Chinese Connection (1972), and Enter The Dragon cemented his iconic status as an martial artist and an action hero.

Sadly, Bruce Lee died of an brain swelling on July 20, 1973.  He was 32.  For years, there have been rumors about his death, and one of the most famous is a curse on his family.  In 1993, Lee`s son, Brandon, died from an bizarre death of a prop gun during the filming of The Crow, which was released a year later.  Like his father, Brandon developed a strong following after death, as father and son are buried right beside another in Seattle. 

Lee`s life and legacy was brought to life onscreen with Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993), with Jason Scott Lee (The Jungle Book, Timecop 2) in the role and Lauren Holly (NCIS) as his wife, Linda.

Though he has completed four films, Bruce Lee continues to live on through his teaching and philosophy -- paving the way for Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and many more in the martial-arts genre.

Source: Yahoo! News (