The Death of Bruce Lee – 7/20/1973

History |

When you hear the name Bruce Lee, I’m sure a lot of thoughts go through your head. Bruce Lee is one of those people who never stopped inspiring people, even after his departure from life. It was on this day, in 1973, that Bruce Lee was no longer with us after an unexpected reaction to a painkiller he was prescribed. He would be noted as an inspirational actor and martial-arts expert in Asia and America. 

Born Jun Fan Lee on November 27, 1940, Bruce Lee was the son of a Chinese opera star. With his father on tour in the United States, Bruce Lee was actually born in San Francisco, California as a result. The family would later move back to Hong Kong in 1941, where he would grow up to be the man we knew.

Bruce Lee started his acting career off very young. Reportedly being a part of nearly 20 films as a child actor, Lee also spent a good majority of his time dancing and learning the ways of Wing Chung and the style of Gung Fu – which is also known as Kung Fu to most Americans.

Bruce Lee didn’t make his return to the United States until 1959, which is when he attended the University of Washington. He would also later open a martial-arts school in Seattle that was aimed at helping others master what he had already mastered. Five years later, he would propose and marry Linda Emery, the love of his life. The two would later go on to have two children together, with the first one being born in the same year as their marriage: Brandon Lee.

Bruce Lee then moved his family to Los Angeles a year later, where he was cast on the set of The Green Hornet as the Hornet’s sidekick with incredible acrobatic style. He also stayed true to his craft taking part in karate tournaments and continued teaching the ways of his craft to others privately, like actor Steve McQueen for example.

Not reaching the potential he was capable of in the United States, Lee looked to move back to Hong Kong in the 1970’s to further his acting career. There, he became an Asian sensation in the films The Big Boss and The Way of the Dragon – a popular movie that was written, directed and starred by himself. A year after that was released, the United States saw the release of Enter the Dragon, another Bruce Lee film that was released by Warner Bros. 

However, Lee’s success would soon come to a screeching halt just one month later. Due to an adverse reaction to a prescription medication he was given by doctors, Lee was later pronounced dead. The movie Enter the Dragon would later go on to make several hundred million dollars at the box office on its way to being a box office hit. Unfortunately, Lee would never get to see or celebrate that success from the movie.

Bruce Lee’s legend and masterful ways of Kung Fu will forever be remembered and reminisced upon. 

Share On Facebook

Autumn Mcleod

Senior Writer

Autumn came to us really wanting to break away from the politics that came with working for major news sites. She leads our positive story writers in creating the best, engaging stories out there. She is an enthusiast of all things from the roaring twenties.