Fans gathered at the feet of a Bruce Lee statue in Hong Kong to pay tribute to the late kung fu star on the 40th anniversary of his untimely death. Around 100 fans, tourists and passersby were joined by the actor’s 75-year-old elder sister Phoebe Lee as they laid traditional Chinese flowers for mourning. The Chairman of the Bruce Lee Club, Wong Yiu-Keung, explained his admiration for the actor and athlete:“Bruce Lee is a combination of a handsome face, a strong body, heroic fighting skills, and a heroic image. When I was a child, I really wanted to be like him. His life has brought me a lot of inspiration”. Lee’s father Lee Hoi-chuen was a famous Cantonese opera star. Because of this, Lee was introduced into the industry at a very young age appearing in several films as a child. By the time he was 18, he had starred in 20 movies – his most popular, the worldwide blockbuster ‘Enter the Dragon’, which was released six days after his death in 1973. Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco on 27 November 1940, but was raised in Kowloon with his family until his late teens. He moved to the United States at the age of 18 and it was during this time while studying that he began teaching martial arts. Lee died from a seizure at 32. His daughter, Shannon Lee, said: “My most vivid memory is the feeling of him, that I remember, that sort of connection of his energy, when he focused his attention on you, it was so powerful. And he was so loving, and so playful. And he can also be very strict as a father and that sort of thing. But always with kindness and love.” Hailed as cinema’s first martial arts hero, Lee’s legacy has lived on, inspiring a new generation and breaking down barriers for Asian actors in Hollywood.
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