Legendary actor and martial artist Bruce Lee became a Hollywood sensation — though much of his success came after his death. He wowed Americans with his display of the popular Asian fighting style in his films, and although his career was cut short due to his early death at 32, his legacy lives on. At the height of Lee’s career in the early 1970s, he was a big name in the Hong Kong film industry. Born in San Francisco to Chinese parents on November 27, 1940, Lee started out as a child actor. Although, by the late ’60s had to ultimately leave the States with his family for Asia, in order to get movie roles he was looking for (History). And he did.
His first big film “The Big Boss,” was released in 1971. It was a huge hit and immediately made Lee famous. Due to its popularity, it was swiftly followed up with the 1972 film “Fist of Fury.” When he got to the stage where he wrote, starred, and directed his next film “The Way of the Dragon,” Lee was a megastar, says IMDB.
When Bruce met Linda
Lee met his wife, who was then Linda Emery, in Seattle, Washington. He was a student at the University of Washington, as was Linda. It was there that the two students met and began dating. The couple got married on August 17, 1964. They moved to California and had two children — in 1965, a son Brandon born, and a daughter named Shannon (pictured with Linda), born in 1969. Lee opened a martial arts school in Seattle and ran it successfully for a time but much bigger success was on the horizon. When the start of the ’70s came around, Lee moved his family to Hong Kong, where he’d embark on his successful martial arts film career.
Sadly, the Lee kids wouldn’t get the chance to grow up with their father. Bruce Lee died on July 20, 1973, after taking a pain drug to relieve some discomfort he was experiencing and suffering a rare brain edema, says Biography.
Linda Lee Cadwell inherits a hefty estate
A month after Bruce Lee’s death, “Enter the Dragon” was released and became another huge hit. The film earned over $200 million, per History. When he died, Lee’s estimated net worth was $10 million, reports Celebrity Net Worth. As his spouse, his wife stood to inherit all of his assets. She also authored several books about her late husband, including the 1975 release of “Bruce Lee: The Only Man I Knew.”
Linda remarried in 1988 to Tom Bleecker, though the couple split and divorced in 1990. In 1991, Linda Lee became Linda Lee Cadwell after marrying Bruce Cadwell. They’ve been married since, says IMDb. Sadly just a few years into her marriage, her only son, Brandon Lee, died tragically on the set of the film “The Crow”, reported The Los Angeles Times in 1993. Today, Cadwell manages the Bruce Lee Foundation with her daughter Shannon.
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