Martial Arts Legend Bruce Lee Made His Maiden Acting Gig in 1940 When He Was Only Two Months Old

Published 11/21/2022, 9:30 AM EST

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Bruce Lee is a martial arts legend who needs no introduction. He is a name known to all the action movie fanatics. Lee, AKA Little Dragon Li, was the one who paved the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA) films and the mainstream world.

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Born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee was an American and Hongkongese actor and martial artist. Given his immense contribution to martial arts, one can easily say that Lee is probably the most celebrated martial artist of all time. Not many people might be aware of the fact that the martial artist legend made his acting debut when he was just an infant.

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Did you know Bruce Lee made his on-screen debut when he was just two months old?

Lee was born to a famous Cantonese opera singer and actor, Lee Hoi-Chuen. Naturally, Bruce grew up around the film sets. Eventually, at nine, Bruce landed his first major role as a child actor, alongside his father in The Kid.

Now one might think that this was his on-screen debut too. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, Bruce Lee made his first on-screen appearance when he was merely a two-month-old infant. In his first role in the film Golden Gate Girl, Lee was carried onto the stage as a baby.

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It ended where it all began for Lee

Bruce’s life completed a full circle around the film sets. It was during the making of the movie Enter the Dragon when Lee first collapsed in May 1973. Lee was rushed to the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital when he started having seizures and headaches. After some tests, he was diagnosed with cerebral edema.

Chinese-American martial arts exponent Bruce Lee (1940 – 1973), in a still from the film ‘Enter The Dragon’, directed by Robert Crouse for Warner Brothers, 1973. (Photo by Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Two months later, a similar incident occurred when Lee was discussing the film “The Game of Death” with producer Raymond Chow. Because of his constant headaches, Lee took a painkiller and went off to sleep. However, he never woke up again. When Chow tried to wake him up and he did not, Lee was rushed to Queen Elizabeth hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Lee passed away in July 1973 at the young age of just 32. His death was ruled a “death by misadventure” as it was a result of an allergic reaction to the tranquilizer meprobamate, the main ingredient for the painkiller he consumed.

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What happened to the Game of death?

The original version of his final movie “The Game of death (1972)” remains incomplete to date. More than 100 minutes of footage were shot before his death. They were later placed in the Golden Harvest archives. However, a revised version of the original plot was released in 1978. Since major parts of the footage shot by Lee involved the climax scene; those clips were eventually edited and used for the 1978 movie Game of death. The movie was eventually a commercial success with a major cultural impact.

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He is a star who’ll live on forever, maybe not in the physical form but in everyone’s heart. Nearly half a century after his death, Bruce Lee continues to remain a renowned name in the action genre.

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Watch Story: The Real Reason Why Bruce Lee Had His Armpit Sweat Glands Removed

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Written by:

Aaradhana Singh

630Articles

One take at a time

Aaradhana Singh is a US Sports writer for EssentiallySports. The holder of a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication, Aaradhana has previously worked as an editor/writer with Asiana Times for the better part of a year. A sports person at heart with a curious mind, Aaradhana is someone who is always up for fun and adventure.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar

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