Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940 - July 20, 1973) is widely considered to be the greatest martial arts actor of the 20th century. His films, especially the last one, Enter the Dragon, elevated the by-then traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level, and artists like Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris have been able to work from this platform. His son, Brandon Lee, was also a martial artist and an actor.
In 1959, Lee went to Seattle to complete his high school education. He received his diploma from Edison Technical School and went on to enroll in the University of Washington as a philosophy major. It was at the UW that he would meet his wife, Linda.
After studying and becoming dissatisfied with existing schools of martial arts, Lee created two of his own: Jun Fan, a Kung Fu style; and Jeet Kune Do, which incorporated elements from martial arts outside of Kung Fu intending to create a more streamlined and practical martial art, as well as a comprehensive system of fitness training. He frequently gave demonstrations of his two-finger pushups and his famous "one inch punch". He was a very well-rounded man; well educated both academically and in the field of martial arts. His studies of (Kung-fu), sparked his enthusiasm and understanding of martial arts. Later he studied Karate, Judo, Jiu jitsu, Wing Chun and other styles of Wushu. His 'made up' styles are still taught to this day.
On July 20th 1973, Lee was due to have lunch with former James Bond actor George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a film. However, Lee never turned up for the lunch, and when Lazenby and Lee's agent went to his hotel room, they found him dead. He was interred in Seattle's Lake View Cemetery. Although there have been a several rumours in concerning the cause of death, the official cause of death was recorded as the result an allergic reaction to an analgesic he took.
Although he made only a handful of films and television appearances in his adulthood, Bruce Lee has become an iconic figure in movies as a personification of a small man who became the epitome of physical perfection and invincibility in personal combat. His fame also sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West.