Bruce Lee, one of the most famous Hong Kong people, has managed to gain immortality in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres during his relatively short career. Thanks to film and martial arts, he helped connect the East with the West and inspire huge numbers of young people to take an interest in martial arts. Unfortunately, he died on July 20, 1973 at the age of only 32. What was the reason for his sudden and unexpected death?
Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco in the United States, where his father, a singer at the Cantonese Opera, was on tour. Bruce has been involved in film since childhood, and due to difficult post-war conditions, he often got into street fights, from which he drew experience throughout his life. It was because of the fights that his parents decided to enroll Bruce in a martial arts school to direct himself.
Due to ongoing fights, Bruce Lee got into problems with police at the age of 18, so his parents decided to send him to his sister in the United States, where, as an American citizen, he had the door open. In the United States, Bruce began teaching Kung Fu and graduated from school. Thanks to his teaching, he met teachers of other fighting styles, which led him in 1964 to the International Karate Championship in Long Beach, where he had the opportunity to present his teachings. Here he was noticed by film producers and thus began his career in American film.
Ethnicity was still a major issue in the 1960s, as was fully evident in the preparations for Kung Fu. Instead of Bruce, David Carradine was eventually chosen to star. Bruce was advised to return to Hong Kong to make a film that the producers would be able to present in Hollywood. But he had no idea that he became famous in Hong Kong for his work in Hollywood. He suddenly took advantage of his fame and made his most famous films, such as The Big Boss, The Way of the Dragon or Fist of Fury.
During the dubbing for Enter the Dragon, Bruce had a seizure and was taken to hospital. It turned out to be brain swelling. Fortunately, the doctors managed to reduce the swelling ugh the administration of medication. More than two months later, on July 20, 1973, Bruce was working with his colleague Betty Ting Pei. He complained about having a headache, so Betty gave him a painkiller. Then Bruce went to rest for a while and didn't wake up. He was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.
A subsequent autopsy showed that Bruce had an enlarged brain by 13% compared to normal and that Equagesic was circulating in his veins. The cause of death was officially stated as death by misadventure. But what exactly caused the swelling is not known. The most common explanations include an allergic reaction to the administered drug and heat stroke. Heat stroke was not well understood at the time of Bruce Lee's death. In addition, Bruce allegedly had his underarm sweat glands removed at the end of 1972 because the sweat on the film did not look photogenic.
Bruce Lee became a legend and inspiration for the next few generations during his lifetime. His legacy is still alive and who knows what he was still able to achieve.