Although the sci-fi and the comic-book universes have delivered us plenty of action stars, it’s hard to beat the enduring appeal of Bruce Lee.
Not only did he manage to single-handedly bring karate into the mainstream, but his amazing legacy lives on in kickstarting the martial arts movie genre and gaming trend.
Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1940, but soon moved to Hong Kong. It was amidst the violent gang culture of Hong Kong in the 1940s that Lee became involved in street-fighting, but thankfully his parents introduced him to martial arts as a means of self-defence.
Lee quickly got to grips with Wing Chun fighting and moved back to America where he rapidly became a star of the martial arts world. Appearances at the Long Beach International Karate Championships saw Lee performing the famous one inch punch, and it wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling.
Although appearances in the likes of The Green Hornet didn’t achieve mainstream success, Lee moved back to Hong Kong and made incredibly influential movies like The Big Boss and Fist of Fury.
These films catapulted him to international stardom and his name has lived on forevermore in the movie and gaming world. As well as gaming hits on early home computers, he also controversially appeared in a UFC video game and there has even been a Bruce Lee slots game at Coral’s UK online casino enabling gamers to get an amazing bonus whilst spinning the karate-themed reels.
But it was with 1972’s Way of the Dragon that Bruce Lee really took control. This epic movie saw Lee writing, directing, choreographing and even fighting Chuck Norris in possibly the greatest martial arts movie of all time.
The pressure was on Lee to follow up this awesome film with Enter the Dragon that again delivered some incredible fight scenes and unsurpassed action. But disaster soon followed when Lee suddenly died after the completion of filming.
Although there is still some debate as to the true cause of Lee’s death, his legacy has been unquestionable. As well as causing a craze for all things martial arts-related in cheesy pop songs like Kung Fu Fighting, he provided the template for hard-hitting martial arts movies across the world.
From inspiring ultra violent Indonesian epics like The Raid, to the flawlessly choreographed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to the slots games at UK online casino sites, it’s clear that there are few more influential stars than Bruce Lee.