Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009

Bruce Lee

Nearly 40 years after his death, martial-arts guru Bruce Lee remains the genre's most famous icon. His grave in Seattle's Lakeview Cemetery still draws pilgrims from all over the world, including a trio of Mongolians who trekked 3,700 miles to pay their respects on the 53rd anniversary of his birth; the trip reportedly took seven months and wore out five pairs of boots. The San Francisco–born kung-fu teacher known for his impressive strength and diminutive stature broke box-office records in China with the 1971 film Fists of Fury and was well on his way to becoming an international star when he died unexpectedly at age 32, just weeks before the release of his hit movie Enter the Dragon. Though the official cause of death was an allergic reaction to aspirin, rumors persist that he died as a result of an evil curse; his home in Hong Kong was said to have been inhabited by demons who preyed upon the house's inhabitants for three generations. Conspiracy theorists often point to the tragic demise of Lee's son Brandon as proof of the bizarre legend; Brandon was fatally shot by a prop gun that inexplicably contained a live round during the filming of The Crow in 1993 — the same year as the 20th anniversary of his father's death.