Date: 23rd July 2003

Fans remember kung-fu hero Lee

Fans around the world have marked the 30th anniversary of the death of kung-fu legend Bruce Lee.
Many left flowers at his grave in Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, while others lit sticks of inscense.

Lee died aged 32 of a cerebral edema - swelling of the brain - on 20 July 1973 in Hong Kong, a month before his Hollywood debut, Enter the Dragon, was released in the US.

One fan, Michael Seeder, 29, of Portland, Oregon, said: "He never let anything stop him. He never put limitations on himself. If an obstacle got in his way, he found a way around it."

Another, Susumu Ueda, from Shiga, Japan, visited the grave regularly when he came to Seattle for a year-long stay in the US.

Now he is working at a Bruce Lee exhibition in the city.

"A very good life," Mr Ueda said. "He should have lived longer."

Stephan Cardona, 37, of Seattle, said he tends to Lee's grave and that of his son, Brandon, who died in a gun accident on a movie set aged 28 in 1992, at least once a week.

He said he did to honour Brandon Lee as well as his father.

"I was rooting for him because he was trying to make a name for himself other than being in his father's shadow," Mr Cardona said.

Taky Kimura was Lee's best man at his wedding to Linda Emery. The 79-year-old said Lee was a man determined to convince people they could do great things if they stayed true to themselves.

"I think so many of us get wrapped up trying to be like someone else, when the beauty is within yourself," he said.

The cemetery's manager, George Nemeth, said five or six people turned up most days to ask about Lee's grave, while others found it themselves.

Lee's widow, now called Linda Lee Caldwell, toured the exhibition with daughter Shannon Lee Keasler on Saturday.

She said she was proud of the barriers her husband broke through - whether racial, economic or physical.

"Everyone can relate to having limitations in life," she said, "and Bruce is an icon to them in overcoming those limitations."

Fans also paused to remember Lee in Hong Kong, where they demanded authorities in the region build some kind of memorial in his honour.

China opened a museum in March 2002 dedicated to Lee, in Shunde in the southern province of Guangdong, where his father and grandfather were born, despite the fact that Lee only visited the town once when he was five years old.

Bruce Lee Union spokesman Lewis Luk Tei said: "Hong Kong authorities should take heed from Guangdong. The plan to erect a memorial should not be dragged out any longer."

Fan Kwok Chi-wai, 55, said: "It's criminal. Bruce Lee made Hong Kong films famous. Even 30 years after his death, he is still Hong Kong's most famous actor.

A waxwork dummy in Madame Tussaud's just doesn't do him justice. It's an insult."

Source: Press Release