Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce Lee, was a Hong Kong Americanactor, martial artist, philosopher, filmmaker,and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time, and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.
Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco on November 27, 1940 to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon with his family until his late teens. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education, at the University of Washington, at Seattle and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial artsin the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in the United States, Hong Kong and the rest of the world.