Lee's parents were opera stars and this gave him a grounding in the performing arts. Along with the skills of comic acting and singing, he studied kung fu. In time he would develop his own system, jeet kune do, based on the older art but using his unique modifications to suit it for real street fights.
Lee's stint on tv was short-lived, but the film world offered far better prospects. The agile and wiry actor fit perfectly the role of martial arts film hero. This was at a time when action scripts were not just fight fests; they also gave the characters something to say, using wits and heart as the primary modes of life, with physical power as a last resort.
His time with us was cut short by his passing in 1973, after a fluke reaction to the medication Equagesic. Countless thousands turned out to pay respects at his funeral.
Millions around the world still love his films and his martial arts style.
Bruce Lee gave much to the world and is much missed.