Did A Family Curse Cause The Untimely Death Of Bruce Lee And His Son Brandon?

In 1973, famed martial artist Bruce Lee was killed by a brain aneurysm after taking a medication given to him by a friend. His sudden death was surrounded by questions, many of which were never answered. Two decades later, Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee's son, was shot and killed while filming a movie. A prop gun had somehow jammed and fired a dummy bullet into his abdomen, causing him to bleed out.

The deaths of Bruce and Brandon Lee have given rise to many conspiracy theories, some absolutely absurd, some pretty fascinating - including the theory of the Lee family curse. This curse has supposedly killed off numerous people in the Lee family, not just Bruce and Brandon. It's known as "the Bruce Lee curse," but the misfortune seems to extend back longer than even Bruce's life.

Is Bruce Lee's family cursed? There's no way of knowing whether or not the Lee curse exists for sure. But whether these tragedies were supernatural in origin or all too human, they're still heartbreaking.

  • Both Deaths Were Surrounded By Controversy

    Both Deaths Were Surrounded By Controversy
    Photo: lizma_2106 / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Both Bruce and Brandon Lee's deaths raised questions. For Bruce, it was a question of how a simple muscle relaxant could kill a man in such good shape. Why was he alone at the time of death? Why didn't they take him to the hospital right away?

    Brandon's death was mystifying as well. How was the prop gun incorrectly loaded? Who handled it when? Why did the doctor in charge of the autopsy sign off on it if he didn't perform it? Where is the footage of the shooting? That last question, at least, seems to have an answer. The police may have confiscated the footage to investigate the incident. Other reports say the film was destroyed out of respect to Brandon's family, or due to the settlement with them.

    Nevertheless, the lingering confusion over both tragedies has convinced plenty of fans that dark supernatural forces were at play.

  • Bruce Lee's Brother Died Before Him

    Bruce Lee's Brother Died Before Him
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Bruce Lee wasn't the first victim of the rumored curse. His parents Lee Hoi-chuen and Grace Ho had three other children, including a son. That son died before Bruce was born. The cause of his death is unknown.

  • Bruce Lee's Parents Believed Spirits Were After Him

    Bruce Lee's Parents Believed Spirits Were After Him
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Lee family was very spiritual and superstitious, especially after the death of Bruce's brother. Although Bruce was born in the year and hour of the dragon, a very fortuitous sign, his parents insisted on calling him "Little Phoenix" for much of his youth - a girl's name.

    Why? According to tradition, avoiding calling the boy by a male name would prevent evil spirits from stealing his soul.

  • The Curse Only Targets Men

    The Curse Only Targets Men
    Photo: india7network / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    If Bruce Lee's family is cursed, why is his daughter Shannon still alive? Supposedly, the dark forces only target the men in the family.