Born Lee Jun-Fan in San Francisco, CA, Bruce Lee would eventually become internationally famous as a film star and martial artist. Even if you put Lee's fighting and acting conquests aside, enough fun facts about Bruce Lee exist that reveal him to be a man of great talent and charisma. Even as a young man, Lee showed amazing resolve and dedication to every action he undertook. Responsible for propelling Hong Kong martial arts films into prominence in the West, he completely changed the stereotypical portrayals of Asians in film, especially in mainstream Hollywood films. When it comes down to it, there are likely many different things you didn't know about Bruce Lee.
Although Lee's filmography included only a few feature films, one completed posthumously, he nonetheless emerged as a major movie star in Asia and soon after the entire world. Even once you finish all those movies, Bruce Lee fun facts will keep you just as entertained. His untimely and mysterious death at the age of 32 remains controversial and only added more mystique to one of the most groundbreaking figures in the history of world cinema.
Lee Was Born In The Year Of And At The Hour Of The Dragon
Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940 at 7:12 AM. Based on Chinese astrology, this falls upon both the year of the Dragon and the hour of the Dragon. According to Chinese folklore, the dragon stands as the zodiac's most powerful animal, and an individual born during such chance timing will be strong enough to overcome any of life's obstacles. It also explains Lee's nickname as a child, the Little Dragon. Throughout both Lee's life and film career the dragon would always remain a prominent symbol.
Lee Was Partially Caucasian
That Bruce Lee was not 100% ethnically Chinese remains undisputed. Exactly who provided the Caucasian genetics to Lee's background has been misstated repeatedly in books and films about his life and family background. Many sources point to a maternal grandmother who allegedly was German. However, because his parents wished to preserve his American citizenship, they underwent extensive interviews with American immigration authorities before returning to Hong Kong in 1941. In these interviews his mother stated her father was Chinese and her mother was English.
Lee Was Born Lee-Jun-Fan
In 1940, Cantonese opera singer Lee Hoi-chuen and his wife were traveling in the United States. They were in the midst of a one-year opera company tour, when Lee's wife, Grace Ho, gave birth. The child, the family's fourth and second son, was named Lee Jun-Fan. The family returned to Hong Kong three months after his birth and it would not be until 1959 that this child, now known as Bruce, would return to the US.
Lee Was Not Known As Bruce In His Childhood
Because of his birth in the United States, a hospital nurse suggested Lee be given the Western name of Bruce. However, few ever used this name during Lee's childhood in Hong Kong. He went by the name his parents gave him, "Lee Jun-Fan" which means roughly "to return and prosper." Some say his mother hoped for him to return to the US and become successful. Eventually, Lee did return to the US, where he would pursue an education and meet his wife.