Bruce Lee (27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973) was an American-born martial artist, philosopher, instructor, martial arts actor and the founder of the Jeet Kune Do combat form.
He was widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of the twentieth century and a cultural icon. He was also the father of actor Brandon Lee and of actress Shannon Lee. Lee was born in San Francisco, California, and raised in Hong Kong.
His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West.
The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world as well. Lee became an iconic figure particularly to the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese national pride and Chinese nationalism in his movies. He primarily practiced Chinese martial arts (Kung Fu).