Twenty-five years after Bruce Lee's death, his films are making a comeback

By Gary Eng Walk
July 20, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of legendary kung fu star Bruce Lee in Hong Kong at age 32. Although the official cause of death was cerebral edema (swelling of the brain), alternate theories abound, including one that Lee was assassinated by rival kung fu masters or was the victim of a curse that also claimed his son, Brandon, almost 20 years later.

One thing that’s certain, though, is the continuing popularity of “Enter the Dragon,” Lee’s fourth starring role and breakthrough film, which debuted in theaters three weeks after his 1973 death. Recalls his widow, Linda Lee Cadwell: “‘Enter the Dragon’ was not just another film for Bruce. This was the dream of his lifetime — to introduce his Chinese culture and martial art to the world. He had been planning this in his mind for most of his life in some way or another.”

More of Cadwell’s interview can be found on Warner Bros.’ recent DVD rerelease of “Dragon.” Fans of the late martial arts master can also check out Universal’s just released DVD version of the 1993 biopic “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” which includes an interview with Cadwell and commentary by Rob Cohen, the film’s director.

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