How was Bruce Lee as a person
When Bruce Lee woke up on the morning of July 20, 1973, he was a healthy 32-year-old. He spent the day meeting with producers for his next film and in the afternoon he made his way to a friend's house. A few hours later, at nightfall, the greatest martial arts artist of a generation was lying dead on a mattress on the floor. The world wondered: what did Bruce Lee die of?
The cause was a small decision with consequences that no one could have foreseen. The calamity began two months earlier when Lee collapsed on May 10, 1973 during a dubbing session for his film Enter the Dragon. He was quickly taken to the hospital where he complained of severe headaches and had seizures.
The doctors recognized the symptoms of cerebral edema, a condition in which excess fluid in the brain causes swelling and pain, and were able to treat him immediately with mannitol. Mannitol is an active ingredient from the group of diuretics. It develops its draining effect in the kidneys. There, mannitol stimulates urine production. This removes water and minerals from the bloodstream. After a short hospital stay, Bruce Lee was already feeling much better. He told his friends with conviction that Bruce Lee would not die like this.
Back to the habit
After his release, he immediately resumed his usual fitness regimen and continued to eat in the usual way: a strictly enforced combination of vegetables, rice, fish, and milk that excluded all baked goods, refined flours, and most refined sugars. By July 20 of the same year he appeared to be recovering very well from his cerebral edema and, apart from the occasional headache, gave his friends and fellow human beings nothing to worry about.
The day Bruce ultimately died was exhausting and busy for him. He was in Hong Kong, where many of his films were shot. Lee had spent most of the day talking to producer Raymond Chow planning his upcoming film. According to reports, he was full of enthusiasm and, despite the scorching summer heat, played through scene after scene with the energy that made him the unique legend he is known as to this day.
Bruce Lee is dead
After the meeting, Bruce went to a friend's apartment - or, as some insiders would later clarify, his lover, the Taiwanese actress Betty Ting Pei. They were alone for several hours then they made plans to have dinner with Lee's producer to finalize his film deal. At around 7:30 in the evening, shortly before she was due to leave, Lee had another severe headache. Ting Pei gave Lee a common pain reliever that contains aspirin and a sedative known as meprobamate. After ingesting it, he lay down.
After a few hours, when Bruce Lee didn't come down for dinner, Ting Pei went up to see him. She found him passed out. She immediately called producer Raymond Chow, who rushed over. His attempts to wake up the famous actor were also unsuccessful. Together they called a doctor who tried another ten minutes to resuscitate Lee. Since he too would not be able to call the martial artist back to consciousness, they sent him to an ambulance to a nearby hospital. By the time the ambulance got to the hospital, Bruce Lee was already dead.
Bruce Lee's autopsy
Since Lee's body showed no external signs of injury, an autopsy was performed, which revealed that Bruce Lee's death was the result of severe brain swelling: an accumulation of fluid had caused the organ to enlarge by 13 percent. Chow claimed that Bruce Lee's death was the result of an allergic reaction to the pain medication he was given. The autopsy report even partially confirmed his claim. Although several subsequent investigations supported the coroner's report, they did not stop a flurry of conspiracy theories.
As with other stars who also died from drug complications at a young age, including Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, reports from qualified doctors seemed insufficient to the public. Lee's friend Chuck Norris claimed there was an interaction with muscle relaxants Lee was taking. Norris words sparked a debate about what other drugs Bruce Lee had taken: stimulants to keep him in shape? Herbal Supplements to Keep Him Healthy?
It was also rumored that Bruce Lee's death was caused by a prostitute whom he allegedly attacked with violence. The rumor claimed that Lee was under the influence of a powerful aphrodisiac that made him lose control. The prostitute then killed him in self-defense. Some of Lee's fans, who heard that the lethal dose of the pain reliever was administered by Betty Ting Pei, claimed that she purposely poisoned him. She worked for a secret society that wanted Bruce Lee dead. A plausible explanation as to why such a society should consider the actor's death desirable could, of course, not be given.
Other theories saw everyone involved in the story, from all sorts of Mafias (Italian, Chinese, American) to crazy fans (yes, exactly like that) to Lee's own family. Indeed, the Lees' family curse theory is particularly persistent. The legend of the Lee family's curse came to light twenty years after the famous martial artist's death. Bruce Lee's only son, Brandon Lee, followed in his father's footsteps as both an actor and a martial artist.
The supposed curse of the Lee family
In 1993, Brandon Lee was a star on the rise - the 28-year-old had just landed the biggest role of his career. He played Eric Draven in “The Crow,” a comic book based film about a murdered rock musician who returns from the dead to avenge himself and his fiancée in a dark, Gotham-like landscape. It was the movie of his life, but he was no longer alive to read the reviews. In a crazy accident, Brandon Lee was shot to death while filming on the set when a prop gun, which was not supposed to be loaded, fired a sharp shot into his abdomen.
As with his father, rumors of a conspiracy circulated even after officials classified his death as an accident. The equally early end of the second Lee with world fame quickly led to the story of a Lees family curse. Someone also unearthed information that Bruce Lee's older brother had also mysteriously died before Bruce Lee was born - making the rumor a full-fledged conspiracy theory.
How did Bruce Lee die? The answer lies in the medical reports of the professionals. But maybe Lee, exuberant and dramatic as he was, wouldn't mind a little mystery about his last hours. A fitting ending to the legend that inspired so many.
"Bruce Lee was a slightly arrogant guy"
The legend continues long after his death. Bruce Lee has even been a topic of conversation in Hollywood in recent years, for example in the context of the Tarantino film "Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood". The story follows actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they tried to land large film orders in Los Angeles in the 1960s. However, Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee's daughter, criticized an infamous scene in which her father (played by Mike Moh) meets one of the protagonists and a fight ensues. Lee is misrepresented in it. Tarantino commented on the allegations himself.
As "The Wrap" reported, the 57-year-old stated at a press conference in Moscow that he thought Lee's portrayal was fair and very apt. "Bruce Lee was a slightly arrogant guy"says the director. “The way he talked, I didn't just make up the majority of it. I've heard him say things like that. " Tarantino also had an explanation for the criticism that Pitt's role could not easily defeat a trained martial artist: “Cliff is a fictional character. If I say he was up to Bruce Lee in battle, then he was up to Bruce Lee in battle. "
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