Brandon Lee has been an enigmatic number ever because his accidental fatality at the age of 28. Son the martial arts legend Bruce Lee, Brandon lived lot of his life trying come escape his father"s broad reach in the film and television industries. When he at some point kickstarted his job in the action genre, it was his breakout duty as one avenging point of view in The Crow that would catapult him into stardom. Unfortunately, he died before getting to check out his big Hollywood moment. His haunting performance as Eric Draven — a guy returned indigenous the grave one year after ~ his death to spread revenge on the men who murdered his fiancee — recorded the eyes of critics and won the mind of fans throughout the world. Brandon Lee might"ve passed away young, however he controlled to live a full life, one jam-packed with interesting stories. Native his martial arts childhood come his exceptionally tragic death, here"s the untold truth of Brandon Lee.

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Brandon Bruce Lee was born ~ above February 1, 1965, in Oakland, California. He to be he firstborn child of Chinese martial art teacher and activity movie star Bruce Lee and also an American woman called Linda Emery, and as a result, the kid thrived up throwing kicks. "I got into martial arts from the moment I could walk," Brandon once said. "There wasn"t a the majority of escaping martial arts in mine household." Brandon was trained in Bruce"s own style of kung fu, Jeet Kune Do, which to be a hybrid style that Bruce culled together from countless Chinese and other martial arts disciplines. Follow to Entertainment Weekly, by the moment the kid was simply six, he might destroy a wooden board v a single kick. After his dad"s untimely death, Brandon ongoing his training and development in Los Angeles through Bruce"s previous protegees, Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo. He also began acquisition up various other fighting styles like Muay Thai, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and boxing, and also he soon incorporated these right into his an individual style. In various other words, Brandon Lee to be born to it is in a martial arts master.


Brandon"s grand was Lee Hoi-Chuen, a famed comedic star the the Chinese Opera, yet the man died about a week after Brandon was born. 3 years later, the Lee household moved native Oakland to Los Angeles, and lived there until 1971, once they relocated to Hong Kong because that Bruce"s film career. In 1973, after ~ Bruce Lee died suddenly from a cerebral edema while tho filming Game that Death (pictured above), Brandon moved ago to America through his mother and also sister, Shannon. He was just eight at the time of his father"s passing. 

The surviving Lees returned to Los Angeles wherein Brandon struggled to uncover his place. He want to act but not in martial arts movies like his father. However, the young boy struggled v school, and he was kicked the end of two high schools (and dropped the end of a third). Lee at some point earned his GED and also went top top to study theater in ~ Emerson College for a year before attending the famous Lee Strasberg Theatre and also Film institute in new York, the house of method acting. While Brandon Lee"s life obtained off come a really turbulent start, it seems that that was beginning to circulation like water when he got involved with acting.


Brandon Lee resisted becoming a martial arts film star even though he to be primed for the camera, just as his dad was. That even turned down the chance to play his dad in the biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. As Lee explained, "I to be a small scared by the totality thing, really. It"s strange to play your own father, you know? i couldn"t yes, really wrap mine mind around it." Honestly, that renders a most sense because if he"d play his dad, that would have actually to feign a romantic partnership with a mrs pretending to be his mom. That would"ve been yes, really awkward. Jason Scott Lee went on to play Bruce to crucial acclaim, yet by 1985, Brandon could no longer fight his truth after a successful audition because that the television film, Kung Fu: The Movie. He was cast in the lead duty beside veteran actor David Carradine, and soon enough, Lee would start popping up in more and an ext action movies. 


In 1985, Brandon Lee made his first and just film in Hong Kong, Legacy the Rage, and also even despite the film remained in Cantonese, it acquired Hollywood"s attention. Being as photogenic and talented as his father, it just took a few more TV movie jobs for him come land his first English-language lead function in 1989"s Laser Mission, which additionally starred acting legend Ernest Borgnine. 

By the at an early stage "90s, Lee"s star was on the increase after his very first studio film, Showdown In tiny Tokyo (co-starring Dolph Lundgren the Rocky IV fame), led to a three-picture deal for the actor, which consisted of the 1992 action flick, Rapid Fire. However it to be his haunting and emotional performance in Alex Proyas" The Crow that would simultaneously make and also end his career, garnering a cult adhering to that persists to this day. Unfortunately, the young actor wouldn"t live to view his success.

Brandon Lee had a call for gift a brash daredevil. As his fiancée, Eliza Hutton, explained to People, "He"s confident, intense and direct, and a lot of of civilization find that intimidating." In fact, Lee to be so confident that he frequently rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle with no helmet and also his hands off the handlebars. Follow to Lee, "If I want to placed my head in a brick wall, it"s mine business." He even had a Cadillac hearse he used to joke was great for acquisition on camping trips. 

In one interview through Jay Leno in 1992, Lee talked around coming house to uncover a housebreaker in his home. Rather of phone call the police, he confronted the robber that came in ~ him with a knife, cutting his arm. The two fought, and also Lee finally dubbed the cops ... After he separated the thief"s shoulder and also broke his arm. It just goes to present that Lee to be a major risk taker.

The guy was even super extreme while making movies. Because that example, Brandon supplied his technique acting training come prepare for The Crow through soaking in a tub full of ice so he can feel how cold Eric Draven must"ve been together a dead guy in the ground. A producer berated him because that this danger stunt and told him come mind his health, not hazard it. Yet clearly, Lee was always flirting with danger and constantly one step away from death.

It"s nearly impossible to imagine the now, but Brandon Lee wasn"t the first choice to play Eric Draven in The Crow. In ~ first, producers were interested in spreading an yes, really musician for the duty of the murdered indie rocker. Names favor Michael Jackson and also Charlie Sexton to be kicked roughly before the team realized over there wouldn"t it is in as lot singing or performing as initially thought. However still, Lee"s surname wasn"t at the peak of the list. Comic publication writer James O"Barr wanted Johnny Depp come play the dark superhero, yet in the end, Brandon Lee"s martial arts suffer (as well together his smoldering an excellent looks) winner him the role.

Lee to be heavily associated with the film even prior to shooting began. According to The Independent, Lee operated with manager Alexas Proyas throughout to pre-production to rework a part of the script that affiliated a villainous personality Lee thought was a racist portrayal that an eastern man. However while Lee to be doing good work both behind and also in former of the camera, making The Crow wasn"t a satisfied experience. 

According to co-star Jon Polito, the problems on The Crow were terrible. Lee lost 20 pounds turn off his already-lithe structure while filming. Plus, the dark tale of revenge and also murder was mostly filmed in ~ night in north Carolina"s freezing winter conditions. Lee to be constantly gift drenched with water, and also filming was constantly interrupted to fix his make-up the was far more facility to use than that appears. Lee even filed a official complaint against production conditions days prior to his death. In fact, points were so stormy that his manager dubbed the producers in a rage, accusing castle of do the efforts to kill the actor. Granted, The Crow wasn"t yes, really killing Brandon Lee ... However it would.

With just a couple of days the filming left top top The Crow, Brandon Lee was accidentally shot on collection in the abdomen by co-star Michael Massee on march 31, 1993, through an improperly invited prop gun. The scene in question was not the "Big Moby" shootout, but rather, once Eric comes home to uncover his fiancée being assaulted. The tip of a dummy bullet — a mock round supplied in a close-ups — to be lodged in the barrel, in prior of the blank, and also when Masse pulled the trigger, the blank sent the fragment flying. 

Sadly, the lodged in the actor"s spine, and after six hours of surgery, Brandon Lee died in Wilmington, phibìc Carolina, at just 28 year old. His death was ruled an accident by negligence. While his mommy Linda and also fiancée Eliza Hutton agreed come let the production finish out its work, Linda quiet filed a lawsuit against the production company that named 13 people at fault for her son"s wrongful death. Castle eventually worked out out of court because that damages.

Adding even much more melancholy come The Crow"s gothic plot, Lee and also Eliza Hutton were set to it is in married simply a pair of weeks indigenous the day he died, one eerie callback to occasions in The Crow comic and film.

Contrary to popular — and morbid — belief, Brandon Lee"s fatality is not viewed in the final cut of the movie. However, Lee go in truth die prior to all his scenes to be completed. But due to the fact that the show needed to walk on, filmmakers decided to go the old body dual route, and also future John Wick creator/director Chad Stahelski to be hired together a stand-in because that the martial arts actor. The stunt male was used to movie the staying scenes, and also in post-production, Lee"s confront was superimposed end Stahelski"s. (The well known face-painting step was among the many expensive because Brandon"s visage had actually to it is in digitally inserted into the damaged mirror.) yet hey, we"re pretty sure Lee would"ve approved of Stahelski filling in, as the two had actually been great friends and even trained in the exact same studio in L.A. And also if girlfriend look very closely at The Crow, girlfriend can an alert Stahelski"s much wider shoulders in the eight scenes whereby he stood in for Lee.

Because that the suspicious and sudden circumstances about both Bruce and Brandon Lee"s deaths, rumors proceed to this day about a family curse the took their lives. The course, in reality, both deaths were tragic coincidences. Bruce Lee"s death by cerebral edema, or mind swelling because of excess water, was ruled an allergic reaction to a headache pill he"d taken previously in the day. Brandon Lee"s fatality was also ruled an accident because of negligence, and also no fees were ever before filed. 

But the hasn"t stopped human being from speculating that the Triads or Cantonese mafia were responsible for the deaths. Others have actually blamed every little thing from voodoo to mystery drug abuse. Since Bruce Lee"s character in Game the Death was shot while filming a movie, and also Brandon passed away filming a comparable scene, it"s simple to see why some would connect these events. However as spooky as the parallels and also foreshadowing might be, the fact is these were simply two terrible and also heartbreaking crashes that take it Brandon and also Bruce"s lives. 

Long before the heartbreaking tragedy of Brandon Lee"s death, rumors abounded around The Crow itself being cursed. Lee wasn"t the only one come suffer throughout production, and his accidental shooting wasn"t the just injury he incurred on set. Throughout the scene when Eric Draven crashes with the door of a pawn shop, Lee was actually reduced quite badly with prop glass, prompting co-star Jon Polito come express concern about the dangers his colleague to be taking. Polito likened the accident to Vic Morrow"s death, who passed away while filming Twilight Zone: The Movie. 

Other on-set injuries consisted of a horrific event on the very first day the filming that associated a crew member top top a cherry-picker driving into a strength line and also getting electrocuted. The guy was severely burned, and also he virtually died on set. It would certainly be years before he would be ago to good health. An additional near-death accident developed when a stuntman fell through the roof of a set during rehearsal and broke a variety of ribs. Another crew member accidentally journey a screwdriver with his own hand. And also one day, a fire that unknown origins started on a prop truck, but nobody was injured.

But hey, we"re no done listing every the calamities just yet. After having a series of problems with his colleagues, a disgruntled employee drove his vehicle onto the lot and also through a studio shop. Plus, a collection of hurricanes tore through North Carolina during filming that ruined a variety of The Crow"s sets. In various other words, the movie was together brutal come make together it is to watch.

Brandon Lee just made a grasp of films, including Legacy the Rage (pictured above) and Showdown in little Tokyo. But oddly enough, 7 years after Brandon Lee"s death, he was spotted in a cameo duty in the Swedish film Sex, Lies, and video Violence. Command by Richard Holm, the film is a horror fantasy around a young guy named Micke (Mikael Beckman) who loves to clock violent films. One night, when watching Die Hard, the television display opens up, and a German terrorist emerges into his world. As the film goes on, Micke finds the end that every one of his favourite violent movies have concerned life, and all the escaped characters are walk on gory killing sprees about Stockholm.

The hour-long film was released in 2000, for this reason Brandon would"ve filmed his appearance all the means back in 1992 or 1993, before his death. On top of that, Mel Brooks additionally makes a cameo in the movie, and the movie references whatever from Alien and The Terminator come Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and RoboCop. As for Lee, that cameos as a disturbed bystander who"s experienced the crazy occasions of the day, and his last words on movie involve telling Micke that he simply saw a German terrorist go by v a gun.

Before Bruce Lee passed away of a cerebral edema, the martial arts star had two kids: Brandon and Shannon. Today, Shannon Lee is his sole continuing to be child, and she"s doing her best to preserve the memory of both her father and also her brother. She runs the Bruce Lee structure and oversees movies and also documentaries about her dad"s life, and also on the 25th anniversary of she brother"s death, she showed up on the Bruce Lee Podcast to talk about her beloved large brother. She also shared several of his journal entries that hadn"t been made windy before. 

During the show, Shannon talked around how Brandon would often prank her, yet when the came down to it, that was her fiercest defender. She speak a story around how your aunt tried to pressure Shannon to protect against using her comfort blanket simply after your dad"s death. Brandon stood up to the adult, and he got his sister her blankie back. She also talked around Brandon"s love that reading and books (particularly Zen and also the arts of Motorcycle Maintenance), and how he would certainly sit with a dictionary to look up words he didn"t know. And also evidently, Lee to be a born showman, since as a kid, he would certainly write down illustration of The Twilight Zone by hand and perform castle on stage at school. 

Shannon was supposed to be the ideal man at she brother"s wedding, yet unfortunately, the never involved pass.

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More than two decades after his death, Brandon Lee is tho loved and missed by family, friends, colleagues, and fans alike. Hidden next come his dad in Seattle"s Lake view Cemetery, the site has end up being a shrine come both legends, and it"s checked out by pan from about the world. People leave flowers, notes, and other memorabilia to pay their respects to the father and son who touched so numerous peoples" lives through their work-related as martial artists and performers. Their graves acquire so countless visitors that the cemetery had to download bushes and shrubbery so that other graves in the area wouldn"t be disturbed through the secure stream the guests comes to pay their respects come Bruce and also Brandon Lee. 

For the 25th anniversary that The Crow, The Saturday night Post claimed the film "captured the angst the a generation." and also it"s true. Fans of the film proceed to watch it and also listen to the soundtrack all these year later because it still resonates. Brandon Lee"s iconic performance has only become an ext melancholy over time as us reflect top top his life cut so short and also the breakthrough of his assorted talents that us didn"t get to see. Still, every time who watches The Crow or reads about his life, Brandon Lee"s beautiful and also heartbreaking legacy lives on.