Bruce Lee was first introduced to the American audience in 1966 playing Kato in the cult crime fighting series The Green Hornet. It became the first popular American show to present Asian style martial arts.
The show’s director wanted Lee to fight in the typical American style (using fists and punches), but as a professional martial artist, Lee refused, insisting that he should fight in the style of his expertise. At first, Lee moved so fast that his movements could not be caught on film, so he had to slow them down.
In 1973, only a few months after the completion of Enter the Dragon, the film that would become Lee’s most successful and just six days before its release, Lee died aged just 32.
Lee was named among TIME Magazine's 100 Most Important People of the Century as one of the greatest heroes and icons, as an example of personal improvement through physical fitness, and as one of the most influential martial artists of the twentieth century.
His iconic kung fu stance has been forever immortalized with bronze statues in not just his home town of Hong Kong, but also Los Angeles and interestingly, in the Bosnian city of Mostar, where Lee was chosen as a symbol of solidarity that all ethnic groups could relate to after the city was nearly destroyed during fierce fighting.