Jim Kelly, the martial artist who starred alongside Bruce Lee in the iconic 1973 film Enter the Dragon died yesterday. He was 67. His ex-wife confirmed his death in a Facebook post. Jim Kelly was an international karate champion with his own school in LA when he was cast in the kung fu classic billed as “the first American-produced martial arts spectacular”. His fighting skills and imposing screen presence — a lanky 6-foot-2 topped by a funky Afro — earned Kelly the title role in 1974′s Black Belt Jones. After that, he appeared in numerous action films through the 1970’s. Later he became a professional tennis player, joining the USTA Senior Men’s Circuit and starred alongside LeBron James in a 2004 Nike TV ad.
July 1, 2013 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Actors, Black Belt Jones, Black Samurai, Blaxploitation, Bruce Lee, Cult, Enter the Dragon, funky afro, Icons, Independent, Jim Kelly, Karate, karate champion, lebron james, Martial Arts, professional tennis player, Suspense, Tennis, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment