Linda Lee – Candid Interview (1974)

Linda Lee

A Candid Interview With MRS. BRUCE LEE – LINDA LEE, the wife of Karatedom’s greatest international film star, tells the real, ‘Behind the Scene’ story of her late husband’s sensational rise to fame. By MIKE ANDERSON
PROFESSIONAL KARATE MAGAZINE is interested in providing its readers with the accurate account of the life and much-misunderstood death of Bruce Lee.

Linda, where did you meet Bruce Lee?

LINDA: I met Bruce in Seattle in 1962 when I was taken to his school by a Chinese girlfriend of mine who took Kung-Fu lessons from him for a couple of years. She used to show us some of her techniques. We all thought that it looked kind of silly — it was kind of funny. I was still in high school then. None of us knew anything about Karate or Kung-Fu. It was just something Oriental and exotic. I went with her to her class one day and that’s where I met Bruce. Then I started taking lessons from him.

That was going to be my next question. When you saw Bruce perform did that motivate you to start taking Kung-Fu?

LINDA: Yes, it did. That was also when I started at the University of Washington. Bruce was also a student at the University so we saw each other a lot. We were on campus all the time and he had sort of a whole little group following him. I joined the group and we practiced on campus between classes. That’s when I started getting to know him.

Professional Karate publisher Mike Anderson with Linda Lee.

After you were married, how was your life with Bruce Lee prior to his becoming a superstar? Was it a struggle?

LINDA: I don’t know how you would define “struggle” in this sense, but if you mean was it work, then yes, it was long, hard work — a welcome struggle. Bruce had goals, ambitions, and achievements to be realized. But he knew that for these to become a reality he had to put into it as much as he expected to gain from it. In 1962, Bruce wrote, in a letter to a friend, the following words which I take out of context of the letter: “Probably people will say I’m too conscious of success. Well, I am not.
You see, my will to do springs from the knowledge that I CAN do. I’m only being natural, for there is no fear or doubt inside my mind. Success comes to those who become success conscious. If you don’t aim at an object, how the heck on earth do you think you can get it?” This was written when Bruce was 21 years old and a student at the University of Washington when his plans did not include an acting career. In the same letter he wrote, “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined and more! My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force within me!” If you think about this, you’ll cease to wonder what made Bruce able to do the things he did. You’ll also understand what I’m going to say next. When I was 19, I married a superstar. To me, Bruce was always a superstar. The only difference is that now you know it, now the world knows it!

But, to get back to the struggle, when Bruce decided to become an actor, he stuck to this goal through many difficulties. After the GREEN HORNET TV series, there were quite a few years of hard times, often discouraging, sometimes a feast, more often a famine. In the film world, he was usually asked to play a typical degrading Oriental-type roles which he refused. Producers were hesitant to bank on Bruce as a leading man because he was Chinese. At any time he could have cashed in on his martial art fame by setting up a chain of nationwide “Kato—schools” and he was strongly urged by others to do this. But his years of practicing had developed an intense care for the martial art and he couldn’t sacrifice his art to the masses where he wouldn’t have control of the quality. This word quality ex-presses a great deal about Bruce —– whatever he did, be it a small action or a large decision, reflected quality. But there was no turning back on his goal. He had the strength of his convictions (which many have) but also the courage to carry them out ( a rare quality). Even during those years when there seemed to be no reward for his efforts, he drove himself hard, subjected himself to constant self-improvement. He wasn’t content to scratch the surface of his ambition, he dug deep into his fields: training daily, studying the physical body and every type of combat: western, eastern, ancient, modern; delving, into the philosophies of men of various beliefs: occidental and oriental; examining the ways of filmmakers around the world. He overcame the had times because he had the ability to endure and knew that to be a success required a lot of hard work. And he was a success. He put his heart and his soul into each film searching for a better way to show man to himself through the medium of entertainment.

Did Bruce have any hobbies besides Karate?

LINDA: His work was like his hobby which was really one of the factors that made him so good at it. He loved it so much he didn’t feel that he had to do something else as a release from his work, so he put so much time into it. He loved to read and he loved philosophy. All the things he did fit well into each other. He would observe something that seemingly had nothing to do with Karate, but he would fit it in with his own way of thinking. Everything in his life went together like the Yin and the Yang.

In order to get as good as Bruce Lee, being familiar with Karate and a Black Belt myself, I realize, that in order to achieve that degree of proficiency and power, he would have really had to work hard — just really devote a lot of hours to training for many years. How long did he really practice’? Just how fanatic or dedicated was he to the art’?

LINDA: Completely and totally. He was just totally into it. He was a totally integrated person. The thing was that his philosophy of Martial Arts was his philosophy of living, so it was always present in his mind. It was not a partial thing—like “now it’s time to practice” or ”Now it is time to do something else.” It was always on his mind – he was totally emersed in it.

How many hours a day would you say he trained?

LINDA: Of actual practicing’?

Actual physical practicing.

LINDA: Several hours. The thing was, he would have a program of “I’m going to do this long on calisthenics and exercises, and this long on kicking and training.” But all the rest of the day, even though it wasn’t planned and part of the program, he would still be doing it, like it was unconscious. He would be watching TV, sitting there stretching or with a dumbell doing his forearm exercises. He was always doing something. He could never sit still. Also, he could he involved in something else, like reading a hook and all of a sudden things would keep popping into his head. He would have to work it out then and’ there. He would have to solve the problem or whatever it was that occured to him right at that moment, so he was always thinking about it.

In Hong Kong: Bruce Lee, Bob Wall and Chuck Norris.

Where was Bruce originally from?

LINDA: He was actually born in San Francisco when his father, who was a Chinese actor in the opera, was touring in the United States. At the age of three months he returned to Hong Kong and was raised there until he was 18 years old.

I heard that he was an actual child star in Hong Kong. Is this true?

LINDA: Yes, that’s true. Because of his father’s occupation he was exposed to people in the film industry. His father was an actor in the opera, but also made films — Cantonese films. Bruce made quite a few films as a child and at the age of 17 he starred in a film in Hong Kong. It is still played here sometimes, in the Chinese theaters.

What was the name of the film?


What was Bruce’s first big role?

LINDA: The GREEN HORNET was his premier in show business. That was the first thing he did. He received a really big fol-lowing from that, too.

What particular film or incident took place that you’d say would be the turning point in Bruce’s future? The turning point that he became not just a star or a celebrity, but a superstar?

LINDA: Well, I guess it would have to be when he went to Hong Kong and made the first film there. Preceding that he had done the Longstreet series here and he had achieved so wide a following after he did that series that he was very hot here in Hollywood. They were after him to do a TV series. He was being propositioned by many TV studios. So I would say that it was at that time — that was 1971 —- was the turning point.

What did Bruce Lee feel was the most memorable moment in his career?

LINDA: I would say that it was the premier of THE BIG BOSS in Hong Kong. That was an absolutely thrilling experience for him and me. He had not seen the film in completed form and attending a premier in Hong Kong is a wild experience because they have the premier at midnight. Only the nuts go to a midnight show, the people who really love it. The audience is very expressive. If they like the movie, they cheer, yell, clap and they stand up—and if they hate it, they swear and throw tomatoes, the whole bit. It was kind of a tense situation because we didn’t know how it was going to be received. We were sitting there watching the movie with the audience and they went wild. They just loved it. It was thrilling. It was like somebody finally realized that Bruce had what it takes to express himself on the screen. It was an enthusiastic tribute to a man’s achievements. I’m glad Bruce experienced it — I wish he could have seen the reaction to ENTER THE DRAGON he worked so hard for it. It was almost simultaneous with the time he did Longstreet. He did the one episode and immediately took off for Hong Kong because that episode wasn’t coming out for several months. In the interim he did this movie in Hong Kong, THE BIG BOSS, which I believe was called FISTS OF FURY here. He did it realizing that it was a good film, but he didn’t really realize that it was going to have the reaction that it did, the response in Hong Kong. Longstreet came out here and it was such a success that many people wanted Bruce hack here. So, he came hack after finishing THE BIG BOSS and completed three more episodes of Longstreet. Right after that he immediately went hack to Hong Kong for the premier of THE BIG BOSS. It broke all records and the people just went crazy over there. He was under contract for two movies in Hong Kong at that time. So, while working on the second movie, which was FIST OF FURY but called the CHINESE CONNECTION here, he was entertaining many offers from over here, the States, to do a TV series. After seeing the response in Hong Kong, working there, he realized he had a free hand and much control in the production. He could do what he wanted to without all the limitations that are put on you in Hollywood. So he turned down all offers for a TV series. It was his goal to make a feature film. Many people were afraid to offer a feature role, a starring role, to an Oriental. They were afraid it wouldn’t sell. He held out because he knew it would. He just waited and they wised up.

Are there any new Bruce Lee movies to he released in the near future?

LINDA: There is a film called THE WAY OF THE DRAGON, which will be released here the week before Memorial Day. It was made in Hong Kong in 1972, with location shooting in Rome. Bruce wrote,directed and produced as well as starred in this film. He also completed half a film called THE GAME OF DEATH in which he asked Karim Abdhul Jabbar, also known as Lew Alcindor, to play a part because they were good friends. They had always wanted to do something like this together so they did a fantastic fight scene — it’s really fantastic. Also he did a part with Danny Inasanto in that film with nunchaku and that’s really good. I believe that it is enough completed that it can be finished properly and Warner Bros. is now planning on finishing it. But that will be several months or a year maybe before it’s done.

In THE WAY OF THE DRAGON are there any other well-known American Karate stars?

Bruce and Linda Lee as couple
Linda and Bruce Lee before leaving for Rome to shoot THE WAY OF THE DRAGON.

LINDA: Yes, Chuck Norris will be in it. He has a big role. Chuck and Bruce do a great fight scene in the Roman colliseum. Also Bob Wall is in it. Bob is a had guy. He gets his pretty early in the film. It was from that film that Warner Bros. saw Bob on the screen and thought that he really looked like a bad dude, so they wanted to use him in ENTER THE DRAGON. Both Chuck and Bob were more effective in their roles than actors, and Bruce enjoyed working with professional Karate men rather than actors in the fighting scenes.

I dislike asking the following question. I know that it is unpleasant for you, but we have had thousands of inquiries as to the cause of Bruce’s death. Many people think it had something to do with the Tong Society. The stories and the theories about his death have really gotten out of proportion. Would you please tell our readers the exact cause of Bruce’s death?

LINDA: Okay, I would like to clear this up because I have heard so many things myself. On the day Bruce died he was absolutely in perfect condition. To my eyes there was nothing wrong with him at all when I last saw him. He and his partner went to another person’s home to discuss an upcoming film strip. While they were there discussing it, Bruce complained of a slight headache and at that time a friend gave him a headache medication which was a prescription medication. He took this tablet called Equigesic and he said he would like to lie down for a little while, so he laid down, fell asleep and fell into a coma. He was not able to be aroused and subsequently he died. They did an extensive and thorough autopsy. The cause of death was cerebral edema which means swelling of the brain fluid putting pressure on the brain. But this has to be caused by something and they were quite at a loss to find out what caused it because everything in Bruce’s body seemed to he normal . Cerebral edema, however, can be one of the symptoms a person suffers when they arc hypersensitive to something. Some people, for example, are hypersensitive to penicillin. In this medication that Bruce took, this headache pill he took shortly before he died, there are three ingredients: aspirin and meprobamate which has sometimes caused an adverse reaction in some people, but it was an extremely small amount. But since this was all that they could find, they determined that the cause of death was cerebral edema caused by hypersensitivity to this drug.

What was the third ingredient in the drug that you didn’t mention?

LINDA: The third ingredient, I can’t remember the name of it, but there have been no adverse reactions recorded concerning that ingredient so they did not consider it. But, of course, there are people who are allergic to aspirin and also to the other ingredient but it is extremely rare. The reason that there are so many wild stories printed about the cause of his death was for several reasons. One is he was a young man in superb condition who suddenly died. In Hong Kong he was revered as a hero and the people there practically went into hysteria. They were at the point of rioting to find out what was the cause of his death. The thing that brought about so many stories was, for one thing, the cause of his death was not released to the public for almost three months after he died! During this time there were so many things, they had to think of a reason. So many newspapers came into existence just because of this. They were able to sell so many copies. Also, a person, any person who is that famous, and so much in the public eye, is subject to controversy. So anybody that could think up anything thought it up and printed it. Any slight rumor became a headline. Also at this time the promotion for ENTER THE DRAGON was going on and the people who did public appearances had to say something about what Bruce died of, so their line usually was that he died of an aneurism or a cerebral hemorrhage because this is something young people sometimes do die from. It is rather interesting to observe how people react to this type of incidence. It becomes compelling to find a reason or to find someone to blame when a young man in Bruce’s condition dies. People don’t expect one to die until they’re old, if they ever think about it at all, and when this happens they become very fearful and find need to justify it. At some point, though, we accept it and we learn from it. When we see how suddenly a life like Bruce’s has been extinguished, we look into our own lives and see if we’re living them the way we really want to be. And so, we can learn something about ourselves from Bruce’s death, but more importantly, we all, whether personal friend, karateka, movie goer, or fan, have profited from Bruce’s 32 years amongst us.

Bruce was in the best physical condition of any man I have ever seen in my life. What training practices did he have to obtain that degree of physical tone.

LINDA: Generally, he was just always doing something. He trained each part of his body specially. I mean he did certain exercises to develop his abdominal region and certain exercises for his forearms, to put more power into his punches, and leg exercises and kicking. Of course he did all these things like sit-ups and leg raises and all that. But I would say the main benefit was always practicing what he did. He was kicking and punching constantly and that’s where the main exercises came from … from repetition. He developed several pieces of equipment so that he could train better. He would sit down and draw ideas on paper of a piece of equipment that would help him with his kicks or punches maybe and then he would get someone to build this apparatus so he could work with it.

Is any of this equipment on the market today?

LINDA: No, his purpose in developing this equipment was to make it more realistic because heavy bags and wooden dummies don’t fight back. He tried, as far as possible, to make to develop his reaction speed — things that would not come back at him in a set pattern maybe at different angles where he had to change, move, and be aware and active. He had numerous ideas in various stages of development. Of course, in practicing you can only approach reality so far, but the closer you stimulate real combat situations, the more benefit you receive. That’s why Bruce did so much unrehearsed free sparring.

Did Bruce make any training films or write any textbooks on his art?

LINDA: In 1963, he put out a small paperback. It was sold through Oriental book sales. It was very simple — just basic principles and it was before Jeet Kune Do was developed but it still had a great deal of value. In the last few years he constantly recorded his thoughts and his techniques. He wrote everything down on paper. He compiled several volumes of his notes on Jeet Kune Do and at one time considered publishing them. At the moment, they exist in the form of just notes, pictures, and drawings.

Have you ever considered publishing these notes and pictures in textbook form.

LINDA: Bruce had already decided not to publish these manuscripts because he felt that it could be misused. This was his telling also why he would not start a nationwide chain of schools. It would take so many years to train one person in his philosophy to become a qualified assistant instructor that he didn’t feel that he could train enough instructors and spread them throughout the country so that they would be able to teach quality Jeet Kune Do and it would cheapen it, like prostituting his art. He always, until the day he died, considered Jeet Kune Do an art and not a business.

Did Bruce Lee ever have to use Jeet Kune Do to defend himself?

LINDA: Well, for instance, for the last two years we lived in Hong Kong, there were people who challenged him publicly, who felt he was a “paper tiger”, that he was just an actor faking it on the screen and they challenged him. But by this time, Bruce had come to the realization that he didn’t need to defend himself to prove himself to these people — and of course this is just a gimmick. These challenges never came to him directly. They came to. him through a newspaper. For instance, a person would say to a newspaper that he was going to challenge Bruce Lee. It was a gimmick for publicity. A couple of times these people ended up making a film because of all of the publicity they had gotten. There was one time, however, on a movie set, where an extra did provoke Bruce to the point where he had to show this guy where it was at. They are not movie professionals or actors. The extras that work on Chinese films are a bunch of young punks. They just bring them in to play the crowd scenes. Of course Bruce was a moody person. Some days he would be in a bad mood or a good mood. On this particular day, he didn’t feel like a hassle. This guy was saying, “I don’t believe that you can do it,” and went on and on like this. Bruce just didn’t want to go any further with it. He just said, “Come down here and we’ll settle it.” There ensued a very brief encounter which made firm believers of this extra and about 200 other people that were watching. Bruce could do what he said he could.

What did he do to the extra giving him the trouble?

Bruce Lee with family
The Bruce Lee family on the set of THE CHINESE CONNECTION. (Lt. to Rt.) Linda, Shannon, Brandon, Bruce.

LINDA: He didn’t have the intention of hurting this man because he knew that this was not a fight defending his home or family. In that case he would have probably killed him with one punch. This was just to let him know where it was at. So he bloodied his lip and played with him until the guy said that he had had enough.

What was the key factor to his tremendous ability?

LINDA: I would say that Bruce was a person who was highly individualized. He did not take his ideas from other people and did not just learn things and repeat them. He had his own set of values, his own set of convictions, his own purpose that was his. Because of this he had a tremendous force within him that I. cannot express in words, but it is a force you see on the screen. That’s why people are so attracted to him on the screen. It is just something that comes from him that is like an aura, like you feel a connection between yourself and him, like a magnetism. It is a force of concentration which flows from the screen to the audience; an immediate warm, personal relationship with the character; a strength of personality which triggers instant appeal; and over-all, an intense grace.

Who was Bruce Lee’s instructor in Kung-Fu?

LINDA: Bruce started learning at the age of 13 in Hong Kong because he wanted to learn to fight. He got into a lot of fights on the streets of Hong Kong when he a was a kid. His instructor was a man named Yip Man. He studied the Wing Chun style of Kung-Fu.

You know there is a lot of confusion about whether there is any difference between Gung-Fu and Kung-Fu. A lot of people think that these are two different arts. Do you have any theories on that?

LINDA: Well, actually it’s the same thing. In Cantonese, it’s pronounced Gung-Fu. The Romanization of the word is spelled Kung-Fu when you see it in writing, but when you learn the system of Romanization, you pronounce a K as a G sound. If there is a K with an apostrophe, then you pronounce it as a K sound. So when people use the words Kung-Fu and put it on a sign or something, people who don’t know the system of Romanization automatically pronounce it like a K, where originally it was intended to be pronounced as a G. Actually it is just because the Romanization system is so lousy and so difficult — I mean how you can you Romanize a language like Chinese when it is written in characters. It is almost impossible.

Why did Bruce develop his own style which he called Jeet Kune Do? First of all, what does Jeet Kune Do mean?

LINDA: Jeet Kune Do means “the way of the intercepting fist” and he developed this because he felt that the Wing Chun style of Kung-Fu at which he had been trained was not complete. It mainly stressed hand techniques — very little kicking, very partialized. From his observations of other styles of Kung Fu, Karate, Tae Kwon Do and all other Martial Arts, he felt that each one was a partialization. Each style has its own forms, its own its own movements and this is the only way to do it. But his way, which he hated to call a style because he felt a style put a limit on it, was his own personal expression of himself, that is why I don’t think that Jeet Kune Do can be taught as any other Martial Art can be, because there are no rules. There is no set number of forms, movements, or set number of techniques that you use against another technique. It’s a self expression. You have to have a great deal of personal knowledge about yourself to be able to fit into any situation. So many styles teach if somebody hits this way, you block this way. But when it ‘comes to really doing it or really being involved in a fight, often so, many things go down the drain because it’s not like it was in the studio.

Who that you know of is qualified to teach Jeet Kune Do today?

LINDA: Bruce has an assistant instructor in Los Angeles, Danny Inasanto, who still conducts a small class, but it is very selective. It is more like a club rather than a business organization. Bruce had the understanding with his instructors that they would never go widescale because he didn’t believe that Jeet Kune Do could ever be mass-reproduced. I don’t believe, however, that there is anyone that can teach Jeet Kune Do, who can relate Bruce’s philosophy as Bruce could. Therefore, I don’t think that there will ever be another Jeet Kune Do person or school. The main influence that Jeet Kune Do can have on the Martial Arts world is this: Although Bruce is not here to teach you how to do Jeet Kune Do, if you are taking Karate or Kung-Fu or any other kind of Martial Art, you can learn from the basic principals of Jeet Kune Do. First you must learn the techniques and you can learn them anywhere at a Karate school or a Kung-Fu school — you have to learn how to punch, you have to learn how to kick and you have to be physically fit. But from there on, you come to a point where this is not enough. You have to be so totally aware of yourself and your own physical ability that you can expand from there a self-expansion. It all comes from inside. This, I think, will be the main legacy that Bruce will leave to the Martial Arts world. Bruce used to call traditional Karate and traditional Kung-Fu dry land swimming. I’m sure you know what I mean. They were trained to swim on the land and nobody ever threw them into the water. Bruce was not even partialized to the extent that he considered the Oriental Martial Arts the best in the world. He studied boxing, fencing, wrestling and he integrated it all. He saw what was the best and he modified it — made it work.

Who was Bruce Lee’s protege? In other words his next in command as far as rank — his main pupil?

LINDA: Danny Inosanto and Taky Kimura. Taky Kimura was his first assistant in Seattle. He is still in Seattle.

Does he have a dojo in Seattle now?

LINDA: No, he only has a small group of friends that work out together. The only thing about Taky is that he had been out of contact with Bruce for so many years that he hadn’t learned many of the advancements that Bruce had achieved.

What were Bruce’s feeling about the dissension, the politics and the disunity on the American Karate scene? By saying “Karate” scene, we mean to include Kung-Fu, Tae Kwon Do, etc.

LINDA: Bruce was above it. He felt it was petty, trifling, and that it had nothing to do with the art. He stayed away from it didn’t get involved with it. He didn’t have to prove to the Karate world that he could do what he said he could. When certain people came to him to learn and got to know him, they found out that he was for real and he didn’t have to answer questions or defend his position or belong to any particular faction. By the way, I’d like to thank PK for creating the Bruce Lee trophy. I think the esteem with which he is received in the karate world is a tribute to his ability. I understand the trophy was presented at the Dallas tournament by Mr. Joe Lewis with dignity and acclaim for the merit of the award and the receiver of the award, Mr. Jeff Smith of Washington, D.C. There have been a number of other dedications to Bruce in the karate world which lead me to believe that he has found a special place in the hearts and minds of martial artists for generations to come.

There is a big revolution in the Karate world today where people are beginning to throw away their katas and traditionalized styles and practice karate for themselves and their own particular needs. They are beginning to continue to do forms and other traditional movements that they feel have no realistic physical value other than basic. What were Bruce’s feeling about this new revolution?

LINDA: Bruce would observe that, for in-stance in a Karate tournament, somebody would score a point with a kick, but raised his heel off the ground. He actually scored, but would be criticized “bad form because he raised his heel”. But scoring is what counts, being effective it’s not the form that counts. When Bruce did demonstrations in Karate tournaments, he often did this free sparring with head gear and gloves with Karate people that had never seen him. Of course it was completely unrehearsed. They were just ad libbing and this was really fantastic because then you could see it happening for real. It wasn’t a form or a kata or anything done in a demonstration. It was for real. I think it’s good that there seems to be a movement to have contact in professional karate tournaments. Jhoon Rhee’s development of protective equipment is giving practical means toward this end. Bruce often used Jhoon’s Safe-T equipment in sparring.

Did he ever suggest a solution to settling the problems of disunity that face Karate organizations in the world today?

LINDA: I would say that his Jeet Kune Do was his suggestion to the Karate world — that this is how it should be. He believed that the foundation of any type of government or business was the individual. He believed that everyone was a totally individual person. He felt that Karate practitioners should break the chokehold that organizations and styles had on them and begin physically expressing themselves as individuals. This, of course, had to be done after the individual had properly learned advanced techniques of his particular style or variety of styles. As Bruce would say, “Everyone should do his own thing.”

Your children are a boy and a girl?

LINDA: My son is nine years old. His name is Brandon Bruce Lee. He is almost an image of his father. He doesn’t look Chinese particularly, but one look at him and you will say that he resembles Bruce extremely not only physically but when you see the way he acts and the way he moves and the way he talks. You’d say that this is a little replica of Bruce. His temperament is just like Bruce’s. He is temperamental, stubborn, and very active. He never stops going. He’s full of ideas.

Does he know Jeet Kune Do?

LINDA: Of course he knows some because he was so exposed to it all the time for so many years. But Bruce didn’t feel that he had reached an age where he could take disciplined instruction in it yet, so he didn’t teach him an hour a day or something like that. But, he’s picked up a lot of moves and he knows how to punch. He has force. He knows how to put power into a punch and he knows how to kick. Bruce started him in Judo first because at his age, Judo would teach him how to handle his body, physical contact in a sportsmanlike way. My daughter Shannon Lee is four years old and she was the apple of Bruce’s eye. When we were going to have a second child Bruce was not too interested. I mean it didn’t matter too much to him whether it was a boy or a girl. He already had his boy and he thought a boy was it — he could teach him and a girl was okay. Then we had Shannon and she just took away his heart. I mean anything she wanted she could have and she was just his sweetheart.

What are your plans for the future?

LINDA: I moved back to the Seattle area in November and I’ve been attending the University of Washington. I have been taking courses in Chinese because naturally I’ve become interested in the culture. Also my children are half Chinese and I don’t want them to forget it which is very easy to do in an American community. It’s probable we won’t stay in Seattle for long as there is quite a bit of unfinished business that needs’ to be taken care of which is more easily handled from L.A. I am speaking of Bruce’s unfinished film and the possibility of a documentary and book on his life. I’ve received a great deal of mail from all over the world over the past months. I appreciate the expressions of admiration and respect for Bruce together with their sympathy for me. I’d like to say that I feel I’ve been the luckiest lady in the world to have been married to Bruce for nine years, to have shared his ups and downs, his joys and sorrows. He was a very special human being. I wish everyone had the opportunity to have known him.


Jeff Smith Bruce Lee
This Linda Lee interview was published in summer 1974 inside Professional Karate magazine.