Bruce Lee Timeline


November 27, 1940     Bruce Lee born at Jackson Street Hospital, San Francisco CA   

February 1941             Appears in his first film “Golden Gate Girl” (a.k.a. Tears of San Francisco)   

February 1941             Travels back to Hong Kong with his parents   

1946                             Appears in first real acting film role "The Birth of Mankind"   

November 24, 1948     Premier of "Wealth is Like a Dream"   

May 6, 1949                 Premier of "Sai See in the Dream, The Story of Fan Lei-fa"


February 20, 1950        Premier of "Blooms and Butterflies"

May 31, 1950                Premier of "The Kid" (a.k.a. My Son A-Chang)

April 12, 1951               Premier of "The Birth of Mankind" (a.k.a The Beginning of a Boy/Infancy)   

September 1951          Bruce enters La Salle College in Hong Kong

1953                             Begins studying Wing Chun   

April 30, 1953               Premier of "The Guiding Light" (a.k.a. A Son is Born)   

June 28, 1953              Premier of "A Mother Remembers" (a.k.a. A Mother’s Tears)   

September 27, 1953    Premier of "It’s Father’s Fault" (a.k.a. Blame It on Father/Sins of the Father)   

October 8, 1953           Premier of "A Myriad Homes" (a.k.a Countless Families/Ten Million People)   

November 27, 1953     Premier of "In the Face of Demolition"   

1955                             Premier of "Love Part I"   

January 8, 1955           Premier of "Love Part II" (a.k.a. The Carnival)   

February 11, 1955        Premier of "An Orphan’s Tragedy"   

June 24, 1955              Premier of "The Faithful Wife"   

September 8, 1955      Premier of "Orphan’s Song"   

October 21, 1955         Premier of "We Owe It to Our Children" (a.k.a. The More the Merrier/Debt Between Mother and Son)   

February 25, 1956       Premier of "Sweet Time Together" (a.k.a. Wise Guys Who Fool Around)   

September 10, 1956    Enters St. Francis Xavier High School   

December 22, 1956     Premier of "Too Late for Divorce"   

March 14, 1957            Premier of "Thunderstorm"   

December 6, 1957       Premier of "Darling Girl"   

1958                             Wins Crown Colony Cha-Cha Championship   

March 29, 1958            Defeats 3 yr champ Gary Elms in boxing competitions at the King George V school   

May 2, 1958                 Defeats Chinese boxer student of Lung Chi Chuen on Union Road in Kowloon City   

1958                             Stars in "The Orphan"   

1958                             Begins learning Gung Lik Qun and Jit Qun from Sifu Jiu Hong Shang   

April 29, 1959               Travels back to San Francisco, CA via "The President Wilson" steamship   

May 4, 1959                 The President Wilson makes its first port of call in Osaka, Japan   

May 17, 1959               Arrives in San Francisco, CA   

June 22, 1959              Flies to New York to visit his father who is performing for 3 weeks with the Hong Kong Cantonese Opera Troupe. Takes Southern Praying Mantis style martial art lessons from Sifu Gin Foon Mark   

September 3, 1959      Enrolls in the Edison Technical School in Seattle, WA


March 3, 1960              Premier of "The Orphan" (a.k.a. Orphan Ah-Sam)   

October 28, 1960         Bruce and students give a Judo & Gung Fu demonstration at Seattle's Yesler Terrace Gymnasium   

November 27, 1960     Celebrates his 20th birthday with students at Tai Tung restaurant in Seattle's Chinatown   

December 2, 1960       Graduates from Edison Technical School   

February 14, 1961       Bruce and some of his students give a Gung Fu demonstration at Seattle's Yesler Terrace Gymnasium   

March 27, 1961            Enrolls in the University of Washington   

April 1, 1961                 Accepts challenge from Karate Black Belt named Uechi. Defeats him at the YMCA in 11 seconds   

November 27, 1961      Celebrates his 21st birthday at Bush Garden Restaurant with students in Seattle's Chinatown   

April 1962                     Starts the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in Seattle’s Chinatown at 609 S Weller St   

Late Nov 1962              Spends the Thanksgiving holiday period with James & Katherine Lee in Oakland, CA   

November 27, 1962      Celebrates his 22nd birthday with friends at The Lantern restaurant in Oakland, CA   

December 19, 1962      Bruce   and James Lee pickup 1,500 copies of Bruce's book “Chinese Gung Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense" from the publisher in Berkley CA    

March 26, 1963            Takes his student Doug Palmer back to Hong Kong for homecoming visit   

August 1963                 Returns to Seattle and opens second gung fu school at 418 1/2 8th Avenue S   

October 5, 1963           Moves Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute to 4750 University Way in Seattle's Chinatown   

October 25, 1963         First date with Linda Emery at the revolving Space Needle in Seattle WA   

May 2, 1964                 Attends Wally Jay's 1964 luau in Alameda, CA    

July 19, 1964               Establishes gung fu school in Oakland, CA   

August 2, 1964            Performs at Ed Parker’s Long Beach International Karate Tournament   

August 17, 1964          Marries Linda Emery at the King County Courthouse, Seattle WA   

August 1964                Bruce and Linda relocate from Seattle to Oakland. They move in with James Yimm Lee and family   

October 5, 1964          James Lee's wife passes away (Bruce and Linda were living with the Lee's at that time)   

Late 1964                    Gives a Wing Chun demonstration at Sun Sing Theater in San Francisco's Chinatown   

November 1964           Takes up challenge from Wong Jack Man. This fight convinces Bruce he needs more than Wing Chun   

February 1, 1965         Brandon Lee born in Oakland, CA   

February 5, 1965         Gives screen test at 20th Century Fox for TV series Charlie Chan’s Number One Son   

February 7, 1965          Father Lee Hoi Chuen passes away in Hong Kong   


Feb 15 - Mar 6, 1965    Returns to Hong Kong for three weeks after his father's death   

May 7 - Sep 1965         Takes Brandon with him and Linda to Hong Kong to visit his family   

September 21, 1965     Signs a contract with 20th Century Fox as an actor   

March 1966                   The Lee family moves to Los Angeles CA   

April 30, 1966               Signs a contract with 20th Century Fox for the Green Hornet TV Series   

May 25, 1966               Gives Burt Ward (Robin from the Batman show) his one and only gung fu lesson   

June 6, 1966                Begins filming the Green Hornet   

June 21, 1966              Pens letter to William Dozier asking for increased lines for Kato in future Green Hornet scripts   

September 9, 1966      The Green Hornet begins to air on ABC-TV until July 14, 1967   

October 15, 1966         Bruce appears at the South Bay Annual Karate Championships at El Camino College, Torrance CA   

January 8, 1967           First appearance of the name Jeet Kune Do in his day timer   

January 27, 1967         Appears as Kato on the ABC-TV series Batman   

February 5, 1967         Starts the Jun Fan Gung Fu institute at 628 College Street, Chinatown   

February 9, 1967         Open house seminar held at new Jun Fan Gung Fu institute   

March 8, 1967              The Green Hornet series ends   

May 6, 1967                  Performs at the 1967 National Karate Championship Washington, DC   

June 24, 1967               Appears at the All America Open Karate Championships Madison Square Garden, New York   

July 9, 1967                  Uses the term "Jeet Kune Do" in writing for the first time   

July 14, 1967                Shoots an episode of the TV Series "Ironside"   

July 30, 1967                Attends the 1967 Ed Parker International Karate Tournament in Long Beach, CA   

August 25, 1967           Bruce has first training session with actor Steve McQueen at McQueen's home   

September 30, 1967     Bruce holds first training session with martial arts champion Mike Stone   

October 20, 1967          Chuck Norris begins training with Bruce Lee   

January 1968                Bruce is interviewed by college journalist Jack Jobe at an event to raise money for cerebral palsy   

January 25, 1968          Bruce has first private lesson with Karate champion Joe Lewis   

February 29, 1968        Bruce has business cards printed detailing his rates for private instruction   

March 18, 1968            Stirling Silliphant calls Bruce to inquire about private lessions   

March 20, 1968            Bruce has lunch with Stirling Silliphant and writer Joe Hyams regarding potential private instruction   

March 25, 1968            Bruce starts private lessons with Stirling Silliphant and Joe Hyams   

April 6, 1968                 Attends National Chinese Gung Fu Exhibition at Civic Auditorium in San Francisco CA   

June 24, 1968              Attends National Karate Championships in Washington, DC   

July 5, 1968                 Works as martial arts director on "The Wrecking Crew" starring Dean Martin   

August 21, 1968          Acts as a villain in the movie "Marlowe" starring James Garner.  

August 26, 1968          Bruce visits Bob Smith Volkswagen-Porsche to test drive a porsche   

August 27, 1968          Steve McQueen gives Bruce a puppy. Bruce names it Riff   

September 19, 1968    Bruce attends an early screening of friend Steve McQueen's movie "Bullitt"   

October 1, 1968           Moves to Bel Air, CA   

October 12, 1968         Goes to Carrolton, Mississippi with Steve McQeen. Serves as McQueen's personal trainer for the film "The Reivers"

November 1, 1968        Bruce goes to actor James Coburn's place for his first private lesson   

November 12, 1968      Films an episode of the TV series "Blondie"   

November 15-22, 1968 Films an episode of the TV series "Here Comes the Brides"   

January 7, 1969            Writes inspirational note “My Definite Chief Aim”   

January 13, 1969          Bruce meets with screenwriter Stirling Silliphant and actor/friend James Coburn to discuss "The Silent Flute"   

January 14, 1969          Bruce goes to dinner and a movie with James Coburn and his wife   

January 20, 1969          Bruce, Silliphant and Coburn meet with Silliphant's nephew Mark to discuss "The Silent Flute" screenplay   

January 28, 1969          Bruce has a minor accident in his Porsche   

February 13, 1969        Bruce begins listening to motivational tapes and starts on a treatment for "The Silent Flute"   

February 28, 1969        Bruce meets with Silliphant and Coburn regarding additional ideas he has for "The Silent Flute"    

April 17-21, 1969          Works as martial arts director on Stirling Silliphant's film "A Walk in the Spring Rain"   

April 19, 1969               Shannon Lee born in Santa Monica, CA   

May 12, 1969               Bruce, Silliphant and Coburn again meet with Silliphant's nephew Mark to discuss add'l Silent Flute updates   

May 30, 1969               Bruce's mom Grace and younger brother Robert visit the Lee's in Bel Air, CA   

June 3, 1969                Linda has an accident in Bruce's Porsche   

July 25, 1969               Mark Silliphant is fired as screenwriter for The Silent Flute   

August 8, 1969            Actress Sharon Tate and hair stylist Jay Sebring - both friends/students of Bruce - are killed by the Manson family   

August 13, 1969          Bruce attends Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring's funerals   

October 31, 1969        Marlowe is released to mediocre reviews   

December 1, 1969       Joe Lewis' beautician wife goes to Bruce's house to highlight his hair later accusing him of making a pass at her

December 25, 1969      Steve McQueen's movie "The Reivers" is released           


January 29, 1970         Bruce closes his Chinatown school   

February 5-9, 1970      Travels to the Dominican Republic with Jhoon Rhee to help promote the Jhoon Rhee Institute   

February 16-26, 1970  Teaches martial arts to director Roman Polanski in Switzerland   

March 7, 1970              Bruce attends Krishnamurti public speaking engagement at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium   

March 27, 1970            Brings 5-yr old Brandon back to Hong Kong   

April 7, 1970                 Bruce interviews with Michael Hui on HKTVB with Brandon for "Enjoy Yourself Tonight"    

April 10, 1970               Bruce appears in RTV "Golden Hour" show with son Brandon   

April 16, 1970               Bruce returns to America   

August 13, 1970           Severely injures his back lifting weights without properly warming up   

January 23, 1971         Bruce has dinner with Warner Bros. executive Ted Ashley   

Jan 29 - Feb 11, 1971  Goes to India with James Coburn and Stirling Silliphant to scout locations for Silent Flute   

May 1971                     Golden Harvest sends Lau Leung Wah to USA to convince Bruce to star in two films   

June 21-July 1, 1971   Plays supporting role in first episode of TV series Longstreet titled "Way of the Intercepting Fist"   

June 28, 1971              Joins Golden Harvest to shoot two movies   

July 12, 1971               Departs for Thailand to film "The Big Boss"   

September 3, 1971      Returns to Hong Kong after "The Big Boss" completes and gives impromptu interview at airport   

September 3, 1971      Sits for interview by Tam Peng Man in TVB for "Enjoy Yourself Tonight"   

September 4, 1971      Sits for interview by Gou Leung and David Lo in ATV   

September 6, 1971      Back to USA to film three additional episodes of Longstreet   

September 24, 1971    Bruce meets with Warner Bros Tom Kuhn to discuss the Kung Fu TV series   

October 11, 1971         Departs for Hong Kong with Linda, Shannon and Brandon   

October 22, 1971         Sits for interview by Lau Ka Kit on HKTVBs "Enjoy Yourself Tonight" with Bob Baker   

October 30, 1971         "The Big Boss" premiers and makes $3.2M in 23 days   

November 19, 1971     Appears in a special program on HKTVB for The Big Boss   

December 7, 1971       Receives telegram from Warner Bros that Kung Fu TV series has been rejected   

December 9, 1971       Sits for interview with Pierre Burton   

December 29, 1971      Forms own production company Concord Productions   

January 21, 1972          Interview with Pierre Burton airs on HKTVB

March 11, 1972             "Fist of Fury" premiers at midnight   

March 22, 1972             "Fist of Fury" premieres and breaks all records set by "The Big Boss"   

April 10, 1972               Stirling Silliphant arrives in Hong Kong to discuss The Silent Flute   

May 4, 1972                 Bruce departs for Rome for the shooting of "Way of the Dragon"   

May 5, 1972                 Bruce, Raymond Chow, Chaplin Chang and Tadashi Nishimoto (cinematographer) arrive in Rome   

May 18, 1972               Bruce returns to Hong Kong with Bob Wall and Chuck Norris   

May 19, 1972               Bruce appears on HKTVB's "Enjoy Yourself Tonight" with Chuck Norris and Bob Wall   

June 24, 1972              Bruce attends Unicorn Palm press conference with fellow actor and friend Unicorn   

July 29, 1972                Participates in HKTVB's telethon for June 18 Flood. Demonstrates with Brandon Lee and Wu Ngan   

Sep to Nov 1972          Moves into No. 41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tong district   

October 29, 1972         Bruce flys to Los Angeles to negotiate his contract with Warner Bros. for "Enter the Dragon"    

November 1972           Begins filming fight sequences for "Game of Death"   

November 20, 1972     Black Belt Magazine grants Lee the 1972 Martial Artist of the year Award   

November 23, 1972     Bruce signs a contract with Warner Bros to film "Enter the Dragon"   

November 23, 1972     Bruce appears on HKTVB's "Enjoy Yourself Tonight" to celebrate TVB's 5th anniversary   

December 2, 1972       Signs contract with Warner Bros for "Enter the Dragon"   

December 20, 1972     Sifu Yip Man passes away   

December 21, 1972     Selected as one of the Top 10 Movie Stars by Overseas Chinese Daily   

December 22, 1972     Bruce attends Yip Man's memorial ceremony with other Wing Chun students   

December 23, 1972     "Way of the Dragon" premiers at midnight and breaks previous box office records   

December 30, 1972     Bruce's students Ted Wong and Herb Jackson visit Bruce in Hong Kong   

February 1973             James Yimm Lee passes away from cancer in Oakland, CA   

February 1, 1973         Bruce takes out $200,000 life insurance policy with American International Assurance (AIA) Company   

March 13, 1973            Begins production of "Enter the Dragon"   

April 1973                     Bruce is guest of honor for Sports Day ceremony at St. Xaviers School   

April 30, 1973               Bruce takes out 2nd life insurance policy this time for $1,350,000 from Lloyd's of London   

May 10, 1973               Appears on HKTVB's Montage Show with Raymond Chow   

May 25, 1973               Collapses at Golden Harvest Studios during dubbing session for "Enter the Dragon"   

May 29 - 30, 1973        Flies to California to conduct complete physical exam. During this time he meets with Dan Inosanto for the last time   

July 5, 1973                  Clashes with director Lo Wei at Golden harvest studios   

July 5, 1973                  Sits for interview by Ho Sau Shun in TVB for the show "Enjoy Yourself Tonight"   

July 20, 1973                Loses consciousness at Betty Ting Pei’s apartment. He is rushed to Queen Elizabeth hospital where he is pronounced dead at 11:30 pm   

July 25, 1973                Over 25,000 people attend Lee's Kowloon funeral service   

July 31, 1973                A second funeral is held at Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle where Lee is laid to rest. Pall bearers include Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Dan Inosanto and brother Robert Lee   

August 24, 1973           "Enter the Dragon" premieres at Graumann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA   

September 24, 1973     The cause of Lee’s death is cited as Death by Misadventure by the coroner   

October 1, 1975            Tao of Jeet Kune Do is published by Ohara Publications   

June 7, 1979                 "Game of Death" is released. Producers combine unused real footage of Bruce with body doubles, tricky camera shots and cardboard cutouts. Bruce Lee spins in his grave! 



March 31, 1993             Bruce's son Brandon Lee killed on the set of the movie "The Crow"

April 28, 1993                Bruce Lee receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame   

May 7, 1993                  "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" starring Jason Scott Lee (no relation) is released   

April 22, 1994                Bruce Lee receives lifetime achievement award at 13th annual Hong Kong film awards   

November 15, 1995      Hong Kong post office releases Bruce Lee postage stamp   

January 10, 1996          Some of Bruce Lee's original students meet in Seattle to form "The Nucleus"   

August 4, 1998              Bruce Lee Day declared in Puerto Rico    


October 21, 2000          Bruce Lee Day declared in San Francisco, CA   

May 24, 2004                Bruce Lee receives Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy Legacy Award in London, England   

March 28, 2005             Bruce Lee named Star of the Century at the Hong Kong Film Awards   

November 25, 2005      Bruce Lee statue revealed in Mosar, Bosnia   

November 27, 2005      Bruce Lee statue revealed in Hong Kong   

May 10, 2012                Congressional resolution to recognize Bruce Lee's impact on American culture   

June 15, 2013               Bruce Lee statue unveiled in Los Angeles, CA   

July 20, 2013                "Bruce Lee: Kung Fu - Art - Life" exhibition opens in Hong Kong   

October 3, 2014           Bruce Lee Day declared in Seattle, WA   

October 4, 2014           "Do You Know Bruce?" Year 1 exhibition opens at the Wing Luke Museum in Chinatown, Seattle WA and runs from October 4, 2014 through September 6, 2015   

October 3, 2015           "Do You Know Bruce? Breaking Barriers" Year 2 exhibition opens and runs from October 3, 2015 through September 4, 2016 at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle WA  

October 1, 2016          "Do You Know Bruce? A  Day in the Life of Bruce Lee" Year 3 exhibition opens and runs from October 1, 2016 through February 11, 2018 at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle WA 

March 10, 2018           "Do You Know Bruce Lee: A Dragon Lives Here" Year 4 exhibition opens at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle WA