Monday, July 01, 2013

Martial Artist Jim Kelly Dies at 67

May 5, 1946 – June 29, 2013
Actor and famed American Martial Artist Jim Kelly died Saturday of cancer at his home in San Diego. He was 67.  He was the star of several martial arts-themed blaxploitation movies in the 70s including Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way and Black Samurai - but was most notably known for his co-starring role with Bruce Lee in the legendary movie "Enter the Dragon."  Kelly began his martial arts training in 1964 and moved on to win four prestigious championships in 1971, including the World Middleweight Karate title at the 1971 Long Beach International Karate Championships.  Jim opened his own Dojo in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles where he was discovered and cast for Enter the Dragon.  Kelly was also a professional tennis player on the USTA Senior Men's Circuit.  RIP to a true artist.

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