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'Enter the Dragon' actor Jim Kelly dies

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:22 p.m. HST, Jun 30, 2013

SAN DIEGO >> Actor Jim Kelly, who played a glib American martial artist in "Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee, has died. He was 67.

Marilyn Dishman, Kelly's ex-wife, said he died Saturday of cancer at his home in San Diego.

Sporting an Afro hairstyle and sideburns, Kelly made a splash with his one-liners and fight scenes in the 1973 martial arts classic. His later films included "Three the Hard Way," ''Black Belt Jones" and "Black Samurai."

During a 2010 interview with salon.com, Kelly said he started studying martial arts in 1964 in Kentucky and later moved to California where he earned a black belt in karate. He said he set his sights on becoming an actor after winning karate tournaments. He also played college football.

The role in the Bruce Lee film was his second. He had about a dozen film roles in the 1970s before his acting work tapered off. In recent years, he drew lines of autograph seekers at comic book conventions.

"It was one of the best experiences in my life," he told salon.com of working on "Enter the Dragon." ''Bruce was just incredible, absolutely fantastic. I learned so much from working with him. I probably enjoyed working with Bruce more than anyone else I'd ever worked with in movies because we were both martial artists. And he was a great, great martial artist. It was very good."

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mijlive wrote:
peace bro
on June 30,2013 | 07:29PM
iwanaknow wrote:
I remember watching this film in the theater in Kahuku, and when it rained hard on the tin roof you couldn't hear the sound. Boy that dates me!
on June 30,2013 | 08:25PM
MillionMonkeys wrote:
Jim Kelly ain't gone, he's just too busy looking gooood.
on June 30,2013 | 10:24PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
RIP and thanks for the memories
on June 30,2013 | 11:37PM
yhls wrote:
He played one of the coolest most memorable roles ever in martial arts cinema history. Always thought his character was the one who should have survived, along with Bruce Lee's, as opposed to John Saxon's. Not taking anything away from Saxon. But Jim Kelly was a real martial artist and way cooler.
on July 1,2013 | 03:12AM
Maipono wrote:
Jim Kelly, John Saxon, Shik Kien, Bolo Yueng, Robert Wall, Peter Archer, Robert Clouse, Jackie Chan, and all the rest of the Enter the Dragon production team have all benefited from working with the great Bruce Lee. Jim Kelly's performance special because of his natural physical skills and his great martial arts skill. A true martial artist, humbling his own awesome skills. Yet another great actor and martial artist that has died way too young.
on July 1,2013 | 05:44AM
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