IN MEMORY OF: JIM KELLY (RIP)
MAY HE REST IN THE POWER OF PEACE!!!
James Milton "Jim" "the Dragon" Kelly (May 5, 1946 - June 29, 2013) was an American athlete, actor, and martial artist who came to prominence in the early 1970s. He was best known from his performance as Williams in the 1973 Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon.
Kelly was born in Paris, Kentucky. He began his athletic career in high school, competing in basketball, football, and track and field. He attended the University of Louisville where he played football, but left during his freshman year to begin studying Shorin-ryu karate. Additionally, he trained in Okinawa-te karate under the direction of Gordon Doversola. Kelly won the Huntington Beach Classic and credits Doversola with making him a world class fighter. During this time, other notables such as Joe Lewis would also train in the same martial arts school. After winning the middleweight title at the 1971 Long Beach International Karate Championships in Long Beach, he opened his own dojo. He taught karate to actor Calvin Lockhart for a role in a thriller feature film Melinda; he ended up playing a martial arts instructor in the movie.
As an actor, Kelly was best known for co-starring alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. The role was originally supposed to go to actor Rockne Tarkington, who unexpectedly dropped out days before shooting in Hong Kong. Producer Fred Weintraub had heard about Jim Kelly's karate studio in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, and went there to see him and was immediately impressed. Kelly's role as Williams, an inner-city karate instructor who is harassed by white police officers, made a good impression upon directors and African-American males with his cool-cat demeanor and formidable physical skills.
This appearance led to starring roles in a string of martial arts-themed blaxploitation films, among them Melinda and Black Belt Jones. Most of Kelly's film roles played up the novelty of an African-American martial arts master.
He earned a three-film contract with Warner Brothers and made Three the Hard Way with Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, and Hot Potato, a movie in which he rescues a diplomat's daughter from the jungles of Thailand. After his contract ended with Warner Brothers, he starred in low-budget films Black Samurai, Death Dimension, and Tattoo Connection.
After his appearance in 1982's One Down, Two to Go, Kelly appeared in movies only rarely.
A deleted scene from the film "Undercover Brother", included on the DVD extra features, shows him in a cameo appearance with Eddie Griffin.
Read More on Mr Kelly @: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Kelly_(martial_artist)
LOS ANGELES, D.C., June 30 (UPI) -- Jim Kelly, a U.S. martial artist and actor who started with fung fu legend Bruce Lee in "Enter the Dragon," has died at 67, his ex-wife said on Facebook.