RIP Jim Kelly!
Sad news to share: legendary Kung Fu Artist, Athlete and Blaxploitation movie star Jim Kelly has died…
Jim Kelly co-starred with Bruce Lee in “Enter The Dragon”, and parlayed that into a series of action films such as “Black Belt Jones”…
As an actor, Kelly was best known for co-starring alongside Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon”. 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.
More movie roles followed in the 70’s as the blaxploitation film craze made waves around the world.
Here is his entrance in the classic blaxploitation film “Black Belt Jones” – Over these opening credits, he takes care of a dozen bad guys, and does it with style….
He earned a three-film contract with Warner Brothers and made “Three the Hard Way” with Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, a film that broke out of the blaxploitaiton mold of “bad ass” lead characters, and instead focused on three black lead characters who were action heroes….
After his contract ended with Warner Brothers, he starred in low-budget films “Black Samurai”, “Death Dimension”, and “Tattoo Connection.”
Jim Kelly, Tennis Star!
After his acting career ended, he became a professional tennis player on the USTA Senior Men’s Circuit.
In 2004, he appeared with NBA star LeBron James in the Nike commercial “Chamber of Fear”, a spoof of the Bruce Lee film “Game of Death.”
Kelly resided in Southern California and worked as a professional tennis coach. He was still a popular draw at conventions such as the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Until his passing, he considered Bruce Lee as “the greatest martial artist, that ever lived”. Here is the trailer for the classic film “Enter The Dragon”, starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly!
Jim Kelly died on June 29, 2013…RIP Jim! He will be remembered for a number of great action performances, but none greater than his work with Bruce Lee….
Check out the classic action movie “Enter The Dragon” to see Jim Kelly and Bruce Lee in action.
Bruce Lee Magic!
For more on the incredible physical ability of Bruce Lee, check out this CRAZY nunchuck ping pong match by clicking HERE!
And to discover the explosive mixture of incredible fashions, hairstyles, comedy, sex, action and music that defined “blaxploitation” films – click HERE!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Blaxploitation!, Books / Media, documentary films, Exploitation films, Film Noir, Grindhouse, Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sports, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized