Bruce Lee, A Life by Mathew Polly

Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

June 8th, 2018, 10:41 pm #111

When Steve McQueen was just starting out in the 1950s, he hung with Frank Sinatra and saw the private jets, limousines, red carpet events, screaming fans, opened doors and fawning admiration. "I want some of that," McQueen whispered to his wife. In the 1960s, it was Bruce Lee's turn to feel the same way.

What Lee wanted more than anything was a new sports car. He neglected his old Chevy Nova, hardly ever cleaning it. The only thing he liked was the sticker on the back window with the inscription: "This Car Is Protected by the Green Hornet." (Lee made his U.S. debut playing Kato in the 1960s ABC series.)

Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring would let Lee race his Shelby Cobra along Mulholland Drive. Lee admired the Cobra, but what he really desired was a Porsche 911S Targa, because McQueen had one. On Aug. 26, 1968, he visited Bob Smith's Volkswagen-Porsche dealership in Hollywood for a test drive. As soon as he got home, he called up McQueen in Palm Springs. "Steve, I'm going to get a Porsche like yours," Lee declared.

"Look, Bruce, let me take you for a ride in mine when I get back," McQueen cautioned. "It's a hot car, but if you don't know what you are doing you can get into trouble with this thing."

McQueen could have made his living as a Grand Prix driver, while Lee was by all accounts a menace behind the wheel. ("He was just way too fast," says Dan Inosanto, Lee's training partner. "It would scare me.") Lee was expecting a joy ride, but McQueen hoped to frighten Lee out of buying a Porsche.

McQueen picked up Lee and drove up the San Fernando Valley to Mulholland Drive. "OK, Bruce, you ready?" McQueen said. "Yes, I'm all set. Let's go!" McQueen peeled away, grinding through the gears as he twisted and turned along the winding, dangerous path high in the Santa Monica mountains. "What do you think of this power, Bruce?" McQueen shouted over the engine roar. Lee said nothing. "Watch this!" McQueen yelled as he slalomed to the edge of the precipice. "Isn't that great, Bruce? See how it handles. Now watch how I slide it!" McQueen put the Porsche into a tail slide as he went right to the edge. "Isn't that great, Bruce?" No reply.

"Watch this, Bruce. Sucker will do a mean 180," McQueen announced as he geared it up, spun it around, and stopped the car. He looked over: "What do you think, Bruce?" But Lee wasn't in the seat. McQueen looked down and saw Lee huddled in the footwell with his hands over his head. "McQueen, you sonovabitch!" Lee shouted as he pulled himself back into the seat. "McQueen, I'll bloody kill you! I'll kill you, McQueen! I'm gonna kill you!"

McQueen saw the look of rage on Lee's face and it terrified him. He knew how deadly Lee could be when he was angry. So McQueen raced back up Mulholland Drive as fast as he could. "Bruce, calm down!" McQueen shouted.

"Steve, slow down," Lee cried out. "You won't hit me, will you, Bruce?" McQueen pleaded. "No, no," said Lee. "You won't hurt me will you?" McQueen asked again. "No, no!" yelled Lee. "Just stop the car. Stop the car!" McQueen finally pulled over to the side, and Lee said, "I will never drive with you again, McQueen. Never!"

Excerpted from Bruce Lee: A Life © 2018 by Matthew Polly. Published by Simon & Schuster.
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Joined: July 24th, 2015, 3:19 am

June 8th, 2018, 11:26 pm #112

I was just re-reading the part on the Blondie episode Bruce did. Apparently the training scene where Bruce instructs Dagwood was actually filmed in Bruce's Chinatown studio.

There seems to be no video of this episode anywhere.
"All type of knowledge ultimately means self-knowledge"
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Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

June 9th, 2018, 7:02 pm #113

The '68 version of Blondie only had 14 episodes produced. The likelihood of the Bruce Lee episode turning up seems to decrease with each passing day.
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Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

June 10th, 2018, 6:43 pm #114

"Is there ever comming a HKTVB book about Bruce's appearances?
I have ask Ricky or Steve but I think they are to busy with the magazines." Leon

Sounds like at best, a chapter subject, not an entire book.
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Joined: July 24th, 2015, 3:19 am

June 12th, 2018, 6:55 am #115

Interview with Matthew Polly, after a screening of ETD:

"All type of knowledge ultimately means self-knowledge"
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Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

June 12th, 2018, 6:00 pm #116

Author Matthew Polly is saying Bruce Lee was 5/8 Han Chinese, 1/4 British and 1/8 Jewish.
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Joined: November 12th, 2015, 12:52 am

June 12th, 2018, 10:10 pm #117

[quote="PhantomDreamer"]
Author Matthew Polly is saying Bruce Lee was 5/8 Han Chinese, 1/4 British and 1/8 Jewish.
[/quote]

I'm willing to take it at face value, if only because it's fairly obvious there's always been a certain European flair going for Bruce's general looks, especially when he reached adulthood.
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Joined: January 24th, 2018, 5:04 am

June 13th, 2018, 5:43 am #118

It's a shame that Bruce didn't live long enough to make a Hollywood satire called The Jewish Connection.
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Joined: May 24th, 2018, 11:52 am

June 14th, 2018, 9:58 am #119

Just listened to an interview with Mr Polly, he talks about how Raymond laughed at him when Polly asked him why didn’t he call the Ambulance sooner. Polly then says that since Bruce was already dead at Betty’s, Chow was simply (and understandably) trying to cover the fact that Bruce had died in his mistresses apartment. The question is, who the hell is Raymond Chow to decide that Bruce is already gone and time is no longer a factor and that he can no longer be saved. He’s a damn movie producer not a medical professional. The fact that his own interests were his first priority and not at least attempting to save Bruce’s life speak volumes about Mr Chow. Gross negligence on his part at bare minimum
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Joined: September 12th, 2011, 9:14 pm

June 14th, 2018, 11:41 am #120

[quote="MonkeyKing"]
Just listened to an interview with Mr Polly, he talks about how Raymond laughed at him when Polly asked him why didn’t he call the Ambulance sooner. Polly then says that since Bruce was already dead at Betty’s, Chow was simply (and understandably) trying to cover the fact that Bruce had died in his mistresses apartment. The question is, who the hell is Raymond Chow to decide that Bruce is already gone and time is no longer a factor and that he can no longer be saved. He’s a damn movie producer not a medical professional. The fact that his own interests were his first priority and not at least attempting to save Bruce’s life speak volumes about Mr Chow. Gross negligence on his part at bare minimum
[/quote]

You guys can't see that 45 yrs later, this scumbag Chow is still lying? Bruce was murdered. The only reason to stand down on ANY assistance to get help would be to ENSURE he did not survive the night. Just go back to May 10, in the studio, amongst WITNESSES, the proper call was made to get Bruce to a doctor. Even if the lie that Betty had no knowledge of that day's affairs (I'm CERTAIN she DID. Word was probably all throughout the industry), is true, Chow was present that day and if Lee underwent any future difficulty THAT would be the first order of business-GET HIM TO A MEDICAL FACILITY! This is why I give him no pass.
Laughing in Polly's face? That can be interpreted a number of ways, especially if you're familiar with Triad films. The truth is just around the bend and Westerners have no idea how the minds of this culture works.
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