The martial arts grandmaster who starred alongside Bruce Lee in the iconic 1973 film Enter The Dragon died yesterday. He was 67. His ex-wife confirmed his death in a Facebook post. Jim Kelly was an international karate champion with his own school in LA when he was cast in the kung fu classic billed as “the first American-produced martial arts spectacular. His fighting skills and imposing screen presence — a lanky 6-foot-2 topped by a funky Afro — earned Kelly the title role in 1974’s Black Belt Jones. After that, he appeared in numerous action films through the ’70s. Later he became a professional tennis player, joining the USTA Senior Men’s Circuit and starred alongside LeBron James in a 2004 Nike TV ad.
R.I.P. Jim Kelly
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