Bruce Li

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Bruce Li
Chinese name黎小龍 (traditional)
Chinese name黎小龙 (simplified)
PinyinLí Xiǎolóng (Mandarin)
Jyutpinglai4 siu2 lung4 (Cantonese)
Born何宗道 (Ho Chung-tao)
(1950-06-05) June 5, 1950 (age 68)
Other namesJames Ho[1]
Years active1973 - 1990

Bruce Li (Chinese: ; pinyin: Hé Zōngdào) (born Ho Chung-tao June 5, 1950) is a Taiwanese actor, martial artist and Bruce Lee imitator who starred in martial arts films from the Bruceploitation movement.[2][3]

Li is perhaps best known for his role as Bruce Lee in the 1976 film Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth.


He went to play a stuntman in Taiwan and Hong Kong under the name of James Ho.

At the death of Bruce Lee, Ho Chung-tao's real career began. Hong Kong studios noticed that Ho resembled the kung fu star. They first employed him in Conspiracy before the producers of Game of Death asked him to finish their movie in Lee's role. Ho declined the offer.

After this, Ho was employed by producer actor Jimmy Shaw who gave him the name of Bruce Li.[citation needed]

While Ho was finishing his military service, he appeared in Good Bye Bruce Lee. He would star in other documentaries in 1976 with The Young Bruce Lee and Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth.

As Li, his career improved dramatically. Some Taiwanese and Hong Kong producers decided to directly credit him as "Bruce Lee", even going so far as to use the real Bruce Lee's picture on posters. Li even appeared in Bruce Lee vs Supermen where he stars as Kato, assistant of the Green Hornet, a role originally played by the real Bruce Lee.

The producers really wanted to show Li as the "official" successor of Bruce Lee. In the 1976 movie Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger, Li meets Lee who points to him as the one who shall replace him. Li was dubbed the "Tiger" to Lee's "Dragon". Li appeared in Return of the Tiger, starring Angela Mao. In it, Bruce Li fights Paul L. Smith.

Ho carried on by playing in two unofficial sequels to Bruce Lee's classic Fist of Fury.

In 1976, Ho reprised his role as Bruce Lee in Bruce Lee the True Story (also known as Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth), a biography film. Li choreographed the combat sequences himself. Being very successful, fans recognize it as one of the best biopics of Bruce Lee.

Ho kept shooting martial arts movies until the 1980s. He also directed movies, including the 1981 film The Chinese Stuntman.

Bruceploitation was jumping the shark and Li knew it. He had trouble separating himself from his Bruce Lee roles and had many rivals in the genre. In 1985, Ho ended his career after his wife's death. He returned to Taiwan to become a physical education instructor at Taipei's Ping Chung University. He also has taught martial arts for comedian apprentices. Since then he has appeared only very briefly in martial arts cinema or Bruce Lee documentaries.

In 1990, Li retired from acting at the age of 40.[citation needed]

Bruce Li's career was the focus of a segment of the 1995 documentary Top Fighter. In the segment, he stated that he was unhappy that the studios wanted to turn him into a Bruce Lee marketing gimmick, saying "I could act like him but I could never be him."





  1. ^ "Bruce Li Interview". Youtube. June 22, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Block, Alex Ben (April 22, 2010). "Lee remembered for more than movies". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  3. ^ "Bruce Li". The New York Times.

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