Linda Lee Cadwell

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Linda Lee Cadwell
Linda Lee Cadwell portrait.JPG
Lee in 1998
Linda Emery

(1945-03-21) March 21, 1945 (age 76)
Other namesLinda Lee
EducationGarfield High School
Alma materUniversity of Washington
Years active1964–2001
Notable work
Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew (1975)
The Bruce Lee Story (1989)
  • (m. 1964; died 1973)
  • Tom Bleecker
    (m. 1988; div. 1990)
  • Bruce Cadwell
    (m. 1991)
ChildrenBrandon and Shannon Lee
RelativesLee Hoi-chuen (father-in-law)

Linda Lee Cadwell (née Emery; born March 21, 1945) is an American teacher, martial artist, and writer. She is the author of the Bruce Lee biography Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew, upon which the film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is based, as well as the founder, a former trustee of, and an unpaid advisor of the Bruce Lee Foundation. Lee Cadwell is the widow of martial arts master and actor Bruce Lee (1940–1973) and the mother of actor Brandon Lee (1965–1993) and actress Shannon Lee (born 1969).[1]

Life and career[edit]

She was born in Everett, Washington, the daughter of Vivian R. (née Hester) and Everett Emery.[2][3] Her family was Baptist and of Swedish, Irish, and English descent.[4][5]

She met Bruce Lee while she was attending Garfield High School, where Bruce came to give a kung fu demonstration; he was attending the University of Washington at the time. Eventually, she became one of his kung fu students when she was attending the University of Washington, studying to become a teacher.

They married on August 17, 1964. Linda was a few credits short from graduation. They had two children, Brandon Lee and Shannon Lee. Bruce Lee had opened his own kung fu school at the time and was teaching Jun Fan Gung Fu, Lee's modified version of Wing Chun, which would later serve as the basis for Jeet Kune Do. He died suddenly on July 20, 1973, of an allergic reaction to an analgesic.[6][7]

Linda married Tom Bleecker in 1988, and they divorced in 1990. She later wed stockbroker Bruce Cadwell in 1991 and they lived in Rancho Mirage, California.[citation needed]

On March 31, 1993, her son Brandon was accidentally shot to death by a prop gun while filming The Crow.[8]

Cadwell has continued to promote Bruce Lee's martial art Jeet Kune Do. She retired in 2001, and her daughter Shannon (who now heads the Lee family estate), together with son-in-law Ian Keasler, run the Bruce Lee Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching Bruce Lee's philosophy on martial arts and his writing on philosophy.[citation needed]


Cadwell wrote the 1975 book Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew (ISBN 0-446-89407-9), on which the 1993 feature film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was based. She was portrayed by actress Lauren Holly in the film adaptation.[9] She also wrote the 1989 book The Bruce Lee Story (ISBN 0-89750121-7).


  1. ^ "No Charges Filed in Actor's Death During Filming". The New York Times. September 6, 1993.
  2. ^ Lee, Linda; Jack Vaughn; Mike Lee (1989). The Bruce Lee Story. p. 15. ISBN 0897501217.
  3. ^ "Local News - Lees' grave tender and tour guide - Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Bruce Lee: Overcoming Resistance With Persistence - Self Improvement Association - Self Improvement Membership - Self Improvement Products". January 7, 2012. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Little, John (1997). Words of the dragon: interviews 1958-1973. Tuttle Publishing. p. 36. ISBN 0804831335.
  6. ^ Campbell 2006, p. 206
  7. ^ "Bruce Lee died of seizure?". The Hindu. India. February 26, 2006. Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  8. ^ Pristin, Terry (August 11, 1993). "Brandon Lee's Mother Claims Negligence Caused His Death : Movies: Linda Lee Cadwell sues 14 entities regarding the actor's 'agonizing pain, suffering and untimely death' last March on the North Carolina set of 'The Crow'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  9. ^ Chase, Donald (October 25, 1992). "Re-Enter the Dragon". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21, 2010.

External links[edit]