Bruce Lee conducted philosophy lectures at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington which played a major role in meeting his future wife Linda Lee. Linda was not in his class but would later learn kung fu from Bruce after one of her friends suggested she give it a try. Linda and Bruce were students together at the University of Washington.
The couple went on their first date to the Space Needle on October 25, 1963 and would get married one year later, per the Bruce Lee Foundation. Bruce and Linda had two children together: Brandon and Shannon. Linda described their family as the “most important thing in Bruce’s life.”
“Well, I tell you what, I think the most important thing in Bruce’s life was his family,” Linda explained to the Bruce Lee Foundation. “Before all the stardom and publicity and attention – I think he would have given all of that up for his family. That was the most important thing to him. And so as to my role of being his wife and mother of his children, I think that I grounded him in that way. And together we were a unit. He and I were very complementary partners. He was vibrant, full of energy, right out there, you know – and that’s not my personality.”
Bruce & Linda’s Son, Brandon, Died While Filming The Crow in 1993
Linda has endured multiple tragedies with the loss of both Bruce and Brandon. Bruce died in 1973 in Hong Kong at the age of 32 “from a brain edema possibly caused by a reaction to a prescription painkiller,” per History.com.
The couple’s son Brandon died 20 years later in 1993 while filming the movie The Crow. There was an accident on set which remains a bit mysterious. According to Variety, Brandon died while filming a shooting scene when things took an unexpected turn.
“According to a statement from the Wilmington police, who classified the incident as an ‘accidental shooting,’ Lee was carrying a grocery bag that contained a small explosive charge used to simulate gunfire when another actor fired a shot at him from a blank pistol about 15 feet away,” Variety detailed.
Linda noted that Brandon and Bruce shared a similar sense of humor that lightened the mood.
“Yes, he liked to boss his little sister around but all in fun,” Linda told to the Bruce Lee Foundation. “And he was funny too. Oh my gosh, Brandon was funny. He could tell jokes and act out scenes just like his dad.”
Brandon was buried next to his father at Seattle’s Lake View Cemetery, per History.com.
Linda Met Bruce by Taking One of His “Gongfu” Classes
Before they started dating, Bruce was simply Linda’s gongfu instructor. Linda later admitted to being “more interested in the teacher than the martial art.”
“It’s a fun story, actually! I was a senior in high school in Seattle, Washington at Garfield High School,” Linda told Yahoo. “And Bruce used to come to my school, he was five years older and a student of Philosophy at the University of Washington, he was friends with the philosophy teacher at my high school. So he would come to my high school to give lectures on Chinese philosophy; I was not in that class but I can tell you that every girl at my school knew when Bruce Lee was in the house because he was so dashing and so handsome. And one of my girlfriends who happened to be Chinese was taking gongfu lessons from him. And so the summer after I graduated from high school she talked me into taking gongfu lessons with Bruce, so that’s how we first met — I was his student and it wasn’t long before I was more interested in the teacher than the martial art, though I continued to do it for quite a while.”
According to IMDB, Linda had an uncredited role in Bruce’s famous film Enter the Dragon. She also appeared in the 1983 movie A Night in Heaven.