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Anecdotes of The Little Dragon (Part 2 of 2)

April 15 2017 at 11:43 AM
LJF  (Login LJF)

Response to Anecdotes of The Little Dragon (Part 1 of 2)


7. Cheng Pei-Pei
(Famous Shaw Brothers’ action actress of the 60’s who was dubbed “Queen of Sword,” “First Lady of HK Kung Fu,” and “Action Queen of Asia” by the media.)

“In early 1971, Shaw Brothers asked me to star in their new movie, “The 14 Amazons” and at the same time GH sent its production manager, Lau Leung-Hwa (Lo Wei’s wife) to the U.S. to get me make a movie for them. But I was pregnant then and my priority was to take care of my family, thus, I declined their kind offers. GH later approached Bruce Lee who was also living in L.A. and they made the deal pretty quick. Bruce then returned to Asia and made “The Big Boss” and became an overnight sensation. The rest is history. I knew Bruce personally and he used to drive to my LA house which wasn’t far from his home. Bruce was a very active, jovial guy and a Kung Fu fanatic. He just couldn’t sit still and I always saw him moving here and there. I remember when we were “yam cha” in a restaurant, he would suddenly ask me to hit his stomach. I thought he was “crazy” so I hit him as hard as I could. However, it was like hitting a steel bar. My hand felt terribly pain and he would keep on laughing. I witnessed his martial arts prowess and he was really incredible. His Kung Fu was definitely real and practical. Jackie Chan and I can’t compare to him. Ours were just some showy and fanciful movements though we do have some Kung Fu backgrounds. But Bruce was the real deal. Before Bruce’s death, GH proposed that Bruce, Jimmy Wang Yu and I make an action movie together, maybe a period movie but it didn’t realize. After Bruce’s death, I shot 2 films for GH, one was “None But The Brave”(1973) starring James Tien and Han Ying-Chieh, directed by Lo Wei and another one was “Whiplash” (1974) which was produced in Taiwan.”......(Tecent News, 18th Jun 2014)

8. Alice Fung (aka Fung Su-Po)
(HK veteran movie and TV actress; eldest daughter of director Fung Fung, sister of both Petrina Fung Bo-Bo and stuntman/ actor Fung Hark-On; First princess of the “The 7 Princesses of HK Cinema”)

“I co-starred Bruce in “Kid Cheung” (1950) when I was around 4 years old. My father Fung Fung was the director of this film, who also got to play a villain role by the nickname of ‘Flying Dagger Lee.’ In fact, he and Bruce had some exciting performances in the film. My father praised Bruce for being a talented child actor. I remember in a scene where my father slapped Bruce and Bruce didn’t react good enough to get the right take. So, there were many NGs. After the scene was finally completed, Bruce ran off to hide in a corner with tears in his eyes. He didn’t cry loud and later was persuaded by the crew to return to the studio and continue shooting. Then, I saw one of his cheeks was already reddish and swollen. But he acted as if nothing had happened. He was really professional at such a young age.”

“Later, we were shooting the ending scenes at Fanling Railway Station in some early mornings. The place was a country-side back then. During the break, Bruce, me and a few kids slipped into a courtyard nearby to have some fun. While we were plucking fruits from the trees happily, we heard someone shouting at us. It was the owner who had discovered that we were stealing his fruits. Bruce screamed, “Run, run!!!” He ran as fast as he could and disappeared. The rest of us were scared and tried to flee. I was the youngest and the last to run. So, I was being caught and reprimanded by the owner. That’s the only time Bruce left us behind probably he was scared too. Other than that, Bruce was always the first to stand up for us whenever we encountered any problems. He was in fact, considered quite a loyal friend.”

“We all then grew up and took different paths in our life. Bruce later shot to international stardom in the early 70’s but he only enjoyed his fame for a short while and passed on suddenly. I was upset that fate had cut his life short in return for his fame and fortune. It’s a huge price to pay for his success indeed. Maybe it’s all fated. Whenever I think of this, I feel fate is still quite fair to me even though I’ve not attained any fame and was always playing supporting role throughout my whole life but I’m really contented with what I have so far.”......(Chinese Yidu read01, 22nd Jul 2016)

9. Josephine Siao (aka Siao Fong Fong, Siao Liang, Siu Fung Fung)
(Famous HK film starlet; 50s popular child actress [better known as Oriental Shirley Temple]; along with Connie Chan Po-Chu, were the 2 biggest teen idols in the 60’s; Both Connieand Josephine are 3rd and 4th princess of the “7 princess of HK Silver Screen; won Best Actress at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival [for “Summer Snow”] in 1995; obtained a master's degree in child psychology from Regis University; founded the ‘End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation’, which she now chairs.)

“I got to know Bruce when we made the film, “The Orphan’s Tragedy” in 1953. We got along very well and he was like a big brother to me. We saw each other quite often until he left HK to pursue his study in the U.S. I went to the U.S. around 1970 for my study too. When I returned to HK for vacation in 1972, Bruce had become a superstar star in HK. He invited me over to his new house at Kowloon and there, I got to know Linda. Linda and I got along very well as we were able to share many things in common. Later, I toured Bruce’s house and was amazed to see plenty of books in his study room. From here, I could tell Bruce was thirst for knowledge and was diligent in his quest of knowledge too. It’s a shame that he passed on at such a young age. He was not only an outstanding martial arts genius, a good actor but also a loyal friend. My impression of him was that he was indeed hardworking, constantly striving to improve himself, and was a very knowledgeable man. Through my conversation with him, I found that his words of wisdom were always very philosophical and this utterly displayed his possession of vast knowledge and he was really a well-cultivated gentleman indeed.”

“I remember it was end of 1972 that GH invited me to return to HK to make a movie with Bruce but I was in the midst of my study then and thus, rejected their kind offer. Few months before his death, I returned to HK, Raymond Chow and Bruce invited me for a meal and brought up the same subject again. We discussed about the filming details and finally I agreed to their offer. However, the title and the ending have not been fixed and Bruce just passed away suddenly. When I was at Bruce’s house just a day after his death, Linda told me Bruce had predicted that he wouldn’t live long and his prediction really came true. I was really upset of his untimely death. Maybe every legend dies young so as to stay young forever.” ......(Apolonet News, 13th Mar 2017, adapted from Kung Sheung Man Po, 24th Jul 1973)

(Note: According to Milky Way (Galaxy) Pictorial Issue 185, "Before Bruce’s death in July ‘73, he planned to shoot a film called “Sai Fung.” The script has been ready. He had even invited Josephine Siao Fung-Fung and Pak Yin (both have played along Bruce in his childhood films) to be cast in this film.”)

10. Nancy Sit (aka Sit Kar-Yin)
(Veteran HK movie and TV actress; popular teen idol in the 60’s alongside Connie Chan Po-Ch and Josephine Siao Fong-Fong; the 5th Princess of the “7 Princesses of HK Cinema”; First actress to be awarded both the “HKSAR Medal of Honor in HK” in 2000 & “Outstanding Woman Professional & Entrepreneur Award” in 2014.)

“The photo of Bruce and I standing together were taken at the studio where I was filming Hapkido in mid 1972. He and his American counterparts – Chuck Norris and Bob Wall visited came and spoke to director, Huang Feng and the crew. There was also a time when I visited WOTD’s filming and took photos with Bruce and Nora in the studio. Like Bruce, I was also a child actress and got to know him since I was a kid. When Bruce returned to HK from the U.S. in the 60s, we always hung out together with Unicorn Chan, Josephine Siao, Connie Chan etc. Bruce also taught us how to dance Cha-Cha. He was really good at it. Sometimes, we would go for a yacht ride out at the sea and enjoyed the refreshing sea breeze and sun tanning. It was our favorite activity. Bruce would tell us a lot of jokes which we have never heard before. He was very funny but could also be very philosophical at times. We all could tell that he was very knowledgeable as he had gone to the university in the U.S. He was like a big brother to us. We really admired Bruce except Josephine Siao who didn’t seem to feel the same way. Maybe she was as intelligent as Bruce and that’s why…(laugh).”

“Unicorn and I were very good friends. He used to stay next door and we often toured around Southeast Asia for stage performances. We were like siblings. He was also a good buddy of Bruce, so, whenever Bruce came to visit us, Unicorn would also tag along. I remember once Bruce went back to the U.S. but the American company did not offer him the role in the “Kung Fu” TV series and instead they got a white actor to replace him in the Chinaman role. Bruce was very disappointed he lost the role after putting in so much effort. He really wanted to save the disgrace by making quality martial arts films in HK. Before this, he had written letters to Unicorn. But the letters were mainly written in English. Unicorn couldn’t understand completely so he passed it to me to let me translate for him. I helped him drafted the letters and mailed back to Bruce. Later, Bruce came back to HK and made “The Big Boss.” He became an overnight sensation. Both Unicorn and I felt happy for him. Now I could still remember the golden words that Bruce once told me, i.e. ‘For an artist, if he is able to earn 10 bucks, he should use only 5 bucks and save the rest for rainy days.’ But I have 3 children, so, I could only use 3 bucks and save the remaining 7 bucks for our daily expenses.” ......(Nandu Weekly, 15th Oct 2013 & TVB – ‘Dragon Roams The World’, 5th Dec 2010)

11. Pearl Tso (aka Tso Mun-Yee, Cho Man-Ngai)
(Former HK child actress; eldest daughter of HK veteran actor Walter Tso Tat-Wah and Eva Tso (aka Chu Yee-Wah); niece of Tso Yee-Man a famous HK Cantonese actress, director, producer.; was Bruce’s first love in HK according to Robert Lee.)

“My family and Bruce’s family were very close. My father Walter Tso Tat-Wah was a good friend of Bruce’s father, Lee Hoi-Chuen. They all worked in the Cantonese films. Bruce was also the god-son of my mother, Eva Tso. In that sense, Bruce was my god-brother. My mother and Bruce’s mother, Grace Lee were ‘good sisters’ too. They often shopped and dined together. Bruce liked to come to our house and that really made his god-mother, i.e. my mother happy throughout the entire day. He loved practicing Kung Fu and always tried to teach my younger brother, Howard (Tso Lap-Tou) some of his skills.”

“Bruce and I were quite close since we were very young. Although he liked making fun of people but he seldom play pranks on me. He respected me a lot and treated me like a lady. Bruce was really a good Cha Cha dancer. He also practiced his steps with me and later, I became one of his regular dancing partners. Sometimes, we would go dancing at clubs and hotels together with his buddies, Unicorn Chan and Ngan Chai. Bruce also liked to share his thoughts with me. Once he wrote me a letter telling me about his ambition of opening a chain of Kung Fu schools in the U.S., teaching and promoting Chinese Kung Fu to the world. Bruce had dual personality. He could be very playful a moment but became very dead quite another moment. He was serious especially when it came to his ambitions and life goals.”

“We pursued studies at different schools in the U.S. He was at Seattle while I was at San Francisco. My parents, especially my mother tried to arrange and match-made us. It was kind of funny. Her dream was that Bruce and I could tie the knot one day and become one family but Bruce and I never took that idea seriously. Bruce later got married to Linda and had his new family whereas I found my own love as well. Life just moved on. The last time I heard about Bruce was his untimely death in HK. My family and I were totally shocked, almost disbelieved and grieved for a very long time. Like Bruce’s mother, my mother too, was heartbroken. The first time she wept terribly for very long was when Bruce married Linda in the U.S. and the second time was his sudden passing in HK.”......(Sing Dao Daily, 20th Jan 2007)

12. Angela Mao (aka Mao Ying, Mao Fu-Jing)
(Famous 70s Taiwanese Kung Fu film actress; nicknamed "Lady Whirlwind" and "Lady Kung Fu"; trained in Northern and Southern Kung Fu, Hapkido, Taekwondo etc.; famous for playing Bruce Lee’s sister in Enter the Dragon)

“After completing ETD, Bruce told me he was very pleased with my performances especially my Kung Fu actions. He said I would get to work with him again in his next film which I would play his younger sister, a more substantial role. He had already got the whole story mapped out in his mind and it was just a matter of time for converting it into a script. Thinking about working along this international superstar, I was over the moon. Unfortunately, he died suddenly and there’s never more such great opportunity. It has never crossed my mind that ETD would be the first but also the last movie I got to work with him.

I remember I was in Taiwan for my vacation when I heard about Bruce’s passing. Initially, I couldn’t believe the news of Bruce’s death which was reported over the newspapers and thought that someone must be playing a joke. Bruce was a man of steel and he was in the midst of making “Game of Death” then. How can it be real? But as more and more people discussed about his sudden death, I got really upset about it. I wanted to cry out but just couldn’t do so. In my mind, I was just hoping that his death was only a rumor and it was all mistakenly reported. But as time went on, all the newspapers still kept carrying his death news, I couldn’t help but to accept the truth days later. It was really a time of anguished then...”......(Chinese Sohu, 27th Oct, 2016, adapted from HK Commercial Daily, 8th Sep 1973)

Photos of Bruce Lee and HK stars:

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  • Cheng Pei Pei - lazemby on Apr 15, 2017, 3:14 PM
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