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Forever in my heart: A Tribute to Brandon Bruce Lee

(1965-1993)

Stats:

Born: February 1, 1965
Died: March 31, 1993
Father: Jun Fan Bruce Lee (Sai Fon)
Mother: Linda Emery Lee Cadwell
Sister: Shannon Emery Lee
Place of Birth: Oakland, California
Place of Burial: Seattle, Washington
Fiancée: Eliza Hutton

On March 30, the cast and crew of The Crow had allegedly come to work after having had just eight hours off. It was shortly after midnight on March 31 when Brandon went in front of the camera. The secne was a flashback intended to explain how his character had been killed in the first place: A drug dealer (played by actor Michael Massee) was to fire a .44 Magnum revolver at Brandon a he entered his apartment.

The gun--not a stage prop but a fully functioning firearm--had, like the actores themselves, already spent considerable time on the set. The script of The Crow called for a close-up of the loaded weapon. The crew, following standard procedure, used dummy bullets, which are nothing more than bullets without gunpowder. When the close-up was finished, the gun was unloaded, then reloaded with blanks. Blanks sound as loud as real bullets, but when they are fired, only the harmless cardboard wadding with which they are packed is ejected from the gun.

This time, though, the action was far from benign. Massee pulled the trigger, and Lee slumped to the ground, a hole the size of a quarter in his lower right abdomen. Stunned cast and crew members rusehd to Lee's side, and Clyde Baisey, 33, an emergency medical technician assigned to the set, ordered someone to call an ambulance. The he began to administer CPR.

The scene bore an eerie resemblance to a cheesy 1979 movie called Game of Death, a kung fu film that scraped together the last, disjointed footage ever recorded of....Bruce Lee. In Game, Bruce plays an actor who is shot after mobsters substitute a live round for a fake bullet on a movie set. In the days that followed Brandon's death, some of the elder Lee's fans began to view the earlier film as a foreshadowing of Brandon's death and to revive the legend of the "Lee family curse".

But the laws of physics, not metaphysics, most readily explain what happened to Brandon Lee. It was clear by the time he arrived at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, some 30 minutes following the accident, that something had ripped through his body with great force. Dr. Warren W. McMurry began desperately trying to stanch the bleeding, but at the end of the five-hour operation, Lee's condition had not improved. "There was so much blood loss, " McMurry says. "It wouldn't clot. It was oozing from everywhere."

At 1:04 p.m. Thursday, a little more than 12 hours after Lee had been shot, and nearly 5 hours before Linda, who was flying from Boise, Idaho, where she lives with her husband, businessman Bruce Caldwell, could reach her son's bedside in intensive care, Brandon was declared dead. At an autopsy the following day, medical examiners extracted what appeared to be a .44 caliber bullet that had lodged against the actor's spine. After all the talk of ominous forces and star-crossed legacies, the theory emerged that Lee's death was nothing more mysterious than a tragic oversight. According to weapons expert Moyer, the metal tip of one of the dummy bullets, which had been loaded into the gun for the close-up, had somehow pulled loose from its brass casing. When the dummies were unloaded and replaced with blanks, the metal tip remained behind in the gun's cylinder. As soon as the blank went off, its explosive force propelled the dummy tip through the gun barrel--and into Lee's body. Moyer feels that the failure to notice the misplaced dummy bullet led to the tragedy. "I guess the crew had so many things to do that they didn't pay special attention to the gun," he says, "I don't want to criticize anyone. Lightning can strike anywhere."

Brandon Lee (1965-1993) R.I.P


Keep the candle Buring.......


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