SAN DIEGO (AP) — Actor Jim Kelly, who played a glib American martial artist in “Enter the Dragon” with Bruce Lee, has died. He was 67.
Marilyn Dishman, Kelly’s ex-wife, said he died Saturday of cancer at his home in California.
Sporting an Afro hairstyle and sideburns, Kelly made a splash with his one-liners and fight scenes in the 1973 martial arts classic. His later films included “Three the Hard Way,” ”Black Belt Jones” and “Black Samurai.”
During a 2010 interview with Salon.com, Kelly said he started studying martial arts in 1964 in Kentucky and later moved to California. He said the role in the Bruce Lee film came about when his agent called him. It was his second film role.
“It was one of the best experiences in my life,” he told Salon.com of working on “Enter the Dragon.” ”Bruce was just incredible, absolutely fantastic. I learned so much from working with him. I probably enjoyed working with Bruce more than anyone else I’d ever worked with in movies because we were both martial artists. And he was a great, great martial artist. It was very good.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.