US actor and karate expert Jim Kelly was no more, has died at the age of 67.
Marilyn Dishman Ex-wife of Kelly, said to media that he died on Saturday of cancer at his home in San Diego.
Kelly was an American athlete, actor, and martial artist who came to prominence in the early 1970s.
He was born in Kentucky and began studying martial arts there in 1964. Before moving to California he was teacher at his own karate school ,then he was hunted by Enter the Dragon producer Fred Weintraub, who had heard about his karate skills.
He was best known from his performance as Williams in the 1973 Bruce Lee film ” Enter the Dragon”. Enter the Dragon is considered to be one of the most popular kung fu films of all time, it was Bruce Lee’s first film in the English language and was released days after his death at the age of 32.
His other films included Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way, Golden Needles and the Black Samurai..
In the 1980s, Kelly re-trained as a professional tennis coach.
In 2010 in an interview with the LA Times, Kelly said:
“I broke down the colour barrier – I was the first black martial artist to become a movie star. It’s amazing to see how many people still remember that, because I haven’t really done much, in terms of movies, in a long time.”
He added: “I never left the movie business. It’s just that after a certain point, I didn’t get the type of projects that I wanted to do. I still get at least three scripts per year, but most of them don’t put forth a positive image.
“There’s nothing I really want to do, so I don’t do it. If it happens, it happens, but if not, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.”
May your sole Rest in Piece Jim Kelly.