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Jim Kelly Wiki/Bio
Jim Kelly was easily recognizable in the early 1970s thanks to his quirky Afro haircut, incredibly cool attitude, and impressive karate skills. He was also one of the most popular martial arts cinema stars of the day. Having previously appeared in a supporting part in a film, Kelly’s second screen appearance was as one of a group of guests on the dangerous Han’s Island in entering the Dragon (1973).
Three the Hard Way (1974), Golden Needles (1974), and Black Belt Jones (1974), the latter of which featured an unusual fight ending in a soap-filled car wash, were just a few of the martial arts-influenced “blaxploitation” films in which Kelly was cast. Kelly then featured in a number of other action films during the late 1970s; but, since 1980, he has only acted in two small roles. Jim Kelly was a superb athlete who competed in and won ranked titles in both tennis and karate. He was a key figure in the African-American and martial arts cinematic explosion that erupted in the 1970s.
After leaving the University of Louisville as a freshman and relocating to Lexington, he became interested in karate. He began studying martial arts under karate instructor Parker Sheldon in the fall of 2011. After turning professional in 1975, he progressed to No. 2 in the state of California in senior men’s doubles rankings and reached the state’s top ten in senior men’s singles rankings before retiring in 1980.
Born in San Diego, but raised in Kentucky, and graduated from Bourbon County High School, where he was a standout athlete in multiple sports, including football and track. He was a professional tennis coach who lived in Southern California and worked as a tennis instructor.
Afro-haired martial arts actor Jim Kelly, who played a key role with Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon” in the 1970s and had a few memorable one-liners, died on Saturday in San Diego. Kelly was born in the Philippines and grew up in the United States. He had reached the age of 67. According to his former wife, Marilyn Dishman, cancer was the root of his death.
With Asian faces and settings predominating in the genre, Mr. Kelly’s roles frequently focused attention on the aspect of his character that was most immediately distinguishable: that he was a handsome and chiseled black man with knowledge of karate at a time when the majority of prominent black fighters were boxers. Throughout the performance, he styled his hair into a careful mushroom Afro, displayed more curls on his lean chest, and offered stilted swagger in between punches.
During the film “Enter the Dragon,” when the evil Mr. Han warns Mr. Kelly’s character, known as Mr. Williams, that he will eventually be defeated in a fight, Mr. Kelly’s character responds with a smile and says that defeat will not bother him because he will “be too busy looking good.” Mr. Kelly’s character is played by Kevin Kelly. When he joined other cult icons at autograph displays decades later, fans would approach him and ask him to repeat some of his most well-known comments, some of which were not printable in a family newspaper at the time.
Enter the Dragon” was a critical and commercial triumph, and it established Mr. Kelly as a rising star in two emerging genres: martial arts and blaxploitation, both of which included intense action sequences. Critics were not always enthralled by the show. When A. H. Weiler of The New York Times reviewed the film “Black Belt Jones” in 1974, he noted that “the succession of fights and explicit street slang tends to become repetitive and as naively humorous as the cast’s mainly mechanical performances.”
Jim Kelly Career
While in his thirties and forties, Mr. Kelly appeared in a number of additional films, including “Three the Hard Way,” in which he co-starred alongside Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, as well as “Black Samurai.
James Milton Kelly was born on May 5, 1946, in the Kentucky town of Millersburg. He grew up in San Diego for a time, but he attended and graduated from Bourbon County High School in Kentucky, where he was a standout athlete in a variety of sports, including track and football. He attended the University of Louisville for a limited period of time. In 1968, Mr. Kelly and Ms. Dishman were legally separated. Sabrena Kelly-Lewis, a daughter from that previous marriage, is among Mr. Kelly’s surviving family members. It was not possible to obtain complete information about survivors.
In a 2010 interview with Salon, Mr. Kelly stated that he began studying martial arts in 1964, receiving instruction from Parker Shelton in Lexington, Kentucky, in the Okinawan Shorin-Ryu form of karate. Afterward, he went on to study in Chicago before earning his black belt in Southern California. In 1971, he won the middleweight division of the Long Beach International Karate Championships, becoming the first American to do so.
Mr. Kelly starred in “Enter the Dragon” two years later, after earning a modest film role as a martial arts instructor. He was cast at the last minute after another actor dropped out, and the picture was a critical success. The Los Angeles Times published an article in 2010 about how he “broke down the color barrier.” “I was the first black martial artist to achieve stardom in the movie industry,” he says.
Known for his sharp one-liners and combat scenes as the charismatic Williams in the 1973 martial arts classic, Kelly rose to popularity as a result of his performance. His other films include Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way, Golden Needles, and the Black Samurai, to name a few examples. Kelly’s ex-wife, Marilyn Dishman, confirmed that Kelly passed away on Saturday at his home in California due to cancer.
Enter the Dragon is widely regarded as one of the greatest kung fu films of all time. It was director Bruce Lee’s first picture in the English language and was released just a few days after his death at the age of 32 when he was 32. Kelly went back to school to become a professional tennis coach in the 1980s.
During a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kelly stated that she had “broken down the color barrier” by being the first black martial artist to become a movie star. It’s incredible to see how many people still remember that, especially considering that I haven’t really done much in the way of film work in a long time.
I’ve never stopped working in the entertainment industry,” he continued. I just didn’t receive the types of assignments I wanted to work on after a certain time after moving to New York. I continue to receive at least three scripts per year, but most of them do not portray me in a positive light.
The fact that there is nothing I really want to do means that I don’t do it. What occurs will happen if and when it happens, but if it does not, I am satisfied with what I have done so far.” Originally from Kentucky, Kelly moved to California in 1964 and continued his martial arts studies there until his death in 2009.
His own karate school was established towards the end of the decade, and the producer of entering the Dragon, Fred Weintraub, had heard about his karate abilities and approached him about working with him.
Kelly began his martial arts training in 1964 in the state of Kentucky. In San Diego, he received his black belt five years after completing his white belt. In a 2010 interview with Salon, he stated that it was at that point that he had to decide what he wanted to accomplish with his life:
I asked myself, ‘What will bring me happiness?’ Then I said that I required substantial financial gain as well as national and international recognition in order to serve as a motivational speaker for children. Because I was not planning to pursue a professional football career, despite the fact that I was a very talented football player.
I played collegiate football and had the opportunity to continue my career in the NFL. What was I going to do to meet these requirements if I wasn’t going to do it myself? ‘Why don’t I try my hand at acting?’ I reasoned. What I needed to accomplish was win the World Karate Championships and utilize that as a stepping stone to possibly break into the film industry.
Facts About Jim Kelly:
Birthday/Birth Date: 5 May 1946
Birth Place: Paris, Kentucky, United States
Children: Sabrena Kelly-Lewis
Age: 67 years
Official TikTok: NA
Occupation: American athlete, martial artist, and actor
Height: 1.88 m
Popular Friends: NA
Salary of Jim Kelly: $3,108,333
Net worth: $25 Million
Total TikTok Fans/Followers: NA
Facebook Fans: NA
Twitter Followers: NA
Total Instagram Followers: NA
Total YouTube Followers: NA
Some Important Facts About Jim Kelly:
1. Jim Kelly was born on 5 May 1946.
2. His age is 67 years.
3. His birth sign is Aquarius.
4. His height is 1.88 m.
5. His net worth is $25 Million.
Jim Kelly Fan Mail address:
Jim Kelly Phone Number, Email Address, Contact Info, Texting Number, Fanmail and More Details
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|Paris, Kentucky, United States
Jim Kelly Phone Number:
Jim Kelly Address: Paris, Kentucky, United States
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Jim Kelly Social Profiles
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