Enter the Dragon star Jim Kelly dies

The martial arts expert and actor, who worked alongside Bruce Lee in the 1973 kung fu classic, lost his battle with cancer aged 67

Enter the Dragon star Jim Kelly has died, aged 67. 


The actor and martial arts expert, best known for his role alongside Bruce Lee in the 1973 cult classic movie, passed away after losing his battle with cancer.

Celebrated for his one-liners and kung fu fight scenes as the cool character Williams in Enter the Dragon, Kelly also appeared in a number of other well-loved martial arts films including Black Samurai and Golden Needles.

Born in Kentucky, Kelly became a renowned martial artist in his home sate and moved to California before entering the film industry. 

In the 1980s, he retrained as a tennis coach.

In 2010, he told the LA Times: “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.

“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.”


See Jim Kelly in action in Enter the Dragon below.