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Linda Lee Cadwell Is the Late Bruce Lee's Only Widow — Get to Know Her

Edduin Carvajal
Dec 15, 2020
05:55 A.M.
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Linda Lee Cadwell, who was married to martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, wrote her first book – a biography about her late husband – two years after his death.


Born in March 1945 in Everett, Washington, Linda Lee Cadwell used to be quite athletic when she was young, which is probably why she was a cheerleader in high school.

Years after that, she joined Bruce Lee’s academy to learn Kung Fu, and that’s how she and the late martial artist and actor met, fell in love, and got married in 1964.

Linda Lee Cadwell on April 16, 2013 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images

Linda Lee Cadwell on April 16, 2013 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images



Shortly after walking down the aisle, Bruce and Linda moved to California, where he opened two more martial arts schools, one in Oakland and the second in Los Angeles.

About two years later, Bruce landed a part in “The Green Hornet.” His role as Kato, the Hornet’s sidekick, catapulted him into stardom due to his acrobatic and theatrical fighting style.


In 1971, Linda Lee Cadwell and Bruce Lee moved to Hong Kong, where he signed a two-movie contract. One of them was “The Big Boss,” which set box office records in Hong Kong.

One year later, in 1972, Bruce’s film “Fist of Fury” broke the previously mentioned records. Surprisingly, both movies received low reviews from critics in the States.

Linda filed a lawsuit following Brandon’s death.


With those two films, Bruce became one of the most prominent movie stars in Asia. However, he wasn’t able to enjoy that status for long because, on July 20, 1973, he passed away.

Although rumor has it that he was cursed or even killed, the official cause of death was brain edema caused by an adverse reaction to a prescription painkiller he took for a back injury.



During their time together, Bruce and Linda Lee Cadwell had two kids, Brandon and Shannon. According to the Cinemaholic, Linda had a hard time blending in Hong Kong.

Following the actor’s death, people started speculating about his love life, claiming that he was a womanizer and had affairs during his and Linda’s marriage. She denied all those rumors.


Two years after Bruce's passing, Linda wrote her book “Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew,” which received favorable reviews and became the basis for the film “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.”

Eventually, Bruce Lee’s wife and their children returned to the States, where she wrote a second book, “The Bruce Lee Story,” released in 1989. In the US, Linda became a kindergarten teacher.



While facing her husband's death was definitely hard for Linda, it was not the only tragic loss she had to endure as Brandon Lee, her actor son, died in 1993 while shooting his film “The Crow.”

Brandon, who was 28 years old at the time of his death, was shot with a gun supposed to contain only blanks but had a live round within its barrel. Linda filed a lawsuit following Brandon’s death.


She claimed that the crew members ran out of blank bullets and, instead of waiting a day to buy more, they improperly manufactured their own dummy bullets from live ammunition.

In 2002, years after Brandon died, Linda and her daughter Shannon founded the Bruce Lee Foundation to share Bruce’s writings, philosophy, and creation, the Jeet Kune Do.

Nowadays, Shannon is an actress, martial artist, and President of the foundation. Apart from that, she is also the CEO of Bruce Lee Enterprises and Leeway Media Group.

Linda Lee Cadwell, on the other hand, is married to Bruce Cadwell. The couple lives in Boise, Idaho, and she is still actively working at the Bruce Lee Foundation.

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