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What Was Bruce Lee’s Net Worth?

June 7, 2020
4 min read

Bruce Lee was one of those iconic stars who had an immensely successful but a short-term career in Hollywood. The young actor suddenly and mysteriously passed away on July 20, 1973, at the mere age of 32. The incident happened only six days before the release of his legendary film, ‘Enter the Dragon’. However, in spite of him being in the limelight only for a few years, he was a wealthy man when he died. Do you wish to know more about his net worth and biography? If yes, read on!

How Did Bruce Lee Earn His Money?

Born on November 27, 1940, Bruce Lee professionally started training in martial arts in 1959 after he moved to Seattle, USA, from Hongkong — for highschool. Later, the Jun Fan Gung Fu expert opened his own kung fu school in Seattle. Eventually, he built connections with several prominent martial art experts and appeared in events like Long Beach International Karate Championships. In 1964, he left college and launched his second institute in Oakland. This is where he met Jay Sebring, a Hollywood hairstylist — through whom he was connected to a producer and cast in ‘The Green Hornet’ tv show.

The series was a success and following this, Lee opened his third training facility in Los Angeles. Now he was training Hollywood stars and charged them $275 per hour. He then progressed to star in movies and shows like ‘Ironside’, ‘Here Come The Bride’, ‘Marlowe’, ‘Blondie’, and ‘Longstreet’. But dejected with getting only minor roles, Lee returned to Hong Kong in 1970. Here, he was welcomed as a celebrity, with many media houses wanting to interview him. He later again came back to the US and this time, his dreams came true. He got a call from Raymond Chow, Golden Harvest Productions. He signed a contract where he would make two films for a total of $15,000. While one film could not be completed, ‘The Big Boss’ was happening! Filming took place in Hong Kong and upon its release in 1971, ‘The Big Boss’ was a box office hit, garnering $2.8 million.

In 1972, Lee starred as the protagonist in ‘Fist of Fury’, which premiered on March 22, 1972, and earned $3.4 million. He then launched his own production house, Concord Production Inc. and directed, produced, and acted in ‘Way of the Dragon.’ The movie, upon its debut, made $5.2 million. Eventually, we saw his greatest success yet, ‘Enter The Dragon,’ which garnered a whopping $22 million. Well, Lee, however, did not get to witness the tremendous response received by his last film, since he died six days before its release.

Bruce Lee Net Worth 2020

At the time of his death on July 30, 1973, Bruce Lee was worth approximately $10 million. If we take inflation into account, he would have been worth close to $57 million in 2020.

Interestingly, he had penned a letter in 1969, estimating the exact amount. He apparently wrote: “I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental superstar in the United States. In return, I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor.” He added that he would “achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 … will have in my possession $10,000,000.” Lee’s estate still continues to draw in millions of dollars per year. Moreover, his films continue to make money as well. Dubbed as ‘The Top-Earning Dead Celebrity’ after his demise, Lee stood true to his own words: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

Read More: Bruce Lee’s Family: Everything We Know

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