Linda Lee Cadwell

Linda Lee Cadwell is an American teacher, martial artist, and writer. She is the author of the Bruce Lee biography upon which the film is based as well as the founder, a former trustee of, and an unpaid advisor of the Bruce Lee Foundation. Lee Cadwell is the widow of martial arts master and actor Bruce Lee and the mother of actor Brandon Lee.

Life and career

She was born in Everett, Washington, the daughter of Vivian R. and Everett Emery. Her family was Baptist and of Swedish, Irish, and English descent. She met Bruce Lee while she was attending Garfield High School, where Bruce came to give a kung fu demonstration; he was attending the University of Washington at the time. Eventually, she became one of his kung fu students when she was attending the University of Washington, studying to become a teacher.
She took lessons from Lee while attending college. They married on August 17, 1964. Linda was a few credits short from graduation. They had two children, Brandon Lee and Shannon Lee. Bruce Lee had opened his own kung fu school at the time and was teaching Wing Chun, which would later serve as the basis for Jeet Kune Do. He died suddenly on July 20, 1973, of an allergic reaction to an analgesic.
Linda married Tom Bleecker in 1988, and they divorced in 1990. She later wed stockbroker Bruce Cadwell in 1991 and they lived in Rancho Mirage, California.
Somewhere between 1984 and 1990, Lee Cadwell and her son Brandon, who at the time started his acting career, had a meeting with Marvel CEO Margaret Loesch through Stan Lee. Stan Lee felt that Brandon would be ideal for the casting of super-hero Shang-Chi in a film or television adaptation of his adventures. The project, however, did not go ahead, and Brandon instead followed in the steps of his father by performing in lead roles in action films. On March 31, 1993, a second tragedy struck the life of Lee Cadwell when her son Brandon was accidentally shot to death by a prop gun while filming The Crow.
Cadwell has continued to promote Bruce Lee's martial art Jeet Kune Do. She retired in 2001, and her daughter Shannon, together with son-in-law Ian Keasler, run the Bruce Lee Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching Bruce Lee's philosophy on martial arts and his writing on philosophy.


Cadwell wrote the 1975 book ', on which the 1993 feature film ' was based. She was portrayed by actress Lauren Holly in the film adaptation. She also wrote the 1989 book The Bruce Lee Story.