Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940 - July 20, 1973) was a Chinese American martial artist and martial arts actor widely regarded as one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century. Lee's movies, especially his performance in the Hollywood-produced Enter the Dragon, elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of quality and popularity. Lee used filmmaking to prove and demonstrate his fighting theories and Jeet Kune Do and his pioneering efforts paved the way for future martial artists and actors such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Chuck Norris.
Lee's movies sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong, China, and the rest of the world. Lee became an iconic figure particularly to Chinese; as he portrayed Chinese national pride and Chinese nationalism in his movies.
Many see Lee as a model blueprint for acquiring a strong and efficient body as well as developing a mastery of martial arts and hand to hand combat skills. Bruce Lee's evaluation of the traditional martial arts doctrines is nowadays seen as the first step into the modern style of hybrid martial arts.