Who is Linda Lee Cadwell?

Linda Emery was born on 21 March 1945, in Everett, Washington State, USA. She is a martial artist, writer and teacher, but perhaps still best known for being the widow of martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Her life was struck with tragedy following the sudden death of his husband. Decades later, the sudden death of their child also came as a shock.

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The Riches of Linda Lee Cadwell

As of early-2020, Linda Lee Cadwell’s net worth is estimated to be over $10 million, earned through success in numerous fronts. She gained royalties from Bruce Lee’s posthumous releases, and also inherited much of his wealth. She’s also written books, and had a martial arts school.

Happy 72nd Birthday Linda Lee Cadwell (born March 21, 1945).

Posted by Bruce Lee 李小龍 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life and Career

Linda is of English, Irish, and Swedish ancestry. She grew up in Everett, and developed an interest in martial arts during high school where she saw Bruce Lee give a demonstration of kung fu. At the time, he was a student in university, and she wanted to learn more about the craft. She enrolled at the University of Washington, and became his student.

This eventually blossomed into something more, as the two began a romance and wed in 1964 with Linda discontinuing her college education despite being just a few units short of graduating.

She focused on starting a family with the martial artist, and they had two children. She also focused on learning and then teaching the martial art Wing Chun, alongside her husband. The martial art focuses on strong legs and fast arm movements for defense, and in legend was said to have been created by a female monk. This martial art would later become the springboard for Bruce Lee’s creation, Jeet Kune Do.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do was a hybrid of various martial arts he had learned, combining multiple elements of martial arts from various parts of the world, which also had a philosophical aspect to it – Jeet Kune Do is said to be the predecessor of modern mixed martial arts.

Bruce Lee

During the 20th century, Bruce rose to fame thanks to his physical abilities, and became one of the most influential martial artists of his time. He appeared in numerous films, finding success in both Hong Kong and Hollywood. Some of his projects include “Way of the Dragon”, “Enter the Dragon”, and “The Game of Death”.

His depiction and the popularity of his films, as well as his art, helped pave the way for Asians within Hollywood, and helped spark the Western world’s interest in Eastern martial arts. He helped move Asian Americans from typically being depicted as emasculated in Hollywood films, to stronger persons. However, he passed away at the age of 32 due to an allergic reaction to a painkiller called Equagesic.

Before his death, he had been suffering from multiple issues including consistent headaches which was affecting his work. The painkiller was said to have reacted with numerous drugs he was already taking, leading to a reaction with fatal consequences.

Life after Bruce Lee – Second Tragedy

Following his death, Linda continued promoting Jeet Kune Do, and teaching martial arts with her family. She raised her two children to become martial artists, and later wrote the book “Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew”. Later on, a film was created called “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” which is heavily inspired by her book. Her son Brandon would follow the footsteps of his father, and become a Hollywood star as well.

He was even set to depict the Marvel character Shang-Chi, after multiple meetings with Marvel and its founder Stan Lee, but the project never went into fruition. Brandon had worked on numerous television shows and films during his career. However, tragedy struck when he was filming a scene in the film called “The Crow” – his character was supposed to be killed by thugs in the film, and the crew was testing a prop gun, which was an unloaded gun filled with blanks for effect. However, they unintentionally left behind the primer, which was enough to launch a projectile at him during the shoot. He was hit in the abdomen, and after attempts at surgery were unsuccessful, he passed away.

Other Relationships and Passing the Legacy

In the mid-1980s, Linda began a relationship with Tom Bleecker and the two wed in 1988, but the marriage lasted for only two years. A year later, she met stockbroker Bruce Cadwell and the two married. They now reside in a Rancho Mirage, California, living life quietly away from the spotlight.

Her promotion and work for Jeet Kune Do was passed on to her daughter, Shannon Lee. She is also a martial artist who studied her father’s martial arts during her youth.

Later on, she began an acting career which saw her appear in films such as “High Voltage”, “Enter the Eagles” and “Ragon: the Bruce Lee Story”. She also worked with Sammo Hung in “Martial Law”, and the film “Epoch”. Later on, she helped create and manage the Bruce Lee Foundation, which aims to commemorate while continuing the work her father started.

During the latter part of her career, she began focusing more on behind the scenes work in the entertainment industry, becoming a producer for several documentaries and films based on his father’s work. In 2015, she began working on the show called “Warrior” which was an idea her father had, and the show went to air in 2019 on Cinemax.

Jeet Kune Do

Bruce Lee created Jeet Kune Do after realizing during his fights that Wing Chun wasn’t good enough for him to be able to sustain in fights. The martial art still relied heavily on the base concepts of Wing Chun, but incorporated other fighting styles to help optimize each aspect of the art. Bruce Lee emphasized practice and repetition to improve skill, removing what was unessential, and adding only what was necessary to improve. He was also keen towards improving the body through proper diet and training, as the body would not be able to function optimally without proper fuel.

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