Bruce Li


Bruce Li

Bruce Li is one of the stage names of Ho Chung Tao (zh-tsp|t=linktext|何|宗|道|s=linktext|何|宗|道|p=Hé Zōngdào), a Taiwanese martial artist and Bruce Lee imitator who starred in martial arts movies from the Bruceploitation movement.

Life and movie career

Born in 1950, Ho Chung Tao has spent his youth studying martial arts. He went to play a stuntman in Taiwan and Hong Kong under the name of James Ho.

At the death of Bruce Lee, Ho Chung Tao's real career began. Hong Kong studios noticed that Ho looked a lot like the kung fu star. They first employed him in "Conspiracy" before the producers of "Game of Death" asked him to finish their movie in Lee's role. Ho declined the offer.

After this, Ho was employed by producer-actor Jimmy Shaw who gave him the name of Bruce "Li".

"The producer gave me the name Bruce Li, L-I. But, I don't like it, because I can act like him, but I can't be him."

While Ho was finishing his military service, he appeared in "Good Bye Bruce Lee". He would star in other documentaries in 1976 with "The Young Bruce Lee" and "".

As Li, his career improved dramatically. Some Taiwanese and Hong Kong producers decided to directly credit him as "Bruce Lee", even going so far as to use the real Bruce Lee's picture on posters. Li even appeared in "Bruce Lee vs Supermen" where he stars as Kato, assistant of the Green Hornet, just like the real Bruce.

The producers really wanted to show Li as the "official" successor of Bruce Lee. In the 1976 movie "Exit the Dragon Enter the Tiger", Li meets Lee who points to him as the one who shall replace him. Li was dubbed the "Tiger" to Lee's "Dragon". This movie is considered to be one of Li's best. Li returns in "Return of the Tiger", starring Angela Mao. In it, Bruce Li fights Paul Smith.

Bruce carried on by playing in two unofficial sequels to Bruce Lee's classic "Fist of Fury".

In 1978, Li reprised his role as Bruce Lee in "Bruce Lee the True Story" (also known as "Bruce Lee: The Man & Myth"), a biography film. Li choreographed the combat sequences himself. Being very successful, fans recognize it as one of the best biopics of Bruce Lee.

Li kept shooting martial arts movies until the 1980s. He also directed movies, including "The Chinese Stuntman" (1981).

Bruceploitation was jumping the shark and Li knew it. He had trouble separating himself from his Bruce Lee roles and had many rivals in the genre. In 1985, Ho ended his career after his wife's death. He returned to Taiwan to become a physical education instructor (his first dream) at Taipei's Ping Chung University. He also has taught martial arts for comedian apprentices. Since then he has appeared only very briefly in martial arts cinema or Bruce Lee documentaries.

Li is considered one of the best Bruce Lee imitators, along with Bruce Le of Hong Kong and Dragon Lee of South Korea.

Notes

* Additional stage names that Ho Chung Tao used include: Shao-Lung Lee, Hsiao-Lung Lei, Lee Roy Lung, Lee Shiao-Lung, Bruce Ho Chung Tao, Ho Tsung Tao, and Ho Chung Dao.

Filmography as an actor includes

* "Bruce Against Iron Hand" (197?)
* "" (1974) (A/K/A "Super Dragon")
* "Iron Man" (1975)
* "" (1975)
* "Bruce Lee Against Supermen" (1975)
* "Fist of Fury II" (1976) (A/K/A "Chinese Connection 2)
* "Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger" (1976)
* "Enter the Panther" (1976)
* "Bruce Lee's Secret" (1976) (A/K/A "Bruce Lee's Deadly Kung Fu", "Story of the Dragon")
* "The Real Bruce Lee" (1977)
* "The Ming Patriots" (1977)
* "Bruce Li in New Guinea" (1977)
* "Bruce Lee the Invincible" (1977)
* "The Dragon Lives" (1977)
* "Bruce Lee, We Miss You" (1977)
* "Soul Brothers of Kung Fu" (1978)
* "The Image of Bruce Lee" (1978) (A/K/A "Storming Attacks")
* "Fists of Bruce Lee" (1978)
* "Edge of Fury" (1978)
* "Dynamo" (1978)
* "Deadly Strike" (1978)
* "Bruce Li's Magnum Fist" (1978)
* "Bruce Lee vs. the Iron Dragon" (1978)
* "" (1978) (A/K/A "Bruce Lee: True Story")
* "Return of the Tiger" (1979)
* "The Lama Avenger" (1979) (A/K/A "The Three Avengers")
* "Blind Fist of Bruce" (1979)
* "The Iron Dragon Strikes Back" (1981)
* "Fist of Fury III" (1980)
* "The Chinese Stuntman" (1981)
* "Powerforce" (1982)

IMDB also lists Bruce Li as appearing in "Golden Sun" (1984), "Master of Jeet Kun Do" (1980), and "Superdragon vs. Superman" (1977)

External links

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