Bruce Lee: Hong Kong Auction Brings $100K for Yellow Jumpsuit

Image: Bruce Lee: Hong Kong Auction Brings $100K for Yellow Jumpsuit

Monday, 09 Dec 2013 08:34 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Legendary martial arts expert and actor Bruce Lee is still a hot item in Hong Kong, with a yellow jumpsuit he wore in one of his final movie scenes selling for more than $100,000 at auction.

Lee died at the height of his fame in 1973 at age 32, reportedly from an allergic reaction to painkillers. More than a dozen items from the actor's personal collection and movie props brought in $258,000 during last week's auction, double what the auction house had anticipated, reported CNN.

The yellow jumpsuit, featuring black stripes, was purchased by an anonymous online bidder who bought six pieces from the collection, according to CNN. It was one of only two jumpsuits worn by Lee during filming of "Game of Death."

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CNN reported that the jumpsuit inspired various popular culture tributes over time, including Quentin Tarantino's movie "Kill Bill" to the "Grand Theft Auto" series.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that a jade pendantcreated by Lee sold for $20,000. Lee’s bamboo whip from "Game of Death" sold for more than $12,000 and a London collector based in Hong Kong purchased the actor's yellow nunchucks for $69,230.

"I remember practicing these when I was a kid," investment manager George Phillips told Xinhua about the nunchucks. "We used to wear motorcycle helmets so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves."

Lee born in San Francisco in 1940, but he spent his childhood in Hong Kong after his parents returned there while Lee was an infant.

"Bruce Lee is such an icon in Hong Kong," Anna Lee, vice-chairperson of Spink auction house, told CNN. She said the collection was sold for an unidentified collector in the U.S. film industry.

"He personally kind of started this kung fu frenzy in the world way before Jackie Chan," said Anna Lee. "Although he was born in the United States, his roots were definitely in Hong Kong. He loved to write poems, he loved to draw; he was so cultural apart from being a kung fu star. He is definitely a legend."

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The Spink auction was one of a numerous events in Hong Kong being held to recognize the 40th anniversary of Lee's death.

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