With just 14 years separating their birth (Bruce Lee was born in 1940 and Jackie Chan in 1954), it was Lee’s untimely death in 1973 when he was just 32, that the world was denied any major collaborative work with both these great martial artists and actors sharing the same platform – as friends or foes. Both of them had roots in Hong Kong, Lee after being born in the US was raised here while Chan was born and still resides in Hong Kong.
A short introduction to both of them
Birth Name: Lee Jun-fan
Born: 27th November, 1940 in San Francisco, United States
Died: 20th July, 1973 in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Specialties: Actor, director, writer, martial arts founder and instructor.
Birth Name: Chan Kong-sang
Born: 7th April, 1954
Specialties: Actor, writer, poet, singer, martial artist, director, producer and stunt performer
Comparison between Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee
Both Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee are synonymous with martial arts, yet unique and pioneer in their respective style. Chan is known more for his acrobatic fighting style and innovative stunts. Lee developed `Jeet Kune Do’, a hybrid martial arts system that works on the principle of minimal movement with maximum effect and extreme speed. Both of them showcased their martial arts skills through their acting talent in motion pictures. Lee acted in around 30 movies till his death in 1973. Jackie Chan has been acting since the 1960s and has appeared in more than 150 movies. While Lee had typically played serious and stern characters in his movies, Chan has pioneered roles involving a curious mix of action and comedy. Chan is also renowned for performing his own and some very demanding stunts in his movies, many of which have resulted in physical injuries.
Lee is often credited with changing the way Asians were portrayed in American films, Chan took the agenda to its next level with such commercially successful movies that made him a household name even in the US and other parts of the world.
Versatility however was a common trait with both of them and other than being martial artists and actors, Bruce Lee was also a film director, producer, screenwriter, philosopher and a poet. Jackie Chan is a director, producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur and a singer. Chan is also a philanthropist and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, having been associated with a number of social causes.
Bruce Lee is no more but his legacy as the ultimate icon of martial arts continues. Jackie Chan continues to enthrall the audiences worldwide with his trademark martial art skills coupled with comic antics.