February 1, 1965 – March 31, 1993
“Take your shot, Funboy. You got me dead bang.”
01/09 There are plans to remake the original movie The Crow (1994). As most of you know actor Brandon Lee was fatally wounded while filming The Crow. There are some that feel that a remake of this film would be disrespectful to Mr. Lee’s memory and his legacy. If you would like to sign this petition, please do so here.
02/07 There is a band of dedicated Brandon Lee fans, that have started a petition to get Brandon a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you would like to sign this petition, please follow this link.
Almost all of the photographs in this story come courtesy of Cathy and Dave Bradford. Cathy (bitch) and Dave (sigh) were residents of North Carolina, and asked me if I needed any help in the area. When I came to them with my plea, they enthusiastically took up the challenge. (Well done Angels!) They went beyond the call of taste and duty, risking life, limb and embarrassment – to obtain these pictures. I’ve wanted to see these locations for years. They did a bang up job. So did Brandon (HRR!). This is how he died.
We all know about Brandon and his famous father, Bruce. Bruce Lee died in Hong Kong in 1973, when Brandon was only 8. At the time of his own death, Brandon was becoming a successful actor on his own, living down the stigma of being Bruce Lee’s son. He was also engaged to marry writer Eliza Hutton. By the way, Brandon lived at 1905 Benedict Canyon, in LA.
Wanna see his mailbox? Of course you do!
Many thanks to Findadeath.com friends Mark Cramer, Lilieth Lawrence and Janet Schiessl for those snaps.
Brandon and Eliza were going to get married right after the filming his latest movie, The Crow, was completed.
Brandon supposedly believed that the males in his family were cursed because his grandfather angered some Chinese merchants. Some say that Brandon was so obsessed with death, that he took to driving around LA in a hearse, and visiting Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris. Sounds pretty normal to me. He told friends that he would never live to see 30. Guess what – he was right.
The set of The Crow was plagued with problems from the get go, including one worker that was severely burned by a live electrical wire, another flipped out and drove through the studio’s plaster workshop, and another carpenter accidentally drove a screwdriver through his hand. There was one particularly disturbing incident in which an actor was double-checking the gun he was supposed to shoot a person with, and found a live bullet instead of blanks. These things probably happen all the time, but in retrospect they become very important to this story’s mystique.
The film was being shot in Wilmington, North Carolina, at Carolco (now Screen Gems) Studios.
Carolco is located at 1223 N. 23rd Street.
They were shooting the film on Stage 4.
It was the 50th day of a 58-day shoot. The crew was partially non-union, if that means anything to anybody. (Q: How do you know if a union person is tired? A: They drop their donut.)
Brandon’s last sane words were supposedly, “Bang! Bang! Don’t forget to send flowers!” He was telling another actor to remember to bring the flowers for his characters upcoming funeral scene.
In preparation for the scene – prop man Daniel Kuttner filled the gun being used with blanks. The error he made was not checking the gun barrel for obstructions.
Shortly after midnight on March 31st, 1993, filming the scene began. It was a flashback scene, intended to show how his character was killed. (The premise of the flick was that his spirit returns, and avenges his death.) Brandon was wearing a black leather jacket, black boots, corduroys and a T-shirt with the name of his character’s band on the front, “HANGMAN’S JOKE.”
Actor Michael Masee played a drug dealer that had broken into Lee’s apartment, and was in the process of raping Lee’s girlfriend.
Brandon was to enter the apartment, and Masse was to shoot Lee. It went wrong.
Brandon was carrying a grocery bag that contained a small explosive charge, used to simulate gunfire. Massee was to fire a pistol full of blanks at Brandon, from a distance of about 12 feet. Rehearsal went fine. While camera’s were rolling, and the gun was fired, Lee pulled a trigger hidden behind the grocery bag to set off a “squib,” a small explosive device designed to create the appearance of the grocery bag bursting within, stuck by a bullet. After setting off the squib, Lee collapsed on the set, bleeding profusely through the right side of his abdomen. He let out a groan and just collapsed. The scene played on, with Massee’s co-villain muttering in a panic, that Massee had shot the man. Things appeared normal, although Lee didn’t hit the floor the same way as they rehearsed. Brandon motioned with his arm, trying to signal distress, but everyone was too involved in the action to notice. Some thought Lee’s acting was extraordinary. One person on the set remembered hearing a faint call from Lee as he lay clutching his belly on the floor, “Cut, cut, somebody please say cut…” The director yelled, “Cut!” Lee did not get up.
At first the crew thought he was joking, but when realization kicked in, panic erupted – mostly from Michael Massee. Who could blame him?
This next photograph is of Brandon after he was shot. It’s pretty bloody, and if you are offended by this sort of thing, please DO NOT! click here. I only included it because I’m getting a lot of requests for this sort of thing. I didn’t find it too gross, but its crossing a line that I am SURE a lot of you don’t want to cross. Please be warned.
MAY 2002 Unfortunately for us, Findadeath.com friend Sandie sends us information which proves that the Brandon photo is not authentic. Thanks for clearing that up Sandie! xx
Findadeath.com friend Maria sends this report about that picture:
“Nice try on the picture of Brandon after he was shot – it’s the deleted kissing scene from rapid fire. Sorry if you have been told this a thousand times before but a drinking buddy and I got into a “debate” over the footage that was filmed when he was shot. FYI – because I do think the rest of the Brandon Lee area of your site is VERY tastefully done, here’s the skinny on the footage:
After it was discovered that Brandon was shot the film was put (as is standard operational procedure) in a light tight box and stored (sometimes on the camera truck, or at the production offices) as was the rest of video and stills, then the set was closed, and everyone told to go home, and to stay available for updates to shooting (no pun intended) schedule changes. When it was confirmed he had died, everyone was to stay available for police questioning. Any film, video, stills, etc. from that night was immediately handed over to authorities. After it was examined and people questioned – it was sequestered for evidence should legal action against anyone take place. this is where it gets fuzzy due to rumor and innuendo :
The reason that Linda Lee Cadwell settled out of court was due to the fact that – to prove negligence – the DEVELOPED – yes developed (as it was studied to find fault and or negligence for police work) film shot that evening in question would have to be viewed over and over again by jury, and possibly Ms. Lee-Caldwell herself, the stills from the shooting would be displayed as evidence in court for as long as the trial lasted. Obviously too much heart ache for a mother to take. Out of court settlement was
reached, the film, video, and stills from that scene destroyed.
ALSO A RUMOR – this has not been able to confirmed – the reason for the destroying of the film was not only out of respect for the Lee family and Brandon but also to force the film company to use other footage. They had planned on using as much of the footage as possible to finish the scene – when they had to destroy the film that is why the character Eric is not shot in the final version of the film, yet first stabbed (knife thrown by Tin-Tin) and then shot. The reason rumor flew of the footage being used is due to the close up of Funboys gun – it was that shot shown in the film where the projectile that killed Brandon got stuck in the gun – so you are, in a way, seeing the shot that killed him.”
Interesting. Thanks for filling in the gap! – Scott
An on set medical technician attempted CPR, and ordered an ambulance to be called. The crew had to file past Brandon as he lay on the set, to leave the soundstage and wait for the ambulance outside the studio, in the dark.
Paramedics arrived, and put inflatable pants on Brandon, to push the blood from his legs back to his upper body.
Brandon was rushed to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, located at 2131 S. 17th Street.
They arrived at the Emergency Room entrance about 30 minutes after the accident.
Lee’s heart had stopped once on the set and once in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Here’s the hospital.
Brandon was taken to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) where he was operated on for six hours, and he given 60 pints of blood.
His body just wouldn’t hold it. Here’s a close up on the ICU sign.
About 30 people from the film went to the hospital, and waited in the emergency room until morning, when a doctor came out and told them he had done what he could, and it didn’t look good.
The entry wound was the size of a silver dollar, and it extended in a straight line to the spine. Surgeon Warren W. McMurry, who attended to Lee, said that Brandon had “suffered intestinal injuries and major vascular injuries consistent with a bullet wound, and that X-rays appeared to show the bullet lodged in Lee’s spine.
Meanwhile, detectives arrived on the set, and reviewed videotape made of the scene during filming, which indicated that Lee’s right side was in line with the angle of the pistol that was fired for the scene. Technicians on the set had unloaded the gun and placed it and the spent shell of a blank round into a plastic bag. They learned that one of the dummy shells in the gun case was missing the slug from its tip.
Brandon’s fiancé arrived at the hospital around noon, and his mother Linda was on her way from her home in Idaho. At 1:03 p.m., Brandon died.
He was 28 years old.
His mother arrived 5 hours later.
Brandon’s body was taken to Jacksonville for an autopsy, where it was confirmed that he died from a gunshot wound of the abdomen.
A press conference was held at the Wilmington Police Station, where the autopsy findings were released.
Not sure, but could this be the same station used in the film? Here’s another shot of it.
Detectives say that the gun was loaded with the dummy bullet for a close-up shot. When the gun was unloaded, the slug could have been dislodged from the dummy shell casing, with the tip remaining in the cylinder or barrel. When the blank round was inserted, the pistol could have been discharged like a loaded firearm.
Feb 2002, Findadeath.com friend Tony Williams sends this: Ever wonder how the bullet got stuck in the gun? I saw a show that explained how it happened. It seems they didn’t have any ammo for the close up scene so the prop guy went out and brought some real ammo and removed the bullets and emptied the powder and removed the primers from the cases and then put the bullets back in the cases and loaded the gun for the scene but it seems he forgot one of the primers and during the taping of the close up scene the gun was fired. People said they heard a small bang but nothing happened. But in fact the bullet had lodged itself in the barrel of the gun. Thanks Tony!
November 2002, a friend sends this in: One of the guys at the Brandon Lee information page explains his death by saying “there were no blanks available on the set, so someone went out to buy real ammunition”. First of all, his explanation of the guy pulling the bullet apart were all wrong, and would have led to the bullet being defective altogether. Second, ALL gun stores and ammunition stores sell blanks. All of them, for all calibers.
Figured I’d clear up the misinformation.
Brandon’s body was taken to the Andrews Mortuary,
located at 1617 Market Street.
Here is the building.
UPDATE: Thanks to Findadeath.com friend Jamie Farley: “His casket was a solid copper deposit just like his fathers” Great info, Jamie. Thanks
I seem to recall that the crew had a memorial service for him before his body was shipped back west. If that did happen, it happened in this chapel.
Friends and family certainly came in through this entrance hall,
or sat in this waiting room.
I know how Cathy and Dave got these pictures, and it is hysterical. Per Dave’s suggestion, Cathy told the proprietor that she was shopping for a nice funeral home, for their soon to be dead grandmother. Grandma wanted to see photos of all the funeral homes in the area. I love it. (in fairness, grandmother is dead already, so it wasn’t too bad.) Truly gifted people. I bow to you.
Brandon’s body was flown back to Washington State, and on April 3rd, he was buried next to his father Bruce.
Findadeath pal Rob Hager sent these pictures of Brandon’s grave.
On the 4th, there was a memorial service at Brandon’s backgammon partner Polly Bergen’s home, in Beverly Hills. Over 300 people attended including Steven Seagal, David Carradine, Kiefer Sutherland (ugh.), and Brandon’s family and friends.
The District Attorney, Jerry Spivey said, “Brandon Lee’s death was the result of ignoring basic and well recognized safety guidelines.” I’ll bet that won’t happen with this crew again.
March 2002, Findadeath.com friend Bill Murray (no, not that one) sends this in: Just a few bits of trivia which may be of interest to you… The other film which was being filmed on the Carolco lot at the time of “The Crow” was the Coen Brothers’ film “The Hudsucker Proxy”. I walked through the back lot sets of The Crow about a week before the fatal shooting took place. Friends of mine who were working on the Coen Brothers’ film told me at the time that working in Wilmington really sucks because NC is a “right to work” state meaning that film producers don’t have to hire all “union” crew members and a lot of the regular union rules don’t apply… like sane working hours etc. The crew of The Crow was really getting overworked. Many had been putting in 14-15 hour days for over a month. People around the Carolco lot were already joking about the “Curse of The Crow” because several odd accidents had occurred among crew members. The guy who put the screwdriver through his hand did that after falling off a scaffold. The other guy who was electrocuted was operating a hydraulic lift and lifted himself right into a live overhead power line. By the way, have you ever heard the origin of why on a film set the electricians assistant is referred to as the “best boy”?… It goes back to the old silent movie days when D.W. Griffith was making The Birth of a Nation… Think about it… The “best boy” typically is nicknamed “sparky” and gets all the dangerous assignments. Anyway, those accidents should have been a warning to everyone to slow down and remember “safety first” but after all, the film business is a business, time is money, and crew members are pretty much expendable. Brandon Lee’s death was a tragic accident that should have never happened. He was a really nice guy.
By the way, the Carolco studio was originally built by Dino DeLaurentis for his epic remake of King Kong. The Kong head was still on the back lot along with one of the huge prop hands. Also kicking around the back lot was the Green Goblin truck hood from that great classic Steven King opus “Maximum Overdrive”.
MAY 2002, this just in from Findadeath.com friend Russell:
Just a little trivia to add to this section. It is said in your article that David Carradine attended a memorial service for Brandon Lee. I found this quite odd, though not unbelievable. When Bruce Lee was trying to hit it big in showbiz, he approached producer William Dozier, whom he’d been working with on The Green Hornet, with an idea for a show. It was about a Shaolin Gung Fu (the proper spelling is Gung) warrior coming to America to find his long lost …. in the old west bla bla bla, you know. Anyway, Dozier loved the idea…but execs felt that Bruce, and I quote, “looked a little too Asian” and hired Carradine, who couldn’t even pronounce the show’s title, to fill the spot. This caused more than a little tension between the Lee family and Carradine.
Another tidbit, Linda Lee Cadwell is not well received in the Lee household. You see, after Brandon’s death, Linda took a lot of Bruce/Brandon’s things and auctioned them off. She failed to share the proceeds with any of Bruce’s family members.
I’ve studied Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do for a long time, and have read many books on him and his family. In fact, my screen name is Bruce’s real name (lee Jun Fan) and his death date. I think you’ve handled Brandon’s death, as well as many of the other deaths on your website, in a very informative and tasteful manner. Keep up the good work.
Trivia: Just a few blocks from the studio where Brandon suffered the fatal bullet, our detectives Cathy and Dave Bradford found this sorta eerie street sign.
Cool, huh? Thanks guys. Outstanding work.
Trivia June 2000 – Findadeath.com friend Bryon Gordon sends us this fact regarding Brandon’s famous father:
August 2, 1964- Bruce gave a demonstration at Ed Parker’s International Karate Tournament in Long Beach, California. Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring (and one of the infamous Manson murder victims) was present and is very impressed by Bruce Lee. He later brings him to the attention of producer William Dozier (Batman). No doubt this led to Bruce being cast as KATO in the Green Hornet.
A big thank you also goes to Bob Siler for donating some of the text of this story. Thanks as usual, Bob.
This just in, March 2003, from Findadeath friend James Pierce:
I would like to point out that a bullet from a live round can be removed without making the round inert. In fact, they sell special tools that look like hammers for doing such things.
I also found the rest of the information insightful.
This just in, December 2003, from Findadeath friend Matt:
Another bit of trivia for your Brandon Lee page: As the movie was filled with an almost insane amount of gunplay, the studio had hired a firearms consultant named James Moyer to check on safety, perform training, inspect and maintain the firearms, etc.
Since the scene being shot was extremely simple, and Moyer cost money every time he was on set, the studio told him that his contract was complete and sent him on his way. The standard prop department handled the scene, and it is highly likely that had Moyer stayed on for those last scenes, the accident would never have happened.
This, of course, is probably *the* major reason the studio settled; they would have had no chance at all in court – the negligence in dismissing the consultant before all the firearm scenes were completed is pretty hard to dismiss.
This just in, January 2004, from Findadeath friend Anne Grogg:
I never thought I’d have anything to contribute to your site, but the Carolco studio is mentioned throughout the Brandon Lee story, but I didn’t see mention of the fact that that’s the company owned by Jose Menendez, whose lovely boys Erik and Lyle, shot him and his wife to death and had a very well-publicized murder trial. Remember that one?
UPDATE February 2005, from Findadeath friend Sherri:
My daughter is a huge Brandon Lee fan, and she was telling me some stuff I didn’t read in your Brandon Lee page. Brandon was buried in his wedding tux, and his fiancé came to the funeral dressed in her wedding dress.
OKAY you guys. I get emails all the time complaining about why I don’t update more often, or why I don’t respond to emails. The following is why. I love hearing from you guys, but I have over 1800 emails in my inbox with all sorts of information I just don’t know how to deal with. People are sending me nice emails offering help, info, suggestions. I put one up on a story, I get 10 more offering more info or corrections. Its honestly quite overwhelming, and I’m not really sure how to deal with it. Following are examples from just one subject on Findadeath.com:
Richard de Silva points out:
If you haven’t picked up a copy of “The Crow: The Story Behind The Film” by Bridget Baiss, you should really order one in. They updated it and re-released it recently. Although it covers everything about the production, it’s all geared to the tragic death of Brandon, with about ten chapters centered on that one event. It gives a great all round account and has first-hand comments made by the other actors/crew. It actually contradicts something you mention on the site; the entrance wound of the bullet casing wasn’t the “size of a silver dollar”, but looked more like a small scratch below the naval. There was no external bleeding, it went in completely clean. This was one of the reasons why they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him until late. Another thing I just remembered to mention is that the police station in Wilmington wasn’t used for any scenes in ‘The Crow’, but if you watch ‘Blue Velvet’, you’ll see the same door, doorsteps and sign as in that photograph.
i’m paul…. i’ve just found your memorial to the legend Brandon Lee, an i think it is very tasteful…. but i’d like to clarify that although Russel is right in that Carradine took Lee’s place in Kung Fu…. that it is almost certain
that he would have been at Brandon’s memorial service as they both starred in Kung Fu: The Movie with one
another…… just thought you might like to know that… as it is a little known film…. as is the fact that in
Brandon’s first film ‘Legacy of Rage’ he does his own voice over.
I would like to share a very personal story on the night brandon died. I was heading home at the same time he was going to be shot and as a strong Christian, the Spirit of God, strongly impressed upon me to pray for him. I didn’t understand why, I had been at my fathers house and just watched rapid fire. It was given to my brother by the video rental lady as a suggestion to watch that night. I had watched it with my brother and father, at a birthday celebration for the two of us. I knew instantly it was a brandon Lee movie when it started, for I had oddly run into his photo and article on him in the ER where I worked and felt a kindred spirit to him at that time. I then began to offer up prayer for him some time earlier. Well, on the way home, I replied to God, I will just pray for everyone on the set, not just brandon. No, God clearly told me, pray for brandon. I did, drove home and went to bed. It was about 1230 am seattle time. I am not sure if this was the same time zone as where the movie was being filmed, havent checked that. Anyway, the next morning I woke up and got in the car and the news was that he was dead. I started to cry, and instantly said to God, why, why did you have me pray for him and then he is killed?
I can only assume that God was looking over him and that something more was going on than meets the human eye.
I was torn but let it go. Later, again in the ER a magazine was before me about Brandon. I had no idea that he was burried in Seattle and found that he was. It was blocks from my home. I had to go and make peace with my seeming involvement with him at a distance, but very real to me. I found the cemetary and made peace with Brandon at his grave. Later I was to have dinner with another christian friend of mine and we both wanted to speak at the same time about a special place God had led us and provided us much solace and peace there, I spoke first and we found it was the same place, Lakeview Cemetary. It turned out to be a sacred place and I ended up spending much time there, meditating, praying, crying and even learning to roller blade (all the blacktop courses were great for that). I have taken many friends there and found many wonderful things there to explore. Truly sacred ground. I now live on the beach on Oahu, and am no longer working in the ER, but am a massage therapist and computer repair technician.
I don’t understand why, but I know in my heart that Brandon and I were knit together on a spiritual level, and that God had his hand on him through it all. It will allways remain a great mystery, and possibly a representation of the real battle between good and evil.
Hey, I’m not a firearms expert by any means, just an all-around heads-up guy, but I can tell you this line below rings completely false. All gun stores sell blanks, in all calibers?! Obvious BS, and easily tested. Go into any random gun store – I’ll bet you find no blanks at all. Do you know how many calibers there are? Hundreds. Do you know how much demand there is for blanks, outside of Hollywood sets? Answer: zero. So, by the physics of capitalism, how many stores stock blanks? My guess is: zero. Easily tested…
Also, the explanation is not correct. If you have a primer and some powder, and an obstruction (in this case, a bullet) lodged further down the barrel, that’s the same thing as a fully functioning cartridge. Maybe you don’t get full velocity out of the round, but it’s not missing much, as indicated by the dead Brandon.
There’s a blurb on your Brandon Lee death page that states the following:
November 2002, a friend sends in: One of the guy’s at the Brandon Lee information page explains his death by saying “there were no blanks available on the set, so someone went out to buy real ammunition.”. First of all, his explanation of the guy pulling the bullet apart were all wrong, and would have led to the bullet being defective altogether. Second, ALL gun stores and ammunition stores sell blanks. All of them, for all calibers.
Figured I’d clear up the misinformation.
This writer is incorrect on the subject of finding blanks at gun stores in Southern California. Most gun stores there do not carry blanks in any great variety or supply. When they do they often have limited choices of calibers. I know firsthand that this is so for the gun stores near the studios in Culver City. I often had to obtain blanks for use in WWI re-enactments and had a difficult time getting them sometimes from stores in Southern California. The guns stores just don’t stock them as a regular item. Often they must be special ordered.
From Simon: Anyway, you probably know this but, there was a rumour that Brandon Lee was victim of a curse to do with Ian Curtis (lead singer of Joydivison). After he hung himself, many people associated with the group died. The author of The Crow, James O’Barr was heavily influenced by their music and i beleive some of the chapters are named after their songs. Certainly the music appears in the film. I only know this because a couple of friends won’t actually watch the film being fans of Joy division and not wanting to take any chances! ! Mad eh?
I wandered onto your site while trying to find out more concerning the death of Brandon. Very informative, up until some yea hoo know it all attempted to correct another contributor by stating that “pulling off the bullet and pouring out the powder is not the correct way to disarm a round” or some such thing. In fact, the television program that originally aired the info had was CORRECT. Yes, that IS how you disarm a round. Yes, if you fail to remove the primer (small cap that ignites the powder) it will go off with sufficient force to dislodge the bullet into the barrel. In fact, some companies make small .22 CB rounds just like that for the purpose of quiet pest control (small bullets will actually leave the muzzle at a decent enough velocity to kill a pigeon).
Another bit of misinformation the same person provided is that “ALL gun stores sell blank rounds for ALL calibres”. Hogwash!!! Having worked in the firearm industry for 7+ years I can tell you that most gun stores don’t sell blanks in ANY calibre because there is only a very small market for them. Wander into your local gun store the next time you are in the area and you will see that I am correct.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me back.
Hi. My name is Dwain. I love your site. As a life-long gun enthusiast (gun nut) and forensic toxicologist (I used to work for the Medical Examiner), I would like to contribute a couple of corrections: On Brandon Lee, contrary to what a contributor says, gun shops do not routinely sell blanks. Blanks are of no use to a shooter and at best encourage poor gun-safety habits ie. pointing and shooting at each other, sorry Brandon. On River Phoenix, ephedrine is not a major ingredient in crystal meth, but a drug that is often used as a precursor in the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine. You are right, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine’s chemical twin, if you will, is found in cold medicine as a decongestant.
Keep up the good work,
Scott, I have been a funeral historian for over 30 years and if you know Mike Steen or Bernie Johnson, they can verify my knowledge of funerals of the famous. I was surfing over many of the celebrities you have listed, which I find very fascinating, and interesting. I was looking over the death of Brandon Lee, and a reference of Brandon’s solid copper deposit like his father’s casket is totally incorrect. Bruce Lee’s casket was a bronze made by Batesville. If Brandon went into a deposit, which is unlikely because these caskets had stopped being made in the early 70s. There are a few left, mostly being sought after by Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in NYC. Gates, Kingsley & Gates in Santa Monica had a couple in storage which were bought ahead of time by clients. Gawler’s in WDC has one or two. It is possible that Andrew’s Mortuary had one to use for Brandon, but it wasn’t the same as Bruce Lee’s. I personally saw the funeral records for Bruce Lee, and the photo’s of Bruce’s casket makes the claim a deposit incorrect. I don’t mean to be critical, but as I peruse your files, I would hope that they would be accurate, and they are a majority of the time. Keep up the good work. Jim Kurtz
From Carrie: Was just reading through Find A Death (great site btw, very interesting) and was reading the Brandon Lee info and that this tidbit might be of interest. The reason David Carradine was a guest at Brandon’s funeral was because he and Brandon worked together on two TV movie sequels to the Kung Fu series in ’86 & ’87. Interestingly enough considering his father did not win the role of Kwai-Chang Caine, Brandon played that character’s illegimate son Johnny in those movies.
Hope this info proves useful. Keep up the great work on the site!
Someone wrote to you finding it odd that David Carradine went to Brandon Lee’s memorial service. It’s not really that odd since Brandon played David Carradine’s son in Kung Fu the movie in 1986.
Brandon was offered to play the part of his father in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story but turned it town and chose The Crow instead. According to his autopsy report he would have almost certainly died of heart disease. Then again so will a large majority of the American population.
An interesting bit of trivia Brandon’s sister Shannon Lee appeared in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story singing California Dreaming.
Thank you for a great website!
From Anne: Brandon supposedly believed that the males in his family were cursed because his grandfather angered some Chinese merchants. Some say that Brandon was so obsessed with death, that he took to driving around LA in a hearse, and visiting Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris. Sounds pretty normal to me. He told friends that he would never live to see 30. Guess what – he was right.
I saw him on a “Tonight Show” appearance and he was asked if he believed in the curse. He said no. He thought it was hype.
Hi, I’ve read the part of your site about Brandon Lee’s death carefully, and you did a very good job. But as you mentioned that Brandon was gonna get married after the shooting (sorry!) of The Crow, I think you’ve missed some of the irony. His character in the movie, Eric Draven, was engaged as well, and was supposed to get married the next day. That’s a pretty freaky parallel. Oh, and the film was eventually dedicated to Brandon & Eliza.
Tobias from Germany writes:
There is a cool song dedicated to Brandon Lee performed by a band from Finland. They are called The 69 Eyes
What would there be
As the river of sadness turns into sea
Could there be another thousand stories like you and me
Wanted a heart,Wanted a soul
More than anything else in this world
But we are doomed
Our flesh wounds
I would never give in
Just like the Moon does
Over you that I
Victims aren’t we all!
What would there be
Beyond the eyes of Brandon Lee
Could there be
Left to bleed
Wanted the truth,wanted the faith
More than anything else in this world
But we are doomed
Body and soul marooned
I would never give in
Just like the Moon does
Over you that I
Victims aren’t we all!
Zak Jephcott sends this:
The accident: The cast and crew were all tired after filming the scenes, so they were rushing the attic scene where Eric is shot. ‘Fun boy’ stood behind ‘Eric’ for the shooting scene, but he wasn’t standing the safe 12 meters away for the blanks. Now instead of aiming for slightly right over ‘Eric’s’ shoulder, he fired the shot lower down, and on cue, the blood bag was released, and Brandon dropped to the floor, writhing in pain, but this was unknown to everyone on set and just thought he was a great actor. It wasn’t until minutes later, that the people present realized Brandon wasn’t acting, and that he was in trouble.
All this was filmed on tape. But after the death of Brandon Lee, and the go ahead to make the film, the REAL shot scene was destroyed, every still, every film, EVERYTHING. But it is said, the part where you see Fun boy fire the gun, that is the true shot that killed Brandon Lee.
Lionel Lopez sends us this: I have a correction to a correction on your Brandon lee page, an update stated that, David Carradine did not attend Brandon’s funeral because of the fact that David stole the lead role in Kung Fu from Bruce Lee. This is incorrect, yes David won out the role over Bruce, but as they say, that’s showbiz! Even if there was bad blood between the two families, this mattered nothing to the good hearted Brandon. They co starred with each other in the Kung Fu the movie here is an enclosed picture of the cover art, so to add to the fact that Brandon and David had no bad blood (pun not intended), Brandon played the role of David Carradine’s son! David did attend the funeral according to many, many, many reliable sources.
February 2006, from Findadeath friend “Redsand”:
An interesting tidbit you should know about Brandon Lee’s body in North Carolina. His autopsy was held in Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, NC. My mother was a registered nurse there who often took me with her to her work. I was there when his body arrived. When his body was moved to the morgue, some hospital workers made sure that they somehow got the chance to go see his body. I no longer live in Jacksonville, but I do visit there often, and would be more than happy to supply you a picture of Onslow Memorial Hospital if that’s fine with you?
Thanks for the info!
Update Feb 2015: Death Hag Shelly Lichoff rockin the Death Hag sticker at the Lee’s graves.