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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chinese TV to air Bruce Lee biography

Beijing (AP): Bruce Lee is getting a belated hero's welcome in China, with the country's state broadcaster set to air a 50-part prime-time series on the late kung fu star.

Lee became a chest-thumping source of nationalistic pride to Chinese around the world with his characters who defended the Chinese against oppressors in a series of movies in the early 1970s.

But his influence wasn't felt immediately in China, which was then a closed Communist country. Lee's films started surfacing in China on video in the 1980s _ years after his death in 1973 from swelling of the brain.

China's official China Central Television hopes to fill the void with the exhaustive 50 million Chinese yuan (US$7.3 million) biography, ``The Legend of Bruce Lee'' _ the country's first movie or TV series on the actor, according to producer Yu Shengli.

Shot in China, Hong Kong, Macau, the U.S., Italy and Thailand over nine months, the series, starting on Sunday in prime-time, will air daily on the CCTV's flagship channel, with two episodes airing consecutively every night in a two-hour slot.

Unlike past films about Lee, ``The Legend of Bruce Lee'' is unusually detailed in tracing Lee's life, from his teenage years in Hong Kong to his move to the U.S., where he studied and taught martial arts, to his movie career and early death at 32, the Hong Kong actor who plays Lee told AP in an interview on Tuesday.


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