Martial Arts actor Jim Kelly died aged 67 on Saturday (29th June 2013). He was best known for his role in Enter The Dragon alongside Bruce Lee and John Saxon. The film, made in 1977, combines martial arts, spying and crime. He appeared in other Martial Arts films including Black Samurai, Hot Potato and Three The Hard Way

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon, 1977.

Kelly was the first Black Martial Arts actor. He was discovered whilst teaching Martial Arts in L.A. His career continued throughout the 70's. 

Although Kelly never intended to leave acting, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said "I didn't get the type of projects that I wanted to do". 

He retired from acting and worked as a professional tennis coach. He became so passionate about the sport that he toured on the senior circuits for a number of years.  

However, his fans remained loyal and he frequented ComicCon conventions, much to their delight. This death was announced by one of his friends on Facebook, they said "we are devastated by Jim's passing but through faith and support from family, friends and fans-we are comforted, blessed and will remain strong".

Bruce LeeBruce Lee in Enter The Dragon, 1977. 

He appeared in a number of parodies of Martial Arts films, including spoofing Game of Death (another Bruce Lee film) with basketball player LeBron James in a Nike commercial. 

Kelly lost his battle with cancer aged only 67. 

Contactmusic sends their condolences to Jim Kelly's family and friends. 

LeBron James
Basketball player LeBron James at Dwayne Wade's 30th birthday celebrations, Miami.