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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Milk Carton Alert

What the eff happened to Jim Kelly? He was the first (and only, to my knowledge) black superdude/martial arts expert. And he was a real one, not a Hollywood one, having won a multitude of martial arts awards. He barely said a word in his films (which I guess was the far Eastern way), but always put foot to ass. This is his online mini-bio:

With his funky Afro hairstyle, super cool attitude and superb karate skills, Jim Kelly was instantly identifiable, and one of the top martial arts film stars of the early 1970s. After appearing in a minor film role, Kelly's second screen effort was as one of the invited guests to the deadly Han's Island in Enter the Dragon (1973). Kelly quickly cropped up in several more martial arts influenced "blaxploitation" films including Three the Hard Way (1974), Golden Needles (1974) and Black Belt Jones (1974).

I.W.: For some reason this guy would remind me of Lenny Kravitz. Who knew he was born a simple country boy from Paris, Kentucky? I used to have "Black Belt Jones" on VHS. It was a ridiculous movie, kinda like a ghetto "In Like Flint", so I never watched it, but I had a collection of black films stacked on a shelf, and it was good to have a copy. I did love it when he teamed up with Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, especially in "Three the Hard Way". The last film credit he had was one in the 90's as "Executive #4". Not good. I think a milk carton is needed here, stat.


Darkside said...

Today, Jim Kelly resides in Southern California and works as a professional tennis coach.

dc_speaks said...

wow....thats great information...thanks darkside.

great post here IW!!

Invisible Woman said...

Thanks, dc :-)

ListenToLeon said...

Jim Kelly wasn;t the only one. I'll list a few other black martial artist/action heroes on here for you:

Ron Van Clief was another 70's martial artist/actor. He ended up training and working with Taimak, star of The Last Dragon(and another black martial arts hero).

Wesley Snipes is also a black belt in real life, so I think that's why he settles for crappy action movie roles now instead of movies where he actually has to ACT. Well, that, or the pursuit of a quick payday...

Oh yeah, the dude that played Spawn, Michael Jai White is also a practicing martial artist, although I don't know if he's ever competed in competitions or anything like that.