Kelly's ex-wife says that the martial arts expert passes away because of cancer, adding that the actor's passing 'is a difficult situation to process.'
Actor Jim Kelly, who starred alongside Bruce Lee in movie "Enter the Dragon", has passed away. Kelly's ex-wife Marilyn Dishman told Associated Press that the actor passed away at his San Diego home because of cancer. He was 67.
Dishman also announced the actor's passing via Facebook. "Yesterday, June 29, 2013, James Milton Kelly, better known as Jim Kelly, the Karate expert, actor, my first husband and Sabrena Kelly-Lewis's biological father died. Sabrena needs all of your good thoughts and prayers. This is a difficult situation to process. Even I am having trouble processing it. Like his mother, there will be no service!" the Facebook post read.
Kelly was born in May 1946. He grew up in Kentucky as a talented athlete who joined baseball, football and track teams. According to a 2010 interview with Salon, Kelly started practicing martial arts in 1964 and later earned a black belt in Karate after moving to California. He said that he wanted to become an actor after winning Karate tournaments.
He starred in many movies during 1970s, such as "Black Belt Jones", "Three the Hard Way" and "Black Samurai". "Enter the Dragon" was his second movie.
"It was one of the best experiences in my life," he said of working with Bruce Lee. "Bruce was just incredible, absolutely fantastic. I learned so much from working with him. I probably enjoyed working with Bruce more than anyone else I'd ever worked with in movies because we were both martial artists. And he was a great, great martial artist. It was very good," he explained.