Here’s what we know about Bruce Lee’s sisters
ESPN’s new Bruce Lee documentary, Be Water, is a must-see in much the same way that Michael Jordan’s docuseries, The Last Dance, was vital in an ongoing dialogue on sports and race.
Be Water, directed by Bao Nguyen, got its name from a saying Bruce used to repeat: “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend,” according to USA Today.
Lee was only 32 when he died in 1973. Despite his short life, Lee became an icon not only in Hollywood but also in sports industries, for his remarkable physical ability. As USA Today says: “[S]everal critics argued that the physicality and athleticism of Lee’s martial arts skills transcended his work in film.”
While there’s so much to say about Bruce Lee himself, the star also had a really interesting family and a close connection with his sisters. So as we celebrate the legend, here’s everything we know about Bruce Lee’s sisters.
Bruce Lee and his sister used to steal mangos
Bruce Lee had four siblings: two brothers, Peter and Robert, and his sisters, Phoebe and Agnes, according to BruceLee.com. Phoebe was adopted and was actually only 40 days older than her sister, Agnes, according to Bruce Lee: A Life, written by Matthew Polly. According to Polly, Phoebe struggled with her adoption but was fiercely loyal to her family.
Phoebe spoke to Wing Chun News in September 2019 about Bruce when he was a boy saying, “[H]e was very nasty and always running around and never stay still.” While Phoebe said Bruce was naughty, she admitted to joining in on the mischief. She said that they used to steal mangos from their family garden and hurl ice at people from their balcony.
Later in life, it was Bruce’s other sister, Agnes, who was close to him. According to The Bruce Lee Story, Agnes was in school in San Francisco while Bruce and his wife, Linda, were in Oakland. Agnes often helped them look after their son, Brandon Lee when he was a baby.
Sadly, after Bruce’s death, it seems his siblings parted ways from his wife and kids. According to the South China Morning Post, Bruce’s siblings work together to preserve his legacy but don’t communicate very often with Linda and their daughter, Shannon. (Brandon Lee died in 1993.) According to the source, it’s not out of malice but simply a loss of contact over the years.
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