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New Book May Have Finally Solved The Mystery Of Bruce Lee's Death

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Bruce Lee was one of the most influential actors to grace the silver screen.

The action movie star has been credited for changing the way Asians are portrayed in American films and for taking martial arts cinema to new heights.

Ironically, Lee's popularity didn't happen until his brief Hollywood career ended upon his sudden death in 1973.

A month after the 32-year-old's demise, his iconic posthumous film Enter the Dragon, opened in theaters, earning him a cult following in the English-speaking world.

While some people were fascinated by the legacy the San Francisco-born actor left behind, others were wrapped up in the mystery of his unexpected death at such a young age.

The official autopsy report revealed that the Kung Fu idol died from a cerebral edema, which was most likely caused by a sensitivity to an ingredient in Equagesic, the painkiller he took after complaining of a headache. But not everyone was convinced this was true.

Over the years, conspiracy theories about his death were rampant. Lee's friend and fellow actor Chuck Norris claimed that it's possible the pain medicine he took had a reaction with muscle relaxants he was taking.

This prompted people to start wondering if Lee, like many Hollywood stars, may have been using other drugs.

There was also speculation that the father-of-one was poisoned by Taiwanese actress Betty Ting Pei, whose house Lee was visiting at the time of his death. Pei was the one who gave Lee the painkiller that eventually killed him. Some fans are convinced Pei worked for a secret society that wanted Lee dead.

Theories about the Mafia's involvement as well as a Lee family curse also floated around. According to the lore, the curse dates back several generations and is responsible for the premature deaths of the Lee men.

28 years after Lee's death, his son Brandon, was killed in an accident on the set of his movie The Crow. The 28-year-old was shot when a prop gun that was supposed to be empty was fired into his abdomen.  

Brandon LeeViva.ro

While all these theories may seem believable to some, there is one that sounds the most logical.

Nearly 45 years after Lee's tragic passing, American journalist and author Matthew Polly seems to have a pretty good idea of what happened to the legend.

In the new extensive biography Bruce Lee: A Life, Polly revealed that Lee may have died from a heatstroke.

“The key to understanding Bruce Lee’s death is that he collapsed 10 weeks before and almost died of the very same thing,” Polly explained to Fox News about his theory. "On May 10, 1973 he walked into a small dubbing room on one of the hottest days of the month. They turned off the air conditioner to avoid ruining the soundtrack. He immediately overheated and got dizzy."

He continued, "He left the room and still collapsed to the ground. He got back up and when he walked into the heated room, he collapsed again and started violently convulsing. They got him to the hospital and the doctors suspected his brain was swelling… And so the first collapse looked exactly like a case of heat stroke."

Polly insists that the scorching Hong Kong heat is to blame for the symptoms that led to Lee's quick death.

“At the time there were dozens and dozens of rumors — that he was poisoned, that ninjas got to him, that someone put a death touch on him,” said Polly. “There’s no evidence of a cover-up. My conclusion is heat stroke… It’s a very common killer of young athletic men.”

On top of it all, Polly said Lee had the sweat glands in his armpits removed because "he didn't think they looked good on screen." This "would have made it harder for him to dissipate heat," he added.

In another interview with the Daily Telegraph, Polly said he came to this conclusion after speaking to "numerous forensic and medical experts."

In addition to making claims about Lee's death, Polly also wrote about Lee's love for marijuana, his alleged affair with Pei, and the fact that Roman Polanski suspected him of killing his pregnant wife Sharon Tate.

Do you believe Lee could've died from a heatstroke? Let us know in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.