This year is the 40th anniversary of the death of gongfu superstar Bruce Lee (below). To mark the occasion, Hong Kong-based Singaporean television producer Robert Chua, 66, is planning a six-hour live TV and Internet event for July 20, the date of Lee's death in 1973.
During the event, Chua says Betty Ting Pei will break her silence of almost 40 years as she talks about her time with Lee. The Taiwanese actress, 66, had been blamed by some for his death as he was found dead in her apartment.
He tells Life!: "She wants to let go of the 40 years. The burden has been kept with her for too long."
In 1973, Lee was a huge movie star with hits such as The Big Boss (1971) and Enter The Dragon (1973), which made waves not just in Asia but also worldwide.
He was going over the script for Game Of Death in Ting's home when he complained of a headache. Ting, who was reportedly cast in a lead role in the film, gave him a tablet of an aspirin-based drug. Lee fell into a sleep he never woke up from and his passing was ruled as "death by misadventure".
Apart from Ting, Chua says he plans for the show to feature people who had previously worked with Lee, his friends and his fans.
At the event, Ting intends to chant a Buddhist prayer for world peace for half an hour.
Chua says: "Those who don't like it can switch off or walk off and come back later, doesn't matter. To me, it's real TV. It's what she is."
Chua himself also knew Lee personally and had invited the actor to appear on Hong Kong's Enjoy Yourself Tonight show back in the early 1970s. The popular variety show was created by Chua in 1967. He even persuaded Lee to jump out of a cake for television station TVB's fifth anniversary in 1972.
He recalls of Lee: "He was a very nice man, very down to earth, a people person. We had great respect for each other."
In fact, Chua says, Lee once asked him to shoot a movie together "at a very early stage". Chua turned him down, saying: "I'm a TV person, I'm not a film producer and I won't be able to give you the best."
It is a decision he has no regrets about. "Even if I did it, I might not have made him a star because that needs for everything to come together. I'm so happy for his success."
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