Happy birthday Jim! Well, if Jim was still with us he’d be a spritely 68-years old; sadly he passed away on June 29 2013, dying of cancer.
He was an American athlete, actor, and martial artist too who rose to fame in the early 70’s. Jim’s better known as the character “Williams” in Enter the Dragon. As a result of this worldwide hit he starred in a few popular blaxploitation action films in the 70s such as Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way and Black Samurai.
As a martial artist he was a gifted all-round athlete competing in basketball, football, and track and field whilst in high school before embarking on his karate training. In 1971 he won four prestigious championships, most notably the World Middleweight Karate title at the 1971 Long Beach International Karate Championships. He became one of the most decorated world karate champions in the sport.
You can read a little more about him in our profile here.
Jim Kelly YouTube tribute