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U.K. Asian Awards to Honor Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee 1970 - P 2013
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Bruce Lee

The third edition of the nods, which has expanded its program to include more countries, will recognize the martial arts star at a ceremony in central London.

LONDON – Martial arts acting legend Bruce Lee is to be honored with the Founders Award for his iconic status and impact on western cinema during this year's Asian Awards in the British capital this summer.

Lee’s wife Linda Lee Cadwell is scheduled to be collecting the award at the third Asian Awards April 16.

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Previous recipients of the Founders Award include Freddie Mercury for his outstanding contribution to the music industry.

The honor ties in with the 40th anniversary of his death.

Now in its third year, the Asian Awards has cast its net wider to include nominees from across the Asian continent.

In previous years, the awards recognized the achievements of individuals of South Asian origin, but for the first time, nominees with origins from China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and other East Asian countries have also been considered.

Asian Awards founder Paul Sagoo says the expansion is a "significant step forward" for the program and gives the awards global appeal.

"Bruce Lee was the first person of Asian descent to successfully crossover into Hollywood and make such a dramatic impact on western cinema," Sagoo sad. "You can argue that if it wasn’t for Lee, Asian culture and martial arts would never have really penetrated western culture and we wouldn’t have Jackie Chan, Jet Li and now actors like Irfan Khan, who starred in Life of Pi."

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Lee, born in San Francisco in 1940, died on in 1973 aged only 32, of a cerebral oedema.

Lee's movies include The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), Way of the Dragon (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978).

Previous Asian award honorees from the world of entertainment include Indian singer Asha Bhosle, Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, British rapper Jay Sean and composer AR Rahman.