Obit Kelly

For a time, Jim Kelly was the coolest brother walking the Earth. No, not Jim Kelly who won four AFC Championships with the Buffalo Bills fools, we’re talking Jim Kelly, the greatest karate man who ever lived outside of Bruce Lee and easily one of the coolest black men who ever delivered a roundhouse kick to somebody who got out of line. His most notable line? “Man, you look straight out of a comic book.”

Kelly was best known as Williams, the lanky friend of Bruce Lee in ‘Enter The Dragon’ with the huge afro and the mutton chop sideburns. For black kids across America, yes Bruce Lee was cool but Kelly stole the show and seared images of a black man taking no prisoners via his backhand or his feet. He would later star in films such as ‘Black Belt Jones’, ‘Three The Hard Way’ and ‘Black Samurai’ and also becoming the inspiration for “Bushido Brown”, one of Huey Freeman’s more celebrated heroes in The Boondocks.

His wife told the Associated Press on Sunday that he had passed at the age of 67. The actor, who first caught on big by winning four consecutive martial arts tournaments and becoming a star in the process translated those skills to becoming a cult icon and popular figure in film. Later on in his career, he was featured alongside LeBron James in a 2004 ad for Nike.

He was 67 years old.

About The Author

Brandon Caldwell is the founder & editor-in-chief of Day & A Dream. His work has appeared in VIBE, UPROXX, Complex, EBONY, the Village Voice, the Houston Press, Houston Style Magazine, DJBooth, The Sports Fans Journal, and more. Follow him on Twitter: @_brandoc