But she says she has vivid memories of him and still feels a close connection.
“When he focused his attention on you, it was like having the sun shine on you,” she says. “That feeling has stayed with me my whole life.”
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Shannon, 50, has devoted her life to keeping her father’s legacy alive and is now fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams for a TV series. The new Cinemax show Warrior, about a martial-arts prodigy, is based on a concept Bruce developed nearly 50 years ago. Shannon (whose mom, Linda Lee Cadwell, 74, wed Bruce after they met in college) says her dad “would be thrilled” his idea finally made it to the screen.
Shannon hopes the show will help more people discover Bruce’s impact as a philosopher as well as a kung fu master. She says her father’s wise words really helped heal her after her brother, actor Brandon Lee, died in 1993 at age 28. (He was shot by a faulty prop gun on the set of The Crow.)
“I was really struggling,” Shannon says, “and I came across one quote my father wrote that said, ‘The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel.’ That led me on a path of healing and has sustained me my whole life.”
Warrior airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Cinemax.