Jim Kelly was born in Paris, Kentucky; and after playing football at the University of Louisville, J. Kelly made major waves on the Martial Arts Scene all over the world. It was from this springboard, that Jim Kelly would then find his way into Hollywood; where he would end up playing iconic roles in some of the top Cult-Classic films in Kung Fu & Blacksploitation Film History.
- Black Belt Jones (1974)
- Three The Hard Way (1974)
- Black Samurai (1977)
Undoubtedly Jim Kelly would also be one of the influences behind the Afro Samurai character, Bushido Brown on The Boondocks, and Black Dynamite. After his film career began to slow down, Mr. Kelly took up the game of tennis, and was nationally ranked on the United States Tennis Association's Senior Circuit. In more recent years Jim Kelly could be seen with long lines of people waiting for an opportunity to meet him, at Film & Comic Book Conventions. According to his wife, Jim Kelly died at home in San Diego of an unspecified form of cancer. He was 67 years old.