Byung Hun Lee and Bruce Lee are two of the most famous and influential martial arts actors in the world. They have both starred in Hollywood blockbusters and Asian cinema classics, showcasing their skills and charisma on the big screen. But are they related by blood or by name? Many fans have wondered if there is a family connection between the two Lees, especially since they share the same surname and a passion for martial arts. In this article, we will explore the truth behind the rumors and find out if Byung Hun Lee and Bruce Lee are really related.
The origin of the surname Lee
The first thing to note is that Lee is a very common surname in Asia, especially in China and Korea. According to Wikipedia, Lee is the second most common surname in China, with about 7.9% of the population sharing it. It is also the most common surname in Korea, with about 22.6% of the population having it. Therefore, it is not surprising that many celebrities and public figures have the surname Lee, but that does not mean they are necessarily related.
The origin of the surname Lee can be traced back to ancient China, where it was derived from several different clans and regions. According to Ancestry, some of the possible sources of the surname Lee are:
- The royal family of the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC), who used Li (李) as their surname.
- The state of Li (理), which existed during the Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BC).
- The state of Lai (萊), which existed during the Warring States period (475–221 BC).
- The state of Liang (梁), which existed during the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BC) and the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220).
- The state of Lei (雷), which existed during the Western Zhou dynasty and the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC).
Over time, these different sources of the surname Lee spread throughout China and migrated to other regions, such as Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Southeast Asia. As a result, there are many variations and spellings of the surname Lee, such as Li, Lei, Ly, Rhee, Yi, I, and Lai.
The ancestry of Byung Hun Lee and Bruce Lee
Byung Hun Lee was born on July 12, 1970, in Seoul, South Korea. His father was a successful businessman and his mother was an art teacher. He has two younger sisters, Eun Hee Lee and Hee Kyung Lee. He graduated from Hanyang University with a major in French Literature and later studied Theater and Cinematography at Chung-Ang University.
According to his profile on IMDb, Byung Hun Lee is of Korean descent and does not have any Chinese ancestry. His surname Lee is derived from his paternal grandfather’s clan name, which is one of the most common clans in Korea. His clan name is also written as Yi or Rhee in English.
Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco, California, USA. His father was a Cantonese opera singer and actor who worked in Hong Kong and his mother was a Eurasian woman who had German ancestry. He had four siblings: Phoebe Lee, Agnes Lee, Peter Lee, and Robert Lee. He moved back to Hong Kong with his family when he was three months old and grew up there until he was 18 years old. He then returned to the US to study Philosophy at the University of Washington.
According to his biography on Britannica, Bruce Lee was of Chinese descent and had dual citizenship of Hong Kong and the US. His surname Lee is derived from his father’s clan name, which is one of the oldest clans in China. His clan name is also written as Li or Lei in English.
Based on the information above, we can conclude that Byung Hun Lee and Bruce Lee are not related by blood or by name. They have different ancestral origins and different clan names for their surname Lee. They only share a common surname because it is a very popular one in Asia. Therefore, any rumors or speculations that suggest otherwise are false and unfounded.
However, this does not mean that Byung Hun Lee and Bruce Lee have nothing in common. They both have a love for martial arts and acting, and they both have achieved international fame and recognition for their work. They both have inspired millions of fans around the world with their talent and charisma. They both have left a lasting legacy in the film industry and in the martial arts world. They both are legends in their own right.
Therefore, while Byung Hun Lee and Bruce Lee are not related by blood or by name, they are related by spirit and by passion. They are both Lees who have made their mark in history.