Even after all these years, Bruce Lee is still a vital part of popular culture and is revered by fans all over the world. Known for his iconic films such as Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon among many others, Lee bridged the cultural chasm between the East and the West by emerging as one of the most prominent global icons in history.
While his life was tragically cut short at the age of 32, Lee’s influence on action cinema and his philosophy of martial arts continue to inspire younger generations who attempt to follow in his footsteps. A truly well-rounded artist, Lee attempted to convey his beliefs through various mediums – from poetry to films.
One of the most memorable projects from Lee’s career was the 1966 show The Green Hornet, where he starred alongside Van Williams (who played the titular character) as his assistant Kato. Although the series was eventually cancelled, it has now become a true cult classic because of the ever-growing fan base of Bruce Lee.
In an interview, Williams talked about meeting Lee for the first time: “As I understand, I think Bill Dozier went to one of the kung-fu shows and saw him at the Long Beach auditorium. He said, ‘There’s Kato.’ It was a vigilante-type thing and to me, it was more of a James Bond-type deal that they were going to do. I don’t think I met Bruce until the press party.”
According to Williams, he knew there was something special about Lee right from the beginning, which is why he felt an instant connection: “Adam introduced us both and we were there. It was the first time I’d met Bruce and we didn’t really have much time to sit down and talk or anything else but I liked him from the moment I met him!”
There were many memorable moments featuring Lee in the original run of The Green Hornet, but one of the most iconic appearances happened when the show decided to do a crossover with Batman. There have been many such crossovers featuring the characters from the respective worlds, but this one is fantastic.
In a situation of extreme confusion, Batman and Robin, along with the police, treat the Green Hornet and Kato as criminals, which results in a stand-off sequence. Even though the initial script featured a win by Robin, they eventually changed that part because the producers thought nobody would believe that Bruce Lee would lose.
Watch Bruce Lee’s appearance on Batman below.