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SUNDAY MORNING

Six degrees

Mark Peters

 

Brandon Lee, the son of legendary martial artist and Hong Kong icon Bruce Lee, died 20 years ago today when he was accidentally shot while filming dark fantasy movie The Crow. Speculation over his death, at the age of 28, suggested it was linked to triads after Lee (right) refused to work in their films. The decades-old rumour that his father had been killed by gangsters after exposing ancient martial-art secrets on film was also exhumed. The Crow was directed by Australian Alex Proyas …

 

Born to Greek parents in Egypt, the sci-fi filmmaker recently had the plug pulled on his ambitious adaptation of John Milton's classic poem Paradise Lost. Proyas' rendering of the epic war in heaven between archangels Michael and Lucifer had already exceeded a budget of US$120 million. The director's 2009 end-of-the-world movie Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage, was also shrouded in biblical overtones and was said to be largely based on the Book of Ezekiel …

 

The sixth-century-BC priest Ezekiel ben-Buzi was exiled to Babylon, aged 25, along with 3,000 Jews and, following an encounter with God - who rode upon a chariot guided by cherubs - spent five years (correctly) prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem. A passage from Ezekiel popped up in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction - contract killer Jules Winnfield's Ezekiel 25:17 recitation was voted the fourth-best movie speech of all time. The gun-toting Winnfield was played by the "coolest man on Earth", Samuel L. Jackson …

 

The actor, who has appeared in more than 140 films, first gained universal acclaim for his performance as a crack addict in the Spike Lee movie Jungle Fever, filming for which began just two weeks after Jackson completed rehab for his own drug addiction. He has since acquired a new addiction - to golf. An accomplished musician, Jackson has appeared on-screen alongside many mainstream rappers, including bullet magnet Tupac Shakur …

 

The East Harlem native was born a month after his mother was acquitted of more than 150 charges of conspiracy against the United States government in the New York "Panther 21" case. In 1982, Shakur's stepfather, Mutulu, made it to the FBI's 10-most-wanted list and remained at large for four years. Despite being dead for more than 15 years, "Shakur" performed with the help of "Pepper's ghost", an optical illusion, at last year's Coachella music festival. Among the celebrities watching the show was David Hasselhoff …

 

In 2006, the cheeseburger-loving Hoff landed himself in hospital after a freak bathroom accident at the gym. While shaving, the star of Baywatch managed to hit his head on a chandelier, which showered him with shards of splintered glass, severing a tendon in his right wrist. Subsequent rumours attributed the "accident" to personal problems. The former Knight Rider was one of more than 200 guests, also including actor Kiefer Sutherland, who attended the Los Angeles memorial service for Brandon Lee.

 

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