Jim Kelly was born on May 5, 1946 in Paris, Kentucky. He became an outstanding athlete in high school competing in basketball, football and track and field. He then attended the University of Louisville where he played football but left during his freshman year to study Shorin-ryu karate and Okinawa-te karate under the direction of Shihan Gordon Doversola. Kelly won the Huntington Beach, California classic and in 1971 the Middleweight Karate Championship in Long Beach, California. Jim then started his own school and taught actor Kevin Lockhart for a role in "Melinda" where Kelly was offered and played the role of a martial arts instructor. This led to other roles including his most memorable part in "Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee which led to a three picture deal with Warner Brothers. He appeared in his only Euro-western "Take a Hard Ride" (1975) during this time. Subsequently Kelly became a professional tennis player in the U.S.T.A.’s senior circuit and now is a professional tennis coach in Southern California. Today we celebrate Jim Kelly’s 65th birthday.
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