HONG KONG – The yellow jumpsuit worn onscreen by martial arts legend Bruce Lee in the movie “Game of Death,” his final film, has sold at a Hong Kong auction for $100,000.
The yellow polyester suit with black stripes down the sides went to an unidentified telephone bidder at Spink auction house’s Thursday night sale.
It was part of a collection of 14 items of Bruce Lee memorabilia that raised more than 2 million Hong Kong dollars ($258,000).
The suit was one of two Lee commissioned from his Hong Kong tailor for “Game of Death.” The auction house said the zipper on the back is damaged from a fight scene in the movie. The selling price of 780,000 Hong Kong dollars ($100,000) was about triple the auction house’s initial estimate.
Lee died in 1973 before he could finish the film. An incomplete version came out that year, followed by a feature-length version released posthumously in 1978 using stand-ins.
Lee’s death at 32 from an allergic reaction to painkillers came at the height of his fame. Born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, Lee became a global superstar thanks to his legendary martial arts skills and screen presence. He helped popularize martial arts films across the world, inspiring directors such as Quentin Tarantino, who paid tribute to him by dressing Uma Thurman in a similar suit for his “Kill Bill” movies.
Collectors also snapped up “Game of Death” prop weapons used by Lee. A pair of wooden yellow lacquered “nunchaku” that match the jumpsuit sold for HK$540,000 ($70,000) to British collector George Philips, an investment manager based in Hong Kong.
“It’s an iconic item,” he said.
A green bamboo whip went for HK$96,000 ($12,380).