Enter the Dragon star and martial artist Robert Wall has died at 82. Wall was a 9th-degree black belt and close friends with both Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, training under the latter and becoming business partners in later years, according to TMZ.
Wall became a 9th degree Tang Soo Do black belt under Norris, mastering the art Norris is credited with bringing West. His star likely shines brightest for fans due to his acting career.
In 1972, Wall started working with Bruce Lee with the film Way of the Dragon and Enter the Dragon. Most audiences will know Wall as the villainous, scarred O'Hara. While he doesn't get to show off his martial arts ability fully, his scene and eventual on-screen demise represent a memorable moment from the film.
According to TMZ, Wall revealed that Lee broke some of his ribs and wanted to "hit you hard," according to the late martial artist. It shouldn't be a surprise if it comes during the side kick near the end of the on-screen fight. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the dedication to authenticity also left Wall with several cuts due to using genuine broken bottles.
Wall's status as a black belt presented the perfect opportunity for Lee's fight to be as authentic as possible. They were also great friends for close to a decade before the film. "It's not the money. I said to my wife, 'I love this kid,'" Wall said about Lee, according to THR. "He can beat and stomp on me, I have world professional champion after my name." Wall earned $75 a week on Way of the Dragon and $500 a week for Enter the Dragon.
Wall also appeared alongside Norris in several films and TV series. This includes Code of Silence, Invasion U.S.A., Firewalker, Sidekicks and several Walker, Texas Ranger episodes. He was also a fight coordinator on Black Belt Jones, appeared on screen up until 2009 in Blood and Bone with Michael Jai White, and hired Jackie Chan to do stunts for Enter the Dragon.
According to TMZ, Wall's family shared a loving statement on his passing with the outlet. "Bob was the greatest husband and father. Family was Everything to him. He lived a remarkable life & There is a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. His spirit & legacy will live on forever within us. He was our rock," the statement reads.
Wall's career earned him an induction to the Professional Karate Hall of Fame in 1975 and later trained famous names like Elvis Presley, Steve McQueen and Arnold Schwarzenegger.