IMAGE: Bruce Lee
AP file
Martial arts movie star Bruce Lee, shown in a photo from 1973, the year he died, is still a powerful icon.
updated 8/6/2007 3:39:22 AM ET 2007-08-06T07:39:22

A Hong Kong man paid $5,000 (U.S.) on Saturday for a car license plate that reads "BRUCELEE," after the late kung fu movie star.

"When I studied in England, foreigners would only know two Chinese people. One is Bruce Lee. The other is Chairman Mao (Zedong)," the buyer, identified only by his surname, Wong, said on a Hong Kong cable television station.

The Lee-inspired plate was among several vanity plates to be auctioned Saturday by the Hong Kong Transport Department, according to the department's Web site. The results of the auction weren't immediately available.

Calls to the Transport Department went unanswered.

Lee, who died in 1973 at age 32 from swelling of the brain, was born in San Francisco but grew up in Hong Kong, where he also made his name as an actor.

The action star was known for films in which he portrayed characters that defended the Chinese and the working class from oppressors.

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