Memorial to be held for Paris native and actor Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly in the 1973 movie Enter the Dragon.
Jim Kelly in the 1973 movie Enter the Dragon. AP

A memorial will be held in Lexington Saturday for Millersburg native Jim Kelly, a 1970s black action hero who starred in several movies including Melinda, Three the Hard Way and Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee.

Kelly was also a part of the movie Undercover Brother and was a guest at comic book conventions throughout the country.

The public memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church, 540 West Maxwell Street. Kelly's daughter, Sabrena Kelly-Lewis, and the church will host the memorial service.

"This memorial will be a celebration of his life and will pay tribute to him. This service will also pay tribute to his mother, Arnita Taylor, who died two years ago," said Kelly-Lewis.

Kelly, 67, died of cancer at his San Diego home. Kelly's death came as a surprise because he kept his illness from his family. Kelly thought he could overcome cancer.

"He was a very private person. He was very self-conscious when it came to his body. He treated his body like a temple and didn't drink, smoke, or do drugs," Kelly-Lewis said.

Family in Kentucky and surrounding states are expected to be at the memorial service.

Kelly's remains were cremated, so this memorial service will take the place of the funeral.

There will not be a service in San Diego; however, Kelly's ashes will remain with his wife, Marcia Kelly, who lived with Kelly in San Diego.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader