Martial arts expert-turned-movie star Jim Kelly has died at the age of 67.

Kelly passed away on Saturday (29Jun13) at his home in San Diego, California following a battle with cancer, according to his ex-wife Marilyn Dishman.

The star came to prominence in 1973 film Enter the Dragon opposite Bruce Lee, and was famous for his one-liners and huge Afro hairstyle.

He went on to appear in films such as Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way and Black Samurai before giving up acting to concentrate on playing tennis professionally.

Kelly appeared in movies on and off until 2009, and worked mainly as a tennis coach.

Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson was among the first to pay tribute to Kelly, writing in a post on, "RIP Jim Kelly Enter The Dragon... 3 The Hard Way... Black Belt Jones. Kicked much a**, never messed up his Fro (sic)!!!"