Diana Lee Inosanto
Diana Lee Inosanto is the daughter of legendary martial artist, Dan Inosanto and Sue Ann Reveal. She is also the goddaughter of global icon, the late Bruce Lee. Dan was such close friends to the late Bruce Lee, that in honor of his friend, he named his daughter, and first child, "Diana Lee".
Born in Torrance, California at Little Company of Mary Hospital, she was raised as a child in Carson, California. When Bruce Lee died in 1973, her family moved to Harbor City, California where her father decided to open his first martial arts school with Diana's second godfather, Richard Bustillo. There she was exposed to Jeet Kune Do, Filipino arts of Kali, Escrima, Panantukan, Silat, Western boxing, kick boxing and Wing Chun. It was called the Filipino Kali Academy and the exposure in her younger years to the martial arts would shape her future as an adult.
While her father influenced her martial arts education, her father's sister, actress, Lilia Inosanto would influence Inosanto's education in the theater arts. Inosanto was encouraged by her Aunt to study with legendary Broadway acting coach and author, Michael Shurtleff . Later, she would go on to work with East West Players & Lodestone Theater Ensemble, continuing to grow as an actress and fight choreographer.
During this time, Ms. Inosanto struggled as a young, single mom with an Autistic son. Eventually she met her husband Ron Balicki, Stunt Coordinator and Independent Producer. In order to support her family, Inosanto harnessed her martial arts talent, and found success working as a stunt actress on popular film and TV shows. Eventually she tired of this kind of work, and seized control as the creator of her own film projects.
By the end of 2010, as an emerging producer, director and writer on The Sensei, Inosanto would win awards and accolades at film festivals like LA Femme International Film Fest, Hoboken International Film Festival, Philadelphia Asian American Film Fest, San Francisco's Frameline, Germany's Verzaubert Film Festival and New York's Newfest to name a few.
So powerful was her message on The Sensei, that the Asian American Justice Center presented Ms. Inosanto with the 2011 American Courage Award, in Washington, D.C. where members of Congress and humanitarian activist were present, to honor her bravery and dedication to the cause of civil rights and use of incredible creative aptitude to deliver the message of advancing social justice.