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David Carradine 1936-2009
 


Country : Hollywood, CA
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1936-12-08
Date of death : 2009-06-03
Cause of Death : Autoerotic Asphyxiation

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Carradine01

John Arthur "David" Carradine (December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009) was an American actor best known for his work in the 1970s television series Kung Fu and more recently in the Kill Bill films. He appeared in more than 100 feature films and was nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award.

Early life

Carradine was born in Hollywood, California, the son of Ardanelle Abigail (née McCool; 1911-1989) and noted American actor John Carradine. He was the half-brother of Bruce, Keith, Christopher and Robert Carradine, as well as the uncle of Ever Carradine and Martha Plimpton. Carradine had Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, German, Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian and Cherokee ancestry. Carradine attended Oakland Junior College and later studied drama at San Francisco State College before working as an actor on stage and in television and cinema. He changed his given name to David after starting his career.


Career

Beginnings

Early roles from 1963-64 included guest performances on TV shows of then-popular genres, anthology series and westerns. These included episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Virginian and Wagon Train. He made his feature film debut in 1964 in Taggart, a western based on a novel by Louis L'Amour. Moving to the Broadway stage, he appeared in The Royal Hunt of the Sun, a play by Peter Shaffer about the destruction of the Inca empire by conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Carradine won a Theatre World Award for Best Debut Performance in 1965. He returned to TV in the series Shane, a 1966 western based upon a 1949 novel of the same name and previously filmed in 1953. In 1972, he starred as 'Big' Bill Shelly in one of Martin Scorsese's earliest films Boxcar Bertha, costarring Barbara Hershey.

1970s

Carradine starred as Kwai Chang Caine on the hit TV series Kung Fu (1972–1975) and was nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. He earned critical praise as folksinger Woody Guthrie in Bound for Glory (1976) and won a National Board of Review Award for Best Actor, in addition to being nominated for a Golden Globe and New York Film Critics Circle Award. He played Abel Rosenberg in The Serpent's Egg (1977), set in post-World War I Berlin, the only Hollywood film made by legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

1980s

In 1983, he narrated the PBS anthropology series "Faces of Culture".

He appeared in a supporting role in North and South, a miniseries about the American Civil War with a large cast that included Patrick Swayze in a leading role. It was telecast in November 1985 and spawned two sequel miniseries. Carradine was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. He also appeared in North and South, Book II, telecast in May 1986.

In 1986, Carradine appeared in the TV movie Kung Fu: The Movie, reprising his role as Kwai Chang Caine. Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee, in his acting debut) portrayed his son.

The same year, Carradine appeared on the Steven Spielberg-created series Amazing Stories, in the episode "Thanksgiving".

1990s

Early in the decade, he was a spokesperson for Lipton ("This ain't no sippin' tea") in a memorable TV ad where he paid homage not only to Kung Fu but also The Three Stooges. He returned to series TV in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993–97) as the grandson of his original character.

In 1999, he portrayed Tempus, a powerful demon with the ability to manipulate time, on the series Charmed.

2000s

In 2001, he appeared in an episode of the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire (on which his brother Robert was a regular performer). Also in 2001, he provided the voice for Lo Pei, the ancient warrior responsible for Shendu's petrification on the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures. In 2002, Carradine voiced a character on King of the Hill in the episode Returning Japanese, portraying Hank's Japanese half-brother. In 2003, he appeared as Conrad on the series Alias.

In 2003, he produced and starred in several instructional videos on the martial arts of Tai chi and Qi Gong. These made him a natural as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films, Vol. 1 (2003) and Vol. 2 (2004).

In 2005, he took over hosting duties from his brother Keith on Wild West Tech on the History Channel. On two episodes of the animated series Danny Phantom (2005-2006), he provided the voice for "Clockwork", a supernatural being with the power to control time (similar to his 1999 role on Charmed). In 2006, he became the spokesman for Yellowbook, a publisher of independent telephone directories in the United States.

Carradine also appeared in the music video for "Minus You" by the Southern California band Chapel of Thieves, which was co-directed by YouTube personality Boh3m3.[citation needed] He also worked with the Jonas Brothers in their video Burnin' Up, playing a Kung Fu master, and planned to work with Miley Cyrus. In 2009, he played a 100-year-old Chinese gangster in Crank: High Voltage and guest-starred in the TV show Mental.

Personal life

Carradine had a son, Free (born 1972; name since changed to Tom) with Barbara Hershey, his domestic partner from 1972 to 1975.

Carradine was married five times. He had a daughter Calista (born 1962) by first wife Donna, and a daughter Kansas (born 1978) by second wife Linda. He had three stepdaughters, Amanda, Madeline and Olivia and a stepson, Max, who were all children of his fifth wife Annie Bierman from a previous relationship.

Each of Carradine's first four marriages ended in divorce. On December 26, 2004, he married Annie Bierman at the seaside Malibu home of his friend, Michael Madsen. Vicki Roberts, his attorney and longtime friend of his wife, performed the ceremony.

According to ex-wife Marina Anderson in an interview with Access Hollywood, "There was a dark side to David, there was a very intense side to David. People around him know that." Previously in her divorce filing she had claimed that "It was the continuation of abhorrent and deviant sexual behavior which was potentially deadly. His deviate behavior includes an incestuous relationship with a very close family member, which permeated our marriage. This is to his admission and the admission of the person involved."

Death

On June 4, 2009, Carradine was found dead in his room at the Swissôtel Nai Lert Park Hotel on Wireless Road, near Sukhumvit, in central Bangkok, Thailand. A police official said Carradine was found hanging by a rope in the room's closet, and the Bangkok Post reported that his body was found curled up in the wardrobe with a shoelace tied around his neck. The same officer said: "Under these circumstances we cannot be sure that he committed suicide." Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot his latest movie, Stretch, and was expected to join the film crew for dinner on June 3. The crew noticed his absence when going out, but they assumed that he took a rest because of his age.

Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand, a Thai forensic pathologist and Director of Central Institute of Forensic Science, stated the incident met four of the criteria for accidental death involving autoerotic asphyxiation leading to an autoerotic fatality. Police Lieutenant General Worapong Chewprecha, Commander of the Metropolitan Police, remarked that the closed circuit television installed within the hotel supported the theory that no other persons were involved with the death. Carradine's representative and family members told the press that they believed the death to be accidental and not a suicide. It has also been reported that Carradine was found "with his hands tied behind his back." Chuck Binder, Carradine's manager of six years, indicated neither suicide nor accident was the likely cause since "the family has been told Carradine's hands were immobilized (behind his back) by the rope." However this is contradicted by photographic evidence from the scene published by Thai Rath newspaper, showing "hands apparently bound together above the head".

On June 5, the Carradine family lawyer Mark Geragos spoke on Larry King Live and dismissed claims of suicide, stating instead that David Carradine could have been murdered by a secret sect of kung fu assassins, after it was revealed that Carradine had been attempting to uncover groups working in the martial-arts underworld; however it is highly unlikely that this is the case and was more likely an attempt to play down the likelihood that Carradine killed himself during masturbation.

Two of Carradine's ex-wives (Gail Jensen and Marina Anderson) stated that his sexual interests included the practice of self-bondage.

Carradine's funeral was held on June 13, 2009 in Los Angeles.

Selected filmography

Film

Year

Film

Role

Notes

1965

Taggart

Cal Dodge

1967

The Violent Ones

Lucas Barnes

1969

Heaven with a Gun

Coke Beck

Young Billy Young

Jesse Boone

1972

Boxcar Bertha

'Big' Bill Shelly

1973

The Long Goodbye

Dave aka Socrates - Marlowe's Cellmate

uncredited

Mean Streets

Drunk

1975

Death Race 2000

Frankenstein

1976

Cannonball

Coy 'Cannonball' Buckman

Bound for Glory

Woody Guthrie

National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor

1977

The Serpent's Egg

Abel Rosenberg

Thunder and Lightning

Harley Thomas

1978

Deathsport

Kaz Oshay

Circle of Iron

The Blind Man/Monkeyman/ Death/Changsha

Gray Lady Down

Capt. Gates

1980

The Long Riders

Cole Younger

1982

Q

Detective Shepard

Alternative titles: Q: The Winged Serpent
Serpent
The Winged Serpent

Trick Or Treats

Richard

1983

Lone Wolf McQuade

Rawley Wilkes

1984

The Warrior and the Sorceress

Kain

1988

Tropical Snow

Oskar

1990

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

Jozek Mardulak/Count Dracula

Bird on a Wire

Sorenson

1991

Karate Cop

Dad

Martial Law

Dalton Rhodes

1992

Evil Toons

Gideon Fisk

Roadside Prophets

Othello

Waxwork II: Lost in Time

The Beggar

1998

Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror

Luke Enright

An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island

Chief Wulisso

Voice only

1999

American Reel

James Lee Springer

2000

Down 'n Dirty

Gil Garner

2002

Balto II: Wolf Quest

Nava the Wolf Shaman

Voice only

2003

Kill Bill: Vol. I

Bill

2004

Kill Bill: Volume II

Bill

Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture

Hair High

Mr. Snerz

Voice only

Dead & Breakfast

Mr. Wise

Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon

Grand Master

2007

Homo Erectus

Mookoo

Epic Movie

The Curator

Fall Down Dead

Wade

Camille

Cowboy Bob

How to Rob a Bank

Nick

Fuego

Lobo

Big Stan

The Master

2008

Chatham

Captain Zeb

Richard III

Buckingham

Hell Ride

The Deuce

Last Hour

Detective Mike Stone

Death Race

Frankenstein (Voice)

My Suicide

Vargas

2009

Absolute Evil

Raf McCane

Crank: High Voltage

Poon Dong

Television

Year

Title

Role

Notes

1963

East Side/West Side

Hal Sewoski

1 episode

1964

The Virginian

The Utah Kid

1 episode

1965

Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre

Fitzhugh

1 episode

1966

Shane

Shane

16 episodes

1967

Johnny Belinda

Locky

Television movie

1970

The Name of the Game

Jason

1 episode

1971

Gunsmoke

Clint

1 episode

1972–1975

Kung Fu

Kwai Chang Caine

Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Drama Series
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama

1979

Mr. Horn

Tom Horn

Television movie

1981

Darkroom

Biker/Hitchhiker

1 episode

1984

Airwolf

Dr. Robert Winchester

1 episode

1985

North and South

Justin LaMotte

Miniseries
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

1986

Kung Fu: The Movie

Kwai Chang Caine

Television movie

1987

Night Heat

Calvin

1 episode

1990

The Young Riders

The Buzzard Eater

1 episode

1991

The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw

Caine

Television movie

1993–1997

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

Kwai Chang Caine

84 episodes

1997

Last Stand at Saber River

Duane Kidston

Television movie

1999

Charmed

Tempus

1 episode

2001

Queen of Swords

The Serpent

2 episodes

2002

The Outsider

Haines

Television movie

King of the Hill

Junichiro Hill (voice)

1 episode

2003–2004

Alias

Conrad

2 episodes

2005-2006

Danny Phantom

Clockwork (Voice)

2 episodes

2006

Medium

Jessica's Brother

1 episode

2007

In Case of Emergency

Guru Danny

1 episode

2008

Son of the Dragon

Bird

Miniseries

2009

Mental

Gideon Graham

1 episode

Awards and honors

  • 1998: Honoree — The 16th Annual Golden Boot Awards (along with brothers Keith and Robert)
  • 2005: Action On Film International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award — First annual recipient

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