Thursday, June 04, 2009

David Carradine

David Carradine best known for his work on the TV Series Kung Fu and more recently in the movie Kill Bill was found dead in his room at the Park Nai Lert Hotel in Junfan Mulay, Bangkok, Thailand. The initial police investigation indicated that Carradine had Hanged himself using a cord of the type which is used with curtains. Circumstances suggested that the death was a Suicide. David Carradine's manager Chuck Binder, said he believed Carradine's death was from natural causes, and not from a suicide as reported in the Thai press.

Carradine was born John Arthur Carradine in Hollywood, California the son of Ardanelle Abigail (née McCool) and noted American actor John Carradine. He was the brother of Bruce Carradine and half-brother of Keith and Robert Carradine, as well as the uncle of Ever Carradine and Martha Plimpton. Carradine studied drama at San Francisco State University before working as an actor on stage as well as in television and cinema. He changed his given name to David after starting his career.

Carradine was known for his roles as Kwai Chang Caine in the 1970s television series Kung Fu (as well as the sequels in the 1980s and 1990s), as well as 'Big' Bill Shelly in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha (1972), folksinger Woody Guthrie in Bound for Glory (1976), Abel Rosenberg in Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg (1977), and as Bill in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2 (2003, 2004, respectively). Other notable roles included the lead in Shane (the 1966 television series based upon the 1949 novel of the same name) and a gunslinger in Taggart, a 1964 western film based on a novel by Louis L'Amour. He also starred in the Broadway version of the play The Royal Hunt of the Sun in 1965. More recently, he portrayed Tempus, a powerful demon with the ability to manipulate time, on the hit television series Charmed, as well as Conrad in the television series Alias. Carradine appeared in an episode of Lizzie McGuire, and also provided his voice for the King of the Hill episode, Returning Japanese, in which he voiced the character of Hank's Japanese half-brother. He provided the voice for Lo Pei, the ancient warrior who was responsible for Shendu's petrification in the animated series: Jackie Chan Adventures.
Carradine was also known for producing and starring in several exercise videos teaching the martial arts of Tai chi and Qi Gong. Carradine actually had no knowledge of martial arts prior to starring in the series Kung Fu, but developed an interest in it after this experience and became an avid practitioner. Carradine also appeared as the host of Wild West Tech on the History Channel, taking over the duties from his brother Keith. He narrated the PBS anthropology series Faces of Culture.

To Quote David Carradine, "I don't need to convince anybody that I know kung fu, but maybe somebody needs to know that I really can act, without doing a Chinese accent or a funny walk".

Good Night Grasshopper

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Tony Figueroa
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