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Friday, June 05, 2009

David Carradine Rest In Peace

Actor David Carradine has died at the age of 72. From the New York Post:

    Actor David Carradine, who starred in the series "Kung Fu" and films such as "Kill Bill," was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room yesterday from an apparent suicide.

    But Carradine's rep said he believes that the actor's death was accidental.

    "We know David. He would never take his own life," said Chuck Binder, Carradine's manager.

    "I talked to him last week and he was in good spirits," Binder said. "It's just shocking."

    The officer responsible for investigating the death, Teerapop Luanseng, said the 72-year-old actor was staying at a suite at the luxury Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel.

    "I can confirm that we found his body, naked, hanging in the closet," Teerapop said.

    The BBC reported that the cord he was hanged with was also wrapped around other parts of his body.

    Carradine was working on a film called "Stretch," in Bangkok, and had not reported to the set Wednesday.

    The Nation, a Thai newspaper, reported that a preliminary police investigation found that he had hanged himself with a cord used with the room's curtains. It cited police as saying he had been dead at least 12 hours and there was no sign that he had been assaulted.

    Carradine was a leading member of a venerable Hollywood acting family that included his father, character actor John Carradine, and brother Keith.



TMZ reports he suffered from suicidal tendencies:

    "Look, there was a period in my life when I had a single action Colt 45, loaded, in my desk drawer.

    And every night I'd take it out and think about blowing my head off, and then decide not to and go on with my life. Put it back in the drawer and open up the laptop and continue writing my autobiography or whatever. But it was just to see."

The Edmonton Sun called him a "troubled soul":

    As troubled as he obviously was in general, David Carradine was particularly so during the time he spent in Toronto filming Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.

    The worst kept secret was that he drank, prodigiously[.]

Well, show me one creative person who doesn't enjoy a toddie or seven now and then.

The nagging question for me, and maybe many others, is why would he (or any star) kill themselves while they were in the middle of a paid gig?
TMZ reports a representative calls his death an accident.

One almost has to ask - due to the circumstances of his death - if maybe he was into the very dangerous act of Autoerotic asphyxiation.

I liked David Carradine. I liked him a lot. I think he was a phenomenal actor - often underrated by Hollywood standards.

There was a time where it seemed he disappeared from acting, but looking at his filmography it appears he was always working year after year; one of the busiest actors around.

The television series "Kung Fu" was groundbreaking for its time and years ahead of its time. A film professor I had in college called "Kung Fu" the best edited one hour television drama ever. And it was, and it just wasn't the fight scenes. Check out the reruns, the editing is flawless and congruent to the setting and action - or inaction - of what takes place on screen.

His performance as Woody Guthrie in the biography of the late director Hal Ashby's "Bound For Glory" is probably one his finest performances and one of my favorites. After seeing it, you realize there is simply no other actor who could have played the role.

He also starred in director Walter Hill's "The Long Riders," which many consider the seminal movie about Jesse James and his gang. The movie stars the Carradine brothers, the Keach brothers and the Quaid brothers. If you've never seen it - rent the DVD. You will not be disappointed.


Rest in Peace, David Carradine.

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Comments:
The Long Riders is one of my favorites. The cast of real-life brothers adds to the whole success of the film. I'll have to rent Bound for Glory. It sounds good.
 
To add even more weirdness to this, a buddy of mine and I had lunch together yesterday and he snapped a photo of me and put it on his Fagbook page yesterday. The caption?

"I am having lunch with David Carradine."

I heard the news this morning on my way into town, called him and blamed him for killing Kung Fu.
 
EC, The Long Riders is fantastic, I agree. One of the finest Westerns ever made, in my opinion. Walter Hill is an awesome filmmaker.

Bound For Glory is - at times - deliberately slow paced, but its just an excellent film. Carradine is fantastic as Woody. LEt me know what you think of it.
 
TD,

And, unless you've changed dramatically in appearance, you don't really resemble David Carradine.

BTW - going only from the few images you've put up of yourself on your blog - I saw your doppleganger a week or so ago. It was YOU, only the guy's goatee was brown, not grey-speckled like yours.
 
I resemble Carradine as much as I resemble El DeBarge. I seriously had no idea what he meant, but it was just weird.

And Drake, thanks for trying, but my chin saddle is absolutely 100% gray.
 
TD,

Well, the "lunch with David Carradine" comment was rather oddly prescient and...what's the word...foreboding? Weird? Myabe your buddy was having some sort of connection to things beyond this world.
 
He had a show on the History Channel called Wild West Tech, too. They have reruns. It's pretty interesting.
 
Rest in peace David! I think he was a great actor :(
 
May he indeed, Maria. He will be missed by so many fans. Thank you for adding your comment. I did the same at you blog. Best always, David.
 
Thanks Scaracmouche, I will have to check that out, it's the first I heard of it. It sounds great!
 
Keith hosted the first season and a half, then david took over. They both brought character.
 
Thanks. I like Keith Carradine too. Both have done so many good roles.
 
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