David Carradine Found Dead

Kill Bill star was 72

David Carradine Found Dead

by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

It's with sadness that we report the death of David Carradine. The actor and kung fu star was found dead in his Bangkok hotel room earlier today.

Carradine, who was in Thailand for the shoot of his latest film Stretch, was discovered by a hotel maid after he'd failed to turn up for a cast and crew meal. US embassy officials have yet to confirm the exact cause of death, but Thai police told the BBC that Carradine has been found with cord tied around his neck and initial investigations suggest suicide.

The Hollywood-born actor made his name as shit-kicking Shaolin master Kwai Chang Caine in '70s ABC series Kung Fu. He learnt the martial art from scratch for the role and it was the beginning of a lifelong passion that he would revisit often, most notably, of course, as Bill in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.

Carradine achieved recognition for his acting as well as martial arts chops during his 1970s heyday, turning in a stellar performance as folk singer Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby's Bound For Glory, and working with directors of the calibre of Ingmar Bergman (in 1977's The Serpent's Egg) and Martin Scorsese, who cast him as rabble-rousing train robber 'Big' Bill Shelly in Boxcar Bertha (1972).

Plum roles dried up during the 1980s and it was Tarantino who rescued Carradine from years in the straight-to-video wilderness when he cast him as The Bride's nemesis in Kill Bill. Carradine wasn't Tarantino's first choice for the role (he initially approached Warren Beatty), but he'll be remembered for a performance that twisted paternal concern into raw malevolence and created one of the big screen's great villains.

Most recently Carradine cameoed as wizened Chinese triad boss Poon Dong in Crank 2: High Voltage, and appeared in the video for the Jonas Brother's single Burnin' Up.

Looking back on a career that encompassed more than 200 screen appearances, Carradine once said, "It always seemed to me like a mission. A holy one – like the Blues Brothers."

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us