Thursday, June 04, 2009

David Carradine

And apparently by his own hands, too, though earlier details are still somewhat confusing. David Carradine (1936-2009), television star and sometime film actor was found dead in his hotel room in Thailand where he was filming a movie called Stretch (no IMDB page... must have been a fresh or under the radar project).


As a young child I was obsessed with Kung Fu reruns so I logged a lot of hours with Carradine well before I knew enough to be offended by the implications of the odd but then common Hollywood practice of casting white people in ethnic roles. Carradine was recently quite good in Kill Bill Vol. 2 (I wanted him to get an Oscar nomination) The role was originally offered to Warren Beatty but some reports claim it was always written for Carradine. I've never quite believed that given that Tarantino can get any actor to work with him so why not offer it to the one you wrote it for first? But, regardless of the truth (which we'll likely never know the entirety of), the role fit Carradine like a glove.

The actor had never stopped working between Kung Fu and Kill Bill but he just hadn't always been as high profile despite the occasional Golden Globe nomination (four in total). He never stopped working after Bill's mini-renaissance of interest in his career either... until now.

Rest in peace, Grasshopper.
*

22 comments:

Agent69 said...

RIP. So sad. I've only seen him in Kill Bill, where he was absolutely brilliant and easily my supp actor win.
Any suggestion for a good movie of his to watch In Memoriam?

Chris Na Taraja said...

"They" are saying that he killed himself. i don't know. I'm suspicious. I think there may have been foul play. We shall see if anything else comes out about it.

I studied Kung Fu with an actual Shaolin Temple monk here in New York named Sifu Shi Yan Ming. I love studying at the Shaolin Temple USA, but I must say after growing up watching KUNG FU, I was disappointed that I never got those tatoos on my wrists. Ah, Hollywood can be so misleading.

Urey said...

This is a terrible thing to wake up to. So sad. And now all of these sordid details about how he might have died is ripe to tarnish his legacy and decades-long career. I'll watch the "Kill Bill" films again in remembrance of him. RIP.

JA said...

I don't think the sordid details about his death will tarnish his legacy; I think they'll add to it.

Anonymous said...

So dying by a rope hanging around your neck and genitals is a legacy booster to you? Yeah sure then.

JA said...

We're not talking about, oh I don't know, fill in the blank with some safe boring actor here, we're talking about David Carradine. He led a weird random life filled with weird random roles and yes, I do think a weird random death will only add to his weird random legacy.

aser said...

Carradine is the family curse?!
I think that watching this movie, you will be able to understand why it happened.
See the last interview:Carradine-film

NATHANIEL R said...

agent69... i think his most well regarded movie role is undoubtedly BOUND FOR GLORY (1976) for which he was golden globe nominated. The movie was also nominated for 6 Oscars though Carradine's Globe nod didn't transfer.

Deborah said...

Nathaniel, being a little bit older than you, I was obsessed with Kung Fu in first run, not re-runs. And even though I know a white person should not be cast in an ethnic role, every time I look at him I think he's Eurasian. Go know, as my mother says.

I am sort of shocked and horrified and upset and will watch Bound for Glory in memorium.

Erotic autoasphyxiation certainly seems to be the cause of death, which is not suicide, and is maybe embarrassing, but also kind of jazzy.

Anonymous said...

"Bill, Killed"?! The name of your blog suits you just fine Nate, you douche bag.

NATHANIEL R said...

i'm trying to imagine what about the words "film experience" is a suitable thesauric (word! for a "douchebag" but I'm coming up blank.

but that said yeah i guess the title was a little poor tasty. i'll just always think of kill bill when i think of him, despite my early life Kung Fu fetish.

but really... why is it that negative comments are nearly always under the pseudonym of "anonymous". it's like nobody who has something unkind to say ever has the guts to say it under their actual name.

NATHANIEL R said...

p.s. since writing this I've also seen some other websites using the same headline and since i hate to be unoriginal (in addition to having no emotional attachment to offending mr. anonymous 4:07) i have hereby changed the title to something much simpler.

P.S. has anyone reading seen BOUND FOR GLORY... it's one of those Oscary films from the 70s that i haven't yet tackled and now I'm extra curious.

if so, what did you think of it?

Yancey said...

I found and bought a copy of "Bound for Glory" for $4.99 at Barnes & Noble a couple of months ago, but I haven't gotten around to seeing it. Guess I have a pressing reason to watch it now, sadly.

I'd agree that now I wish I hadn't read about the way that he supposedly died. That it certainly not the way that I want to remember him, and I could see how his image might be tarnished in light of this.

David Carradine never got his due, and for my money, he should have been Oscar-nominated for "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" in best supporting actor. He was Globe nodded for "Bound for Glory" and won the NBR best actor award. That might not mean much to a lot of people, but he looked like a major contender for a nomination up until the end. I'm assuming that his performance is the main reason the film made it into best picture that year.

I'm so sad right now. :(

Anonymous said...

White people should never be cast in an ethnic role? YOU RACIST, It's called ACTING, stupid..... You can't miss a single chance to bash white people, can you? Even in an obit....How obsessive. Must be the brainwashing...

Wayne B. said...

Dang, that's horrible. Was a total shock when I heard about this in finance class (of all places.) I never saw "Kung Fu" but "Bound for Glory" is on my NEED-TO-SEE list.

BBats said...

I watched about an hour of Bound for Glory. It was dullllllll. I love Hal Ashby usually, but geez. Maybe because I'm not a huge fan of Woody Guthrie's music.

NATHANIEL R said...

anon 5:29 i will only assume that you are using meta humor about the last anonymous attack and the hostility of "anonymous" comments and in doing so: well done.

Glenn Dunks said...

Nat, I received a barrage of these "anonymous" comments last week all of them negative and quite a few personally insulting so I know what you mean. It's so bizarre. These anonymous people aren't being brave, they're just being cowardly.

Nevermind, it's a sad loss. Sounds like the same thing that Michael Hutchence died off, strangely.

Chris Na Taraja said...

Nat, you handle online hecklers with finesse and ease, and your pretty damn funny too! Bravo!

Yancey said...

Now they're saying that foul play was involved, and another party could have been in the room at the time of Carradine's death.

This is becoming sadder and sadder now.

grasshopper said...

so many Kung Fu fans (such as myself) wanted to grow up to be like David Carradine

Ryan said...

yeah... WOW. really so, so sad.

what a way to go...