Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Carradine: 1936-2009

David Carradine, iconic star of the cult TV favorite Kung Fu, was found dead Thursday in a Bangkok hotel room; findings from an investigation into his death are forthcoming. The 72-year-old actor was in Thailand shooting the action film Stretch.

Son of actor John Carradine, David is best known for his Emmy Award nominated performance as Kwai Chang Caine, a.k.a. "Grasshopper", on the 1972-75 television hit Kung Fu. He would go on to play variations of this soft-spoken, ass-kickin' character in subsequent film and television appearances, including the sequel series, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.

In addition to a slew of low budget B-movies (including the Roger Corman classic Death Race 2000), his film appearances included Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha, the Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe), Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg and the Walter Hill western The Long Riders (co-starring his half-brothers Keith and Robert). More recently, he found renewed fame (and another Globe nomination) for playing the title character in Quentin Tarantino's two-part Kill Bill saga.

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