RIP David Carradine

RIP David CarradineWe’re very sad to report the news this morning that David Carradine has passed away in Bangkok, Thailand.

The AP confirms that the 72-year-old actor was found Thursday hanged in his luxury hotel room — possibly the victim of an accidental death. Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot a movie and had been staying at the hotel since Tuesday.

Carradine was a staple in the horror genre with Q: The Winged Serpent, I Saw What You Did, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, and Dead & Breakfast representing just a small portion of his genre output. He is, of course, best known as Caine in the TV series “Kung Fu”. In his later years Carradine produced and starred in several exercise videos teaching the martial arts of Tai chi and Qigong.

In a 2004 interview following his career resurgence thanks to Quentin Tarantino and his Kill Bill movies, Carradine talked candidly about his past boozing and narcotics use but said he had put all that behind him and stuck to coffee and cigarettes. “You’re kind of out of control emotionally when you drink that much. I was quicker to anger. You’re probably witnessing the last time I will ever answer those questions,” Carradine said. “Because this is a regeneration. It is a renaissance. It is the start of a new career for me. It’s time to do nothing but look forward.

Unfortunately, it appears that some of his past demons caught up with him. Our sincerest condolences to Carradine’s family and friends.

Debi Moore

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  • magickpapers

    I am a blogger on the scene in Bangkok at the hotel where Carradine died and am blogging about this on


    The announcer for the BBC breaks the story on TV. David Carradine was found dead in the Swiss Hotel on Soi Nailert. The film star was found in the closet of his room bound by curtain rope around his neck, and the inference is that his genitals were bound as well. The news ran through the Bangkok film colony like a forest fire.

    I consult investigative journalist David Walker. He is also a screenwriter and author of the cult classic book, Hello My Big Big Honey. Walker is at the hotel. He has already led a CBS crew to legendary film producer-director David Winters penthouse office. Winters is a dear friend of Carradine from their glory days in Hollywood. Walker wants to see the surveilance tapes. No chance Bagger Vance. Dr. Pornthip, a colorful Thai forensic scientist is on the scene at the hotel. Walker says Pornthip, who is famous for sporting many hued punk hair styles and is a bit of a celebrity,delares the case to be death by auto sexual strangulation.

    I roll up to Winters penthouse office. He is devastated by the tragic loss of a dear friend. He has not slept. CBS and People Magazine have already come by to solicit intelligence. David is shocked by the tawdry inferrences. He has spoken to 3 of Carradines agents. The agents declare that Carradine was on the roll of a lifetime. Quentin Tarantino redefined the 72 year old actor in Kill Bill. Carradine recieved a Golden Globe nomination for his work with Tarantino. The actor of the classic cult TV series Kung Fu had starred in 13 motion pictures since Kill Bill. His salary was in the stratosphere.

    The strange circumstances of the verdict by auto- sexual strangulation trouble Winters. It takes two to tango. Why indeed would a man of his talent take his own life alone. Bangkok is known as a city with love for sale. Film people come here to shoot and avail themselves of the pleasures to be found in the gilded city of sin. Kinky sex is no big deal. Could this be a coverup for a sex robbery murder. The Royal Thai Police have shut the door on this case all too quickly. The tourist industry has been severely damaged by the recession and political instability. The murder of a famous film star would be a final nail in the coffin of the tourism industry. Winters says that Carradine, son of John , iconic members of an American cinema dynasty were above the fray. David Carradine was according to Winters a consumate gentleman, a brilliant actor, and a man for all seasons.

    I run into local film producer Tom Waller at a reception hosted by the Italian Embassy. Tom does not believe in the verdict of death by auto-sexual strangulation. He concludes that it was a sex robbery gone wrong, and that to cover the motives the body had been arranged to fit the profile of death by auto- sexual strangulation, a theory once confined to the genre of novels classified as psychological thrillers. The denizens of the film colony in Bangkok are incredulous at the grisly circumstances of the sad demise of this brilliant talent.

    The reception is attended by beaucoup des artistes and cineastes. Film critic Nick Palevski and I schmooze at the bar. Between glasses of vino rosso and spumante Nick expresses his distaste for the tawdy belching of the media and press. He is the critic for Auteur, a web site devoted to film criticism. He can not believe the shabby and sensational manner in which this case is being exploited.

    In no way is this story meant to impugn the reputation of the Royal Thai Police, their meritorious service is well known. Nor is it meant to slander the bereaved Carradine family. The American Embassy has issued a statement wishing the family the best in this tragic moment, embassy staff have no other conclusion re this case except the finding of the body. Aristotelian logic might conclude that something is rotten in Denmark. Western countries would conduct a far more sophisticated investigation.

    The epilogue is delivered by my dear friend in Santa Monica Martin Zweiback. He is a writer- producer director with 50 years of credits in Hollywood. Martin scrpted the original Kung Fu series and is a close friend of David Carradine. Martin is a gentleman of class and distinction. He often graces the Bangkok film colony with his presence. It is fitting that a cineaste of his stature have the final word in this affair. I recieved this e mail from Martin, and with all due respect to this fine bloke it is represented here below as a final testament to this sordid affair.

    Antonio, my friend,
    Sorry I’ve been neglectful about keeping in touch of late.
    Thinking about Carradine this day, I recall when writing the Kung Fu show, how often his image inspired the words, and how much depth he brought to them. They sometimes had to pour him onto the set but he never read a line wrong. He was a gifted and underrated actor. I saw him at a screening of Kill Bill not too long ago. He seemed vibrant and clearly excited by the “second chance” Tarantino’s film had given him. Suicide in the middle of shooting a movie at this point in his life just doesn’t compute — but it does remind us to count our Blessings, Gifts, and Challenges — and be careful what we wish for.
    With All Good Thoughts,

    more to follow on

  • Evil Alien

    very sad indeed…the response from his camp makes it sound like suicide is out of the question. so i’m gathering that auto-erotic asphyxiation is the cause. doesn’t really matter either way, i reckon. another great one passes on 🙁

  • vorodex999

    This has ruined my day. Sad news indeed.

  • Old_King_Vulture

    I think tonight I’ll have to sit down and watch a film with Mr. Carradine in it. R.I.P. Dave.

    -Exterminate All Rational Thought.

  • Avid Fan

    Circle of Iron is one of my favorite kung-fu films (written by Bruce Lee), and Death Race 2000 is priceless.

  • Kane86


  • perihelion

    This was indeed sad news 🙁