David Carradine: RIP

David Carradine, who died on Wednesday, was a sly, devilish, and at times downright freaky movie presence who, when he appeared on screen, automatically made matters twice as interesting. This is just as well given that the actor liked to work and his filmography is littered with the likes of Waxwork II and Children of the Corn V. But Carradine’s dramatic skills were recognized by such directors as Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, and Hal Ashby, who cast him in, respectively, 1972’s Boxcar Bertha, 1973’s The Long Goodbye, and 1976’s Bound for Glory. He was also beloved by Quentin Tarantino. The Reservoir Dogs auteur referenced Carradine’s TV show Kung Fu in Pulp Fiction and later cast the actor as the eponymous villain-assassin in his Kill Bill films.

Personally, I grew up believing David Carradine to be pretty much the coolest guy in show business, thanks to his starring role in the mayhem-filled Kung Fu. Many years later, I actually had the chance to interview him and found Carradine to be every bit as entertainingly colorful as his reputation would suggest, although perhaps this isn't the time to go into details. Those who do want to know more (much more) about the actor should check out his autobiography Endless Highway. But I leave you with Carradine ominously lecturing Uma Thurman on differences between Superman and Spider-Man in Kill Bill 2.


Comments (83 total) Add your comment
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  • justjack

    What a serious bummer…. RIP David.

  • Ceballos

    I said it in the “News Briefs” item, and I’ll say it again: Carradine deserved an Oscar nom for “Kill Bill: Volume 2.”
    What a shame, but I’m definitely grateful for his indelible (though not often highbrow) work.

  • missy

    I feel sorry for the unfortunate person who discovered this death scene. No doubt the person will be scarred for life. Like murder, suicide always creates many more living victims than the one who commits it.

  • pai

    Sad news. Thank you for your work, David. I agree with Ceballos, Bill is an indelible fixture in my mind.

  • testiclees

    Why do so many Hollywood actors commit suicide do you think?

  • testiclees

    Why do so many Hollywood actors commit suicide do you think?

  • Henry

    When I saw the headline on EW.com, I immediately said, “No!!!!” Total shock.

  • ia

    Trying desperately to get used to this new way of posting. It’s confusing!
    DAVID CARRADINE is survived by his son TOM whom he had with actress BARBARA HERSHEY. DAVID was a one-of-a-kind actor that lived his life the way he wanted. I’ve only seen a handful of his films & always shied away from “KILL BILL.” But now I will watch it in honor of MR, CARRADINE. Renegades come & renegades go.
    Your spirit will be remembered, DAVID. We’ll miss you.

  • ia

    Trying desperately to get used to this new way of posting. It’s confusing!
    DAVID CARRADINE is survived by his son TOM whom he had with actress BARBARA HERSHEY. DAVID was a one-of-a-kind actor that lived his life the way he wanted. I’ve only seen a handful of his films & always shied away from “KILL BILL.” But now I will watch it in honor of MR, CARRADINE. Renegades come & renegades go.
    Your spirit will be remembered, DAVID. We’ll miss you.

  • Mike

    Rest in peace, my favorite villian.
    We never saw this coming. What an exit!

  • Jeff

    David will be missed greatly, I am sorry to lose such a great talent

  • Jeff

    David will be missed greatly, I am sorry to lose such a great talent

  • Cuni34

    He worked with some of the best movie directors ever…..farewell

  • Julie

    David Carradine was one of my favorites!
    Always thought he was sexy, even at his age…I’ll miss you :(

  • steve-o

    I just can’t see David hanging himself….i wonder if he had “help “..I really liked him and he was always great to watch…RIP David…

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