"Kung Fu" Star David Carradine Found Dead In Thai Hotel Room
"Kung Fu" and "Kill Bill" star David Carradine was found hung in a closet in a hotel room in Bangkok on Wednesday, Thai police reported. David Carradine, 72, was in Thailand shooting a film. He went missing on June 3rd and was discovered in his hotel room by one of the maids. David Carradine was best known for his role as the fugitive half-Chinese Shaolin monk Kwai Chang Caine in the 1970s TV drama "Kung Fu". He also starred in Martin Scorsese's "Boxcar Bertha" in 1972, portrayed folksinger Woody Guthrie in "Bound for Glory" in 1976, acted in Ingmar Bergman's "The Serpent's Egg" in 1977 and co-starred with half brothers Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine in the 1980 western "The Long Riders". His father was the noted actor John Carradine.
David is a pop culture icon and is held in both reverence and contempt for his portrayal of "Caine" in the series 'Kung Fu". Carradine was a white actor of non-Asian descent who was hired to play a character originally developed by and for Bruce Lee. The failure of Hollywood to recognize the potential stardom and acceptance of Bruce Lee as a featured Chinese actor was one of the catalysts that made Bruce return to Hong Kong and develop his explosive stardom. David's performance as "Caine" was done respectfully and helped to grow an increasing fan base of martial art film and practitioners at that time. Director Quentin Tarantino tapped Carradine to portray the title character "Bill" in 2003's "Kill Bill" and 2004"s "Kill Bill 2". The film was an homage to the martial arts genre and bought new fame for David Carradine in the last several years.
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