Did David Carradine commit suicide?
Kung fu movie legend David Carradine, who recently revamped his career in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ movies, has died at the age of 72.
While there has not yet been confirmation of the reported suicide, reports made by Thai police and officials from the hotel where Carradine was staying during a movie shoot seem to insist that Carradine’s death was anything but natural.
Carradine was found dead in his hotel room in Bangkok, where he was set to shoot a new movie called “Stretch”. The Nation newspaper, citing Thai police sources, is reporting that Carradine was found hanged in his hotel closet and that “it may have been a suicide”. There’s been no other confirmation of that report so far, and Carradine’s agent told The Nation that he believed the actor died of natural causes. This conflicts directly with reports by those at the scene of Carradine’s death. Thai police told the BBC that Carradine was found by a hotel maid “with a rope around his neck and body.”
The Nation report claims that a preliminary police investigation found that Carradine hanged himself with a curtain cord, and that he was dead for at least 12 hours before he was found by hotel staff. The report also states that there were no signs of assault or foul play.
Carradine’s manager, Chuck Binder, is calling the news “shocking.” He reports that Carradine “was full of life, always wanting to work,” and that he was ” . . . a great person.”
Sources at the hotel where the 72-year-old actor was found dead told journalists “We are currently cooperating with the Thai Police who are still investigating the matter. As investigations are presently in progress, we are not in a position neither to discuss this case nor reveal any details pertaining to the case, moreover out of respect for the family members.”
Meanwhile, an employee at The Nation — the Bangkok paper that broke the story of Carradine’s death and potential suicide — spoke with journalists about their reporting, saying that Carradine had been invited to dinner with the film crew on June 3 and did not show up, causing alarm. The film crew was unable to contact him, but believed he was resting “because of his age.”
Carradine’s career is a long and rich one, with over 200 movies and TV shows under his belt, including his most famous roles on the hit ’70s show ‘Kung Fu’ and years later, more than 80 episodes of ‘Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.’ His breakout film role came in 1976, when he played Woody Guthrie in the biopic ‘Bound for Glory.’
Younger movie fans will likely only know him as the title character ‘Bill’ in Quentin Tarantino’s 2003-04 ‘Kill Bill’ movies, in which Carradine played the leader of a group of assassins who was eventually killed by one of his own disciples. Carradine also tried his hand at production and direction, and had roles in many television commercials.
The Carradine family name has a long history in Hollywood besides David. David’s father John Carradine and his brother Keith have also had showbusiness success, with John’s most famous role in the movie Stagecoach, and Keith Carradine is a Tony and Academy award winning actor and songwriter, who appeared more than once with his brother David, including a role in “Kung Fu”.
David Carradine, born John Arthur Carradine in December of 1936, was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards.