Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Carradine - Native American Action Hero

It's shocking to hear that veteran Native American action hero and respected Hollywood baddie David John Carradine was found dead in the room of his hotel in Bangkok today.

At that time he was in Bangkok for the shooting of his new movie Stretch.

Below is his brief biography with help from Wikipedia.

David John Arthur Carradine (December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009) was an American actor best known for his work in the 1970s television series Kung Fu and more recently in the movie Kill Bill.

He appeared in more than 100 films and was nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award.

Carradine was born in Hollywood, California, the son of Ardanelle Abigail McCool and noted American actor John Carradine.

He was the brother of Bruce Carradine (McCool's son from a previous marriage) and half-brother of Keith and Robert Carradine (John's sons from other marriages), as well as the uncle of Ever Carradine (Robert's son) and Martha Plimpton Carradine (Keith's daughter).

Carradine had British, Russian, Ukrainian and Native American ancestry.

Carradine attended Oakland Junior College and later studied drama at San Francisco State College before working as an actor on stage and in television and cinema.

Carradine starred on Broadway in the play The Royal Hunt Of The Sun, for which he won a Theatre World Award for Best Debut Performance in 1965.

He became widely known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine in the 1970s television series Kung Fu and later starred in the 1990s spinoff Kung Fu: The Legend Continues as the grandson of his original character.

In movies, he starred as Bill Shelly in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha (1972), folk singer Woody Guthrie in Bound For Glory (1976), Abel Rosenberg in Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg (1977), and as Bill in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Volumes 1 and 2 (released in 2003 and 2004, respectively).

Other notable roles included the lead in Shane (the 1966 television series based on the 1949 novel of the same name) and a gunslinger in Taggart, a 1964 western film based on a novel by Louis L'Amour.

More recently, he portrayed Tempus, a powerful demon with the ability to manipulate time, on the popular television series Charmed, as well as Conrad in the television series Alias.

Carradine twice played a supernatural being with the power to control time: Tempus on Charmed and Clockwork on Danny Phantom.

Carradine appeared in an episode of Lizzie McGuire (in which his half-brother Robert was a series regular), and also provided his voice for the King Of The Hill.

He provided the voice for Lo Pei in the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures.

Carradine produced and starred in several exercise videos teaching the martial arts of Tai chi and Qi Gong.

He had no knowledge of martial arts prior to starring in the series Kung Fu, but developed an interest in it and became an avid practitioner.

Appearing in Wild West Tech on the History Channel, Carradine took over hosting duties from his brother Keith.

He narrated the anthropology series Faces Of Culture.

He was also the TV spokesperson for Lipton ("This ain't no sippin' tea"), in a memorable commercial where he paid homage not only to Kung Fu, but also to the Three Stooges (the late, great Lithuanian Jewish comedians Moses Howard, Joe Howard and Larry Fine).

Carradine also appeared in the music video for Minus You by the southern California band Chapel Of Thieves.

He also worked with the Jonas Brothers in their video Burnin' Up, and planned to work with Miley Cyrus.

In 2009, he played a 100-year-old Chinese gangster in Crank: High Voltage.

Carradine was married five times and had two daughters.

Each of his first four marriages ended in divorce.