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David Carradine

David Carradine

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Also Known As: John Arthur Carradine Died: June 3, 2009
Born: December 8, 1936 Cause of Death: accidental asphyxiation
Birth Place: Hollywood, California, USA Profession: actor, songwriter, director, singer, author, producer, laborer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A leading and supporting player in television and movies, actor David Carradine rose to fame with his iconic role, Kwai Chang Caine, the half-Asian student of life on the popular TV series, "Kung Fu" (ABC, 1972-75), a role he would go on to reprise for a syndicated series in the late 1990s. The son of legendary actor John Carradine, he excelled at playing villains in action and terror films which, unfortunately, were often relegated to the straight-to-video shelf. Almost as famous as his Kung Fu persona, was his psychedelic lifestyle and devotion to Eastern philosophy, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s when Carradine seemed more engaged in his alternative lifestyle than in furthering his career - with the possible exceptions of his starring role as folk singer Woody Guthrie in the Oscar-nominated "Bound for Glory" (1976) and a turn in Ingmar Bergman's confusing "The Serpent's Egg" (1977). After two decades of relative mediocrity, Carradine found new life as the titular assassin in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003) and "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" (2004). He went on to recur on the popular series, "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06) and play the head of the Chinese Triad in the action thriller "Crank: High...

A leading and supporting player in television and movies, actor David Carradine rose to fame with his iconic role, Kwai Chang Caine, the half-Asian student of life on the popular TV series, "Kung Fu" (ABC, 1972-75), a role he would go on to reprise for a syndicated series in the late 1990s. The son of legendary actor John Carradine, he excelled at playing villains in action and terror films which, unfortunately, were often relegated to the straight-to-video shelf. Almost as famous as his Kung Fu persona, was his psychedelic lifestyle and devotion to Eastern philosophy, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s when Carradine seemed more engaged in his alternative lifestyle than in furthering his career - with the possible exceptions of his starring role as folk singer Woody Guthrie in the Oscar-nominated "Bound for Glory" (1976) and a turn in Ingmar Bergman's confusing "The Serpent's Egg" (1977). After two decades of relative mediocrity, Carradine found new life as the titular assassin in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1" (2003) and "Kill Bill, Vol. 2" (2004). He went on to recur on the popular series, "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06) and play the head of the Chinese Triad in the action thriller "Crank: High Voltage" (2009). But his resurgence was cut short following a tragic death under unusual circumstances, leaving fans wondering what else the venerable actor might have had in store.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Americana (1981) Director
2.
  Mata Hari (1978)
3.
  You and Me (1975) Director
4.
  Around (1972)

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 True Legend (2011)
3.
 Autumn (2010)
5.
 Kandisha (2009)
6.
 Golden Boys, The (2009)
8.
 Treasure Raiders (2009)
9.
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in New York City
:
Served in the US Army
:
Put under contract by Universal
1963:
Broadway debut, "The Deputy"
1964:
First film appearance (in bit part) "Taggart"
1964:
First episodic work, "Arrest and Trial" (ABC)
1965:
Appeared on Broadway in "The Royal Hunt of the Sun"
1966:
Made series debut in the ABC Western, "Shane"
1971:
TV-movie debut, "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" (ABC)
1972:
First worked with Martin Scorsese on "Boxcar Bertha"
1972:
Starred as Caine in the ABC drama series, "Kung Fu"; also directed several episodes
1973:
Had memorable bit part in "Mean Streets"
1975:
Film directing debut "You and Me" (also scripted and co-starred)
1976:
Played Woody Guthrie in "Bound for Glory"
1977:
Began directing the unfinished film, "Mata Hari"
1979:
Starred in the TV-movie "Mr. Horn" (CBS)
1982:
Played the villain tracked by Chuck Norris in "Lone Wolf McQuade"
1983:
Second directing effort, "Americana"
1985:
Miniseries debut, "North and South" (ABC)
1987:
Portrayed an evil German soldier in "The Misfit Brigade/Wheels of Terror"
1990:
Appeared in "Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat"
1993:
Reprised role of Caine in syndicated series, "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues"
1997:
Co-starred with Ally Sheedy in "Macon County Jail"
1997:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (April)
2000:
Guested as Andrew Weller on the second season of the legal drama "Family Law" (CBS)
2003:
Cast as the assassin leader Bill in writer-director Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2003:
Had a recurring role as Conrad on the ABC series, "Alias"
2004:
Reprised role of Bill for Tarantino's "Kill Bill Vol.2"
2004:
Hosted "Wild West Tech" on the History Channel
2007:
Had a small role in the comedy spoof, "Epic Movie"
2007:
Co-starred with James Franco and Sienna Miller in "Camille"
2008:
Starred in the original movie miniseries, "Kung Fu Killer" (Spike)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Greenfield High School: Greenfield , Massachusetts -
Straubenmuller Textile High School: New York , New York -
Oakland High School: Oakland , California -
San Francisco State College: San Francisco , California -
University of California at Berkeley: Berkeley , California -
Oakland Junior College: Oakland , California -
Stockbridge Academy: Stockbridge , Massachusetts -

Notes

Carradine has been at work on a film entitled "Mata Hari" since 1977. The film features his daughter Calista.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Kate Scott. Actor.
wife:
Donna Trent. Married in 1961; divorced; mother of Calista Carradine.
companion:
Jenny. Nude model. Carradine refers to her in his memoir.
companion:
Barbara Hershey. Actor. Lived together from 1969-75; mother of Carradine's son Tom/Free.
companion:
Season Hubley. Actor.
wife:
Linda Carradine. Married on February 2, 1977; divorced; suffered with mental problems and was hospitalized.
wife:
Gail Jensen. Manager. Met in 1986; married December 4, 1988; divorced in March 1997.
wife:
Marina Anderson. Actor. Announced engagement in October 1997; married on February 20, 1998; separated on May 10, 2001; she filed for divorce in June 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Carradine. Actor. Born on February 5, 1906; died on November 27, 1988.
mother:
Ardanelle McCool. Married John Carradine in 1935; divorced in 1944; died on January 27, 1989 of brain aneurysm; Carradine revealed that his mother underwent a number of abortions at his father's request.
half-brother:
Bruce Carradine. Actor. Born on April 10, 1933; mother, Ardanelle McCool; adopted by John Carradine.
half-brother:
Christopher John Carradine. Architect. Born c. 1947; mother, Sonia Sorel; worked for Walt Disney Co.
half-brother:
Keith Ian Carradine. Actor, songwriter. Born on August 8, 1949; mother, Sonia Sorel; won Oscar for song "I'm Easy".
half-brother:
Robert Reed Carradine. Actor. Born on March 24, 1954; mother, Sonia Sorel.
half-brother:
Michael Bowen. Actor. Mother, Ardanelle McCool.
daughter:
Calista Carradine. Actor. Born in 1963; mother, Donna Trent; appeared on "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" with Carradine and in his uncompleted feature "Mata Hari"; has at least two children, daughters Mariah and Siena.
son:
Free Carradine. Born on October 9, 1972; mother, Barbara Hershey.
daughter:
Kansas Carradine. Born on April 19, 1978.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Troublemaker"
"The Spirit of Shaolin" Charles Tuttle
"Endless Highway" Journey Editions

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