UPDATE #2: The Associated Press has confirmed upon a second autopsy by pathologist Dr. Michael Baden that the cause of David Carradine’s death was indeed asphyxiation and not suicide. Baden also made it clear that he does not yet know if this was accidental or homicide.
UPDATE: While complete details are still unknown, it does appear that suicide has been ruled out. At the moment, as sad as it is, it looks like Mr. Carradine had some rather extreme fetishes, and one of them went horribly wrong. While this doesn’t make things any less odd or questionable, it is comforting to know that this very talented actor did not take his own life.
CNN is reporting that David Carradine, the star of ’70s TV show Kung Fu and title character in Kill Bill, has been found dead in a Bangkok, Thailand hotel room. Sadly, Mr. Carradine was found hanging by a nylon rope in the closet of the room, leading authorities to believe the cause of death to be suicide. He was 72 years old.
Just coming down the wire from TMZ within in the past hour or so is word from a representative of Carradine’s who says that there is no way it was suicide, explaining “We can confirm 100% that he never would have committed suicide. It was an accidental death. Everybody is in shock.”
An autopsy was being performed in a Bangkok hospital which will hopefully shed more light on this all.
Carradine was perhaps best known as the Shaolin monk Caine on the TV show Kung Fu which ran from 1972 to 1975, but he also appeared in hundreds of other shows and movies including Gunsmoke, and Quentin Tarantino’s two-part Kill Bill, where he played the infamous Bill. In all, he has 222 IMDB listings, including six of which are in post-production. The last well-known movie he starred in was the sequel Crank: High Voltage. This incredible resume was similar to his legendary actor father John Carradine’s resume, who himself has 340 IMDB actor listings, including a short stint on his son’s Kung Fu.
I personally had the privilege of meeting David Carradine a short time before Kill Bill came out. At the time I didn’t really know him aside from “that guy from Kung Fu,” but even so, getting to shake his hand has always stuck with me. In person, he is as he seemed on screen for the most part — shy and quiet, yet still rugged and intimidating: a modern American cowboy.
If more information is revealed on this mysterious loss of a great talent, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
David Carradine 1936 — 2009