David Carradine Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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American actor David Carradine was born in Hollywood. His father was the actor John Carradine, and his mother was Ardanelle Abigail McCool. He had two half-brothers, Robert Carradine and Keith Carradine.
Carradine was educated at San Francisco State College.
Rise To Fame
He did two years military service then worked in New York as a commercial artist. His interest in acting had ignited at college, and he pursued his interest. He worked on Broadway and early on appeared in Royal Hunt of the Sun (1965) as an Inca chief alongside Christopher Plummer. He then had a breakthrough when he was cast in the starring role in the Western television series Shane (1966) based on the book Shane (1949) by Jack Schaefer. A film of the book had been made in 1953. Carradine played the title role of an ex-gunfighter and outlaw who was employed on a ranch by a widow, her father, and young son. Between the 10 September, 1966 and the 31 December 1966, the show ran for 17 episodes.
Carradine went on to appear in more than two hundred films, starring in over 100, with the western genre being his forte. Roles included an appearance in Martin Scorsese's debut film Boxcar Bertha (1972), Kwai Chang Caine in the television series Kung Fu (1972-1975), a small part in Mean Streets (1973) and Death Race 2000 (1975) with Sylvester Stallone and The Serpent's Egg (1977). Q The Winged Serpent (1982) and the television series North and South (1985-1986). He was in Kung Fu: The Movie (1986) as well as the television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993-1997).
His career was in the doldrums for a while before it was reignited when Quentin Tarantino cast him as the crime thriller Kill Bill Vol.1 as well as Vol. 2 starring Uma Thurman (2003-2004)
As a musician and singer, Carradine recorded an album Grasshopper (1975) and his music featured in Bound For Glory, Americana and Sonny Boy. His brother Robert also played music, and they sometimes performed together.
Awards And Achievements
He received four Golden Globe nominations: (2005) Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004. (1986) Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for North and South (1985). (1977) Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for Bound for Glory (1976). And in 1974, he was nominated for Best TV Actor - Drama for Kung Fu (1972). He was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award (1973) for Kung Fu (1972).
His first wife was Donna Lee Becht (m.1960-div.1967) with whom he had one child. Between 1969-1975, he was in a relationship with Barbara Hershey, and they had a son, Tom Carradine, together. In 1977, he married Linda Gilbert, and they had one child before divorcing in 1983. His third wife was Gail Jensen (m.1988-div.1997), his fourth wife, Marina Anderson (m.1998-div.2001) and his fifth wife was Anne Bierman whom he married in 2004 and was still married to at the time of his death. His autobiography Endless Highway was published in 1995. David Carradine died in Bangkok of accidental asphyxiation on the 3 June 2009.