David Carradine Death Photos Biography
David Carradine (born John Arthur Carradine; December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009) was an American actor and martial artist, best known for his role as a warrior monk, Kwai Chang Caine, in the 1970s television series Kung Fu. He was a member of a productive acting family that began with his father, John Carradine. His acting career, which included major and minor roles on stage, television and cinema, spanned over four decades. A prolific "B" movie actor,] he appeared in more than 100 feature films] and was nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award. The last nomination was for his title role in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.
Films that featured Carradine continued to be released after his death. These posthumous credits were from a variety of genres including horror, action, western, martial arts, drama, science fiction and documentary. In addition to his acting career, Carradine was also a musician and pursued a directing career. Influenced by his most popular acting role, he studied martial arts. The son of a frequently married actor, he had an unstable childhood. This instability would continue throughout his life as he himself was married five times. He was also frequently arrested and prosecuted for a variety of offenses which often involved substance abuse. He died on June 3, 2009, apparently of auto-erotic asphyxiation.
He was born John Arthur Carradine in Hollywood, California, the son of Ardanelle "Abigail" (née McCool, 1911–1989) and actor John Carradine. He was a maternal half-brother of Bruce,paternal half-brother of Keith, Christopher and Robert Carradine, and an uncle of Ever Carradine and Martha Plimpton. He was the great-grandson of Methodist evangelical author Beverly Carradine and the grandnephew of artist Will Foster
Affectionately called "Jack" during his childhood years, Carradine's childhood was turbulent. His parents repeatedly re-married. He was the product of his mother's second marriage of three, and his father's first of four. At the time his parents married each other, his mother already had a son, Bruce, by her first husband, whom John adopted. John Carradine planned a large family but, as his son explained in his autobiography, after his wife had a series of miscarriages, he discovered that she had had repeated illegal abortions without his knowledge. This rendered her unable to carry a baby to full term. It was with this backdrop of marital discord that at the age of 5, Jack almost succeeded in committing suicideby hanging. He said that the incident followed his discovery that he and Bruce had different biological fathers. He added that, "My father saved me, and then confiscated my comic book collection and burned it – which was scarcely the point"
After three years of marriage, Ardenelle Carradine filed for divorce from John, but the couple remained married for another five years. Divorce finally came in 1944, when Jack was seven years old. His father left California to avoid court action in the alimony settlementAfter the couple engaged in a series of court battles over child custody and alimony, which at one point landed John in jail Jack joined his father in New York City. By this time his father had remarried. For the next few years Jack was shuffled between boarding schools, foster homes and reform school. He also would often accompany his father while the elder Carradine performed summer theater throughout the Northeast. He spent time in Massachusetts and even one miserable winter milking cows on a farm in Vermont.
Eventually, Jack Carradine returned to California where he graduated from Oakland High School. He attended Oakland Junior College (currently Laney College) for a year before transferring to San Francisco State College where he studied drama and music theory. There he wrote music for the drama department's annual revues while juggling work at menial jobs, a fledgling stage acting career and his studies. After he dropped out of college, Carradine spent some time with the "beatniks" of San Francisco's North Beach and Venice, California. During this time he collected unemployment insurance and sold baby pictures. He was also prosecuted for disturbing the peace.
Despite an attempt to dodge the draft, in 1960 Carradine was inducted into the United States Army,] where he drew pictures for training aids. That Christmas he married his high school sweetheart, Donna Lee Becht. While stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia he helped to establish a theater company which became known as the "entertainment unit". He met fellow inductee, Larry Cohen, who later cast him in Q, The Winged Serpent. He also faced court-martial for shoplifting.In 1962, Donna gave birth to their daughter, Calista. Carradine was honorably discharged after a two