June 04, 2009

Citizen Caine

Apparently David Carradine, 72, was found dead in a Thailand hotel room yesterday. Initially they were reporting suicide, but now they're saying natural causes.

It's a shame that the only really noteworthy thing he did after his Kill Bill comeback was piss off world-class crank Haskell Wexler at a screening of Bound for Glory, a highly evocative account of which you can find
here. On the other hand, I got the distinct impression from Carradine's self-penned The Kill Bill Diary that raconteurism was his true passion in later years; certainly, I feel his loss more deeply as a loose-lipped iconoclast than I do as an actor. Always had a vague fantasy of sitting down with him over stiff drinks and requesting the old stories like a jukebox, and maybe he'd pull out his guitar at some point while the ladies gathered round.

That's not gonna happen now.


Patrick said...

Oh, well. Here's to the best-known Chinese actor of his generation. We'll miss him.

Jefferson said...


I know Bruce Lee was pissed about the "Kung Fu" casting, but I always wondered if he had a grudge against Carradine personally.

Funny ... John Carradine had all these kids who looked nothing like him. Then David Carradine got into his 60s-70s and suddenly, there was John Carradine's face on David's head.

Joe said...

This is about as far from natural causes as you can get. It's too early to say for sure, but an accidental death from autoerotic asphyxiation is way more likely than suicide, given the circumstances (descriptions of "cords around his neck and genitals" in initial reports were changed to "cords around his neck and body"). That's an interesting lesser-of-two-evils scenario - if it's suicide, a lot of people will think he's a coward, but otherwise his death could become a punchline. The late-night shows will have a field day and a lot of dipshits will probably remember him more for this than his legacy.

Either way, it sucks. Carradine was the man.

Bill C said...

@Joe: Yeah, when I first posted, there was, like, nothing about what happened. Perhaps they should coin a new term to suit this sort of thing, like "inevitable causes."

@P/J: Lee and Carradine were friends, which is how Carradine wound up starring in the posthumous Lee project CIRCLE OF IRON. I don't think "Kung Fu" was the source of their eventual falling out.

KayKay said...

Am still in shock. If anything, I hope this prompts the Powers That Be to finally get off their asses and issue the much awaited Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair with the deleted Damoe scene of Carradine taking on Michael Jai White included. It's a terrific performance in a gloriously entertaining film and one I would like to best remember him for. Kwai Chung deserves that much.
RIP Grasshopper.

Jefferson said...

And now Shih Kien has passed away. Damn, Grim Reaper, what have you got against wuxia masters?

jacksommersby said...

He made such a great villain opposite Chuck Norris in "Lone Wolf McQuade", and that standout scene in "Kill Bill Vol. 2" where he talks to Uma Thurman as he delicately cuts that sandwich with a threatening knife was a tour de force of masterful underplaying.

The thing with autoerotic asphyxiation is that it involves temporarily blocking off the cartoid artery, and when that happens there's always a chance the person is going to start losing consciousness, and then there's nothing they can do about it. I've never heard of doing it with something tied around the penis but just the throat. Sheesh, it's such a humiliating way to die.