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05 June 2009 :: 15:06:34 pm 27745

Kung fu Legend David Carradine Dies In Bangkok Hotel

Celebrated Hollywood film star, David Carradine, 72, most famous for his kung fu roles, was found dead in a luxury Bangkok hotel on the morning of June4, 2009. Although police first suspected suicide, later reports consider a sex-game which went wrong is the most likely cause of death. However, an autopsy was conducted at Chulalongkorn Hospital?s because of "unusual circumstances surrounding Carradine?s death." The results have not yet been released.?
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Police, alerted about the film star?s death investigating Suite Room 352 at Swissotel Park Nai Lert Hotel, North Wireless Road, Bangkok, initially suspected suicide as Carradine was found hanged in a wardrobe. Close friends have adamantly denied, however, that Carradine was the sort to commit suicide. Tiffany Smith of Carradine’s management firm, Binder & Associates said ?There was no way David did this to himself.” An opinion reiterated by Carradine’s personal manager, Chuck Binder who said:” We can confirm 100 per cent that he never would have committed suicide. I do not believe he is a candidate for suicide. He had a family. He had a life. He was happy. This movie in Bangkok was going great. He was starting three more films. He was in great spirits.”

The latest speculation is that Carradine died attempting auto-erotic asphyxiation – where victims achieve heightened sexual pleasure by restricting their air supply. His body was found by the room maid sitting, naked. A curtain cord-like rope, not from the hotel, was attached to his neck and also to his penis and testicles. His face was dark with congested blood and some wounds were found around his neck and his wrists. Police reported that “There is no trace of fighting in the hotel room and the room was locked from inside. There is no sign of bruising on his body or foul play?. Police assumed he had been dead for less than12 hours.

Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot a film called “Stretch”. He and the film crew checked in to the hotel on June 2. However, when he missed dinner with the crew on June 3 at a restaurant on Sathorn Road, his crew attempted to contact him, without avail. They naturally assumed he was resting due to his age. After frequently knocking on the door, the room maid only gained entry at 10 am, at which point she found him dead in a wardrobe.

David Carradine became a TV icon in the early 1970s, from 1972-5, starring as Kwai Chang Caine, an enigmatic Shaolin renegade Buddhist monk, nicknamed Grasshopper, in the first kung fu role on TV, which helped popularize the martial art in the West and earned him an Emmy nomination. Carradine confessed that the initial episodes were faked as he knew nothing about the art, but later became sufficiently proficient to teach it. “I knew nothing about kung fu,” he wrote. “At the time I did not understand it at all, and I was faking it all the time even though I knew the moves. I am an actor. We just thought we had a good story.”

In a sequel – “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues -“aired from 1993-1996, Carradine returned to star as the grandson of Grasshopper, by which time he was far more adept.

The son of noted character actor John Carradine, David Carradine also appeared in over 100 films, including Martin Scorsese’s “Boxcar Bertha” (1972) and Ingmar Bergman’s “The Serpent’s Egg” (1977). He also played folk singer Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby’s “Bound for Glory” (1976) and appeared with his brothers Keith and Robert in the 1980 western “The Long Riders.” More recently he was the samurai-trained assassin in Quentin Tarantino’s two-film “Kill Bill” saga (2003 and 2004), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

A loner and outsider to Hollywood, Carradine initially had a reputation for being “a quick-to-anger actor and hard-drinking partier.” He was reported to have given up drinking in 1996. He also had a lengthy and heady psychotropic drugs experience, taking LSD and cocaine.

Longtime friend Actress Sally Kirkland, described Carradine as the “definitive actor’s actor.” “He was just bigger than life, a very special spirit . . . Everybody who knew him loved David.”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : World News

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