David Carradine Poster

Trivia (74)

Son of John Carradine; half-brother of Keith Carradine, Robert Carradine, brother of Bruce Carradine. Stepson of Sonia Sorel.

Lived with Barbara Hershey from 1972-1975 (she changed her last name to Seagull during this time). They have a son they named Free Carradine at birth, but who has since changed his name to Tom Carradine.

Convicted of drunk driving in October 1989. Served 48 hours in jail and did community service.

Had a lifelong fascination with Eastern philosophies and culture which resulted in him writing the book "Spirit of the Shaolin" about the philosophy of Kung Fu.

Uncle of actresses Martha Plimpton and Ever Carradine.

Father of Calista Carradine (born April 27, 1962) with Donna Lee Becht.

Father of Kansas Carradine (born April 19, 1978) with Linda Gilbert.

Began studying the martial arts after getting cast on Kung Fu (1972).

Studied drama at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California.

Was to have attended the Armaggeddon Pulp Culture Expo Convention in Wellington, New Zealand, in September 2004 as a special Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) guest but had to pull out at the last minute due to filming commitments.

To date, he is the only actor who has appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Quentin Tarantino.

Because of his look, his stint on the television series Kung Fu (1972) and his fascination with Eastern philosophies, people often assumed that he was at least part Asian. He wasn't.

Many of the characters he has played possess lethal martial arts skills. This is a nod to his most famous character, the deadly yet benevolent Kwai Chang Caine on the television series Kung Fu (1972).

Was close friends with Larry Cohen since they served together in the military.

He married his fifth wife, Annie Bierman at the home of Michael Madsen. Vicki Roberts officiated and pronounced them husband and wife.

He was born in Hollywood, but he was brought up all over the country, mostly by boarding school teachers and reform school wardens.

Quentin Tarantino had originally envisioned the character "Bill" in the "Kill Bill" films as a suave "James Bond-type" man and had first approached Warren Beatty for the role. Beatty turned it down and suggested that he get David for the role.

His manager was Chuck Binder.

Friends with: Raymond Burr, Mickey Rooney, Andy Griffith, Chuck Norris, Jane Seymour, Bruce Lee, Clu Gulager, Hugh O'Brian, James Drury, Doug McClure, Clint Walker, Alex Cord, Larry Cohen, Robert Ito, James Cromwell, Michael Parks, M. Emmet Walsh, Maxwell Caulfield, Quentin Tarantino, Fred Williamson, Frances Fisher, Tom Selleck, Martin Scorsese, David Winters and Michael Madsen.

Was an honorary member of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Was a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Stepmother Sonia Sorel died in 2004, just three months before he was married to Annie Bierman.

In Bound for Glory (1976), Carradine played a legendary folk singer, in real-life, he was also a folk singer, before becoming a successful actor.

His first series, Kung Fu (1972), was canceled after the third season, due to injuries he sustained on the set.

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on April 1, 1997.

David Carradine passed away on June 3, 2009, in a hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand. He was working on a movie entitled "Stretch".

Was an alcohol abuser for many years, until he entered rehab. He was sober at 59.

Before he was an actor, he worked as a manual laborer, where he began an open experiment with drugs.

His obituary stated he was survived by four children.

His documented ancestry included English, along with smaller amounts of Dutch, German, Irish, Scottish and Welsh. David's last traceable patrilineal ancestor is believed to have been a man named Parker Carradine, who was born in Georgia, in North America, c. 1755.

He sang duet vocals on his Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993) co-star Chris Potter's song "Kung Fu Blues".

His ex-wife Marina Anderson tried unsuccessfully suing him in 2003 for $300,000, alleging that she got him his role in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), and that he gave no compensation in return. He was successfully represented in that matter by Vicki Roberts.

James Cromwell, Tom Selleck, Steve Railsback, Frances Fisher, Lucy Liu and Vicki Roberts attended his funeral, which was held ten days after his death.

Best remembered by the public for his starring role as Kwai Chang Caine on the television series Kung Fu (1972).

First came to public attention in 1963, appearing in an episode of Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950).

He played truant from school at age 13; was sent to a reform school for a while, and spent time in foster homes in Massachusetts.

Has appeared in more than 200 films and television dramas.

Stepfather of Max Carradine, who is intent on following his stepfather's footsteps and continuing the family acting dynasty.

Before Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993), he was a celebrity spokesperson for Lipton Ice Tea.

Began his contract career for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1969.

Was the second of five children.

Remained good friends with Chris Potter during and after Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993).

Was healthy and physically active until his death of accidental asphyxiation at age 72.

Despite high ratings, his second series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993) was canceled in early 1997, because he decided to call it quits.

Stepson: Max Richard Bierman (born 1998).

Stepdaughter: Olivia Jane Bierman (born 1998).

Stepdaughter: Madeleine Rose Bierman (born 1995).

Stepdaughter: Amanda Fraser Eckelberry (born 1989).

His paternal half-brothers Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine, both appeared in The Long Riders (1980), with him.

His second ex-wife, Linda Gilbert, is the ex-wife of Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds fame).

Created several flutes for the movie Circle of Iron (1978), one of which he later played in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).

Knew absolutely nothing about the practice of the martial arts, at the same time he was starring on Kung Fu (1972), instead it was his dancing experience that convinced him to accept the role.

He played various instruments: piano, guitar, flute, among many others.

Met his first wife, Donna Lee Becht, when they were both sweethearts in high school, and lived with her off base while he was in the army in Virginia, stationed at Fort Eustis. They were married at the end of 1960 and divorced in 1968.

Attended and graduated from Oakland High School in Oakland, California in 1955.

Before he was an actor, he was inducted into the United States Army, where he drew pictures for training aids.

As a teenager, he moved back to California - residing in Oakland, in the early 1950s.

Legally changed his name from John to David, to not only become a professional actor, but also to avoid confusion with his famous father.

When he was seven, his parents were divorced and his father left California to escape court actions in the alimony settlement.

His great-grandmother, Beverly Carradine, was a Methodist evangelical author.

Was arrested in December 1994 for breaking a glass window at Rogers Center (formerly Skydome) in Toronto. He claimed he did this to avoid being mobbed by fans after a concert by The Rolling Stones.

In his autobiography, he states that after his father's 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 age 5, David almost succeeded in committing suicide by hanging.

Nearly one year after his death, his third wife, Gail Jensen, died on April 23, 2010.

For most of his adult life, he was a heavy smoker.

His first arrest was for assaulting a police officer, when he was in his early 20s. He pleaded to a lesser charge of disturbing the peace.

His father ran away from home when John was age 14, but came back at one point to study sculpture at Philadelphia's Graphic Arts Institute. John lived with his maternal uncle in New York City for a while, working in the film archives of the public library.

Just before John Carradine died, late in 1988, David and brother Keith Carradine were at his bedside. Hours before he was stricken, he had climbed the 328 steep steps of Milan's Gothic cathedral, the Duomo. He had just finished a film in South Africa and was about to begin a European tour. David was with him, reading William Shakespeare to him--by this time John was unable to speak--when he died.

Following his death, he was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California.

His fourth arrest was in 1974 for attempted burglary and malicious mischief. While under the influence of peyote, a nude Carradine began wandering around his Laurel Canyon neighborhood. He broke into a neighbor's home, shattering a window and cutting his arm. He then bled all over the homeowner's piano. At some time during this episode he accosted two young women, allegedly assaulting one while asking, or demanding of her, if she was a witch. The police literally followed a trail of blood to his home. The burglary charges were dropped, as nothing was found to be missing, while Carradine pleaded "no contest" to the mischief charge and was given probation. He was never charged with assault, but the young woman sued him for $1.1 million and was awarded $20,000.

Both his father, John Carradine and one of his half-brothers, Robert Carradine, appeared on at least one episode of Kung Fu (1972), with him.

His father, John Carradine, along with half-brothers Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine all guest-starred on an episode of The Fall Guy (1981), with him in 1984. Sadly, this was John's last appearance with his family.

(February 20, 1998) Married his fourth wife, actress and author Marina Anderson, on Laramie Street where he filmed his original series Kung Fu (1972) at Warner Bros. Studios.

Acting mentor and friends with Chris Potter.

Was known to be a very private man.