David Carradine, the film and television actor who lent his rugged persona to more than 100 films, was found dead in Thailand while on location for the film Stretch. Police said the cause of death was suicide by hanging. He was 72.
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Carradine was born into a family of thespians: his father was noted star John Carradine, his brother was Bruce Carradine and he was the half-brother of Keith and Robert Carradine. Though he came to prominence as the star of TV’s Kung Fu, Carradine was a key player in works by some of cinema’s greatest directors. One of his earliest starring movie roles was in Martin Scorsese’s second feature, Boxcar Bertha, and he also toplined the works by Hal Ashby (Bound for Glory), Ingmar Bergman (The Serpent’s Egg), Walter Hill (The Long Riders), and, most recently, Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill).
In addition to his work in Westerns and martial arts films, Carradine was a reliable villain in a number of B-pictures. He was a four-time Golden Globe nominee and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on Kung Fu. He is survived by his wife, Annie Bierman, and his two daughters, Calista and Kansas Carradine.