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CMG Worldwide Welcomes You to the Official Website of David Carradine

Biography

David Carradine was born in Hollywood, California, the eldest son of legendary character actor John Carradine, and his wife, Ardanelle Abigail (McCool). He presided over an acting family that included brothers Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine, as well as his daughters Calista Carradine and Kansas Carradine, and nieces Ever Carradine and Martha Plimpton.

Carradine was born in Hollywood and educated at San Francisco State College, where he studied music theory and composition. It was while writing music for the Drama Department’s annual revues that he discovered his own passion for the stage, joining a Shakespearean repertory company and learning his craft on his feet. After a two-year stint in the army, he found work in New York as a commercial artist and later found fame on Broadway in The Deputy and The Royal Hunt of the Sun opposite Christopher Plummer. With that experience he returned to Hollywood, landing the lead in the short-lived TV series Shane (1966) before being tapped to star opposite Barbara Hershey in Martin Scorsese’s first Hollywood film, Boxcar Bertha (1972). The iconic Kung Fu (1972) followed, catapulting Carradine to superstardom for the next three years, until he left the series to pursue his film career.

That career included more than 100 feature films, a couple of dozen television movies, a whole range of theater on and off Broadway and another hit series, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1992).

Carradine received the Best Actor Award from the National Board of Film Review as well as a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby’s Bound for Glory (1976), and he won critical acclaim for his work as Cole Younger in The Long Riders(1980). Kung Fu also received seven Emmy nominations in its first season, including one for Carradine as Best Actor. In addition, he won the People’s Prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight for his work on Americana (1981), and a second Golden Globe nomination for his supporting role in North and South (1985). Among his other notable film credits were Gray Lady Down (1978), Mean Streets (1973), Bird on a Wire (1990), The Long Goodbye (1973), The Serpent’s Egg (1977), and Circle of Iron (1978). He returned to the screen in what could be his greatest performance, playing the title role in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), for which he received his fourth Golden Globe nomination. He also continued his devotion to music, and recorded some 60 tracks in various musical genres and sang in several movies. He made his home in Los Angeles with his fifth wife Annie, her four children and their two dogs.

He died in Bangkok, Thailand on June 3, 2009 while filming a movie entitled Stretch. He was 72. He is survived by his wife Annie, stepchildren Amanda, Madeleine, Max and Olivia, his eldest daughter, Calista, son, Free, and daughter, Kansas, as well as grandchildren Mariah, Sienna, Phoenix, and Bodhi, and great-granddaughter, Ryana.

Filmography

Films
Year Title Role Notes
1964 Taggart Cal Dodge
1967 Too Many Thieves Felix
1967 The Violent Ones Lucas Barnes
1969 Heaven with a Gun Coke Beck
1969 Young Billy Young Jesse Boone
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys Waco
1970 The McMasters White Feather
1970 Macho Callahan David Mountford
1971 Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring Flack
1972 Boxcar Bertha ‘Big’ Bill Shelly
1973 The Long Goodbye Dave / Socrates – Marlowe’s Cellmate Uncredited
1973 Mean Streets Drunk
1975 Death Race 2000 Frankenstein
1975 You and Me Zeto Also director
1976 Cannonball Coy ‘Cannonball’ Buckman
1976 Bound for Glory Woody Guthrie
1977 The Serpent’s Egg Abel Rosenberg
1977 Thunder and Lightning Harley Thomas
1978 Deathsport Kaz Oshay
1978 Circle of Iron The Blind Man / Monkeyman / Death / Changsha
1978 Gray Lady Down Capt. Gates
1979 Fast Charlie… the Moonbeam Rider Charlie Swattle
1980 The Long Riders Cole Younger
1980 Cloud Dancer Brad Randolph
1982 Q Detective Shepard aka Serpent & The Winged Serpent
1982 Trick Or Treats Richard
1982 Safari 3000 Eddie Mills
1983 Lone Wolf McQuade Rawley Wilkes
1983 Americana American Soldier Also director
1984 The Warrior and the Sorceress Kain
1984 Downstream Bryant
1986 P.O.W. The Escape Col. James Cooper aka Behind the Enemy Lines
1986 Armed Response Jim Roth
1987 Wheels of Terror Col Von Weisshagen aka The Misfit Brigade
1988 Tropical Snow Oskar
1988 I Saw What You Did Stephen
1988 Run for Your Life Major Charles Forsythe
1989 Night Children Max
1989 Sonny Boy Pearl
1989 Crime Zone Jason
1989 Future Force John Tucker
1989 Crime of Crimes Captain
1989 Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II Dark One
1990 Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Jozek Mardulak / Count Dracula
1990 Future Zone John Tucker
1990 Bird on a Wire Sorenson
1991 Project Eliminator Ron Morrell
1991 Karate Cop Dad
1991 Martial Law Dalton Rhodes
1992 Double Trouble Mr. C
1992 Evil Toons Gideon Fisk
1992 Roadside Prophets Othello
1992 Waxwork II: Lost in Time The Beggar
1992 Night Rhythms Vincent
1997 The Good Life Never released[1]
1998 Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror Luke Enright
1998 An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island Chief Wulisso (voice)
1998 The New Swiss Family Robinson Sheldon Blake
1999 American Reel James Lee Springer
1999 Natural Selection Louis Dehoven[2]
2000 Down ‘n Dirty Gil Garner
2002 Balto II: Wolf Quest Nava the Wolf Shaman (voice)
2003 Kill Bill: Volume 1 Bill
2004 Kill Bill: Volume 2 Bill
2004 Hair High Mr. Snerz (voice)
2004 Dead & Breakfast Mr. Wise
2005 Brothers in Arms Driscoll
2005 Miracle at Sage Creek Ike
2006 The Last Sect Van Helsing
2007 Homo Erectus Mookoo
2007 Epic Movie The Curator
2007 Fall Down Dead Wade
2007 Camille Cowboy Bob
2007 How to Rob a Bank Nick
2007 Fuego Lobo
2007 Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon Grand Master
2008 Big Stan The Master
2008 Richard III Buckingham
2008 Hell Ride The Deuce
2008 Last Hour Detective Mike Stone
2008 Death Race Frankenstein (voice)
2008 Archie’s Final Project (My Suicide) Vargas
2008 Kandisha The American
2008 The Golden Boys Captain Zeb
2009 Absolute Evil Raf McCane
2009 Crank: High Voltage Poon Dong
2009 Road of No Return Mr. Hover
2009 The Rain Clive Jonis
2009 Bad Cop Detective Humes
2009 All Hell Broke Loose Ian McHenry
2010 True Legend Anton
2010 Autumn Phillip
2010 Money to Burn Klau
2010 Detention Principal Hoskins
2011 Stretch Monteiro
2012 Eldorado The Spirit Guide
2012 Night of the Templar (UK title: Knights Templar) Shopkeeper

Television

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1963 East Side/West Side Hal Sewoski 1 episode
1964 The Virginian The Utah Kid 1 episode
1965 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Fitzhugh 1 episode
1965 Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Thou Still Unravished Bride Edward Clarke 1 episode
1966 Shane Shane 16 episodes
1967 Cimarron Strip Gene Gauge 1 episode “The Hunted”
1970 The Name of the Game Jason 1 episode
1971 Gunsmoke Clint 1 episode
1971 Night Gallery Gideon 1 episode
1968–1971 Ironside Frank Carson/Luke Roberts/Pogo Reems 3 episodes
1972–1975 Kung Fu Kwai Chang Caine 63 episodes
1975 The Family Holvak Craw 2 episodes
1981 Darkroom Biker/Hitchhiker 1 episode
1983 The Fall Guy Pat Patterson 1 episode “To the finish”
1983 Faces of Culture (TV Series 1983) narrator (voice only) Documentary
1984 Airwolf Dr. Robert Winchester 1 episode
1984 Partners in Crime Hermanski 1 episode
1984 The Fall Guy Caretaker 1 episode “October the 31st”
1985 North and South Justin LaMotte Miniseries
1985 The Fall Guy Himself 1 episode ” Dead Ringer”
1987 Night Heat Theodore Telford 1 episode
1987 Matlock Jimmy Legrand 1 episode “The Country Boy”
1989 Matlock Steve Mazarowski 2 episodes
1990 The Young Riders The Buzzard Eater 1 episode
1990 The Ray Bradbury Theater Spender Episode “And the Moon Be Still as Bright”
1993–1997 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Kwai Chang Caine 88 episodes
1999 Charmed Tempus 1 episode
2001 Queen of Swords El Serpiente 2 episodes “The Serpent” and “End of Days” (Flashback)
2001 Lizzie McGuire Himself 1 episode “Between a Rock and a Bra Place”
2001 Jackie Chan Adventures Lo Pei 1 episode “The Warrior Incarnate”
2001 Titus Bob 1 episode “Houseboat”
2001 Nightmare Room Mr. Farber 1 episode “Tangled Web”
2002 King of the Hill Junichiro Hill (voice) 2 episodes
2003–2004 Alias Conrad 2 episodes
2003–2005 Wild West Tech Host 21 episodes (host for season 2 and 3)
2005–2006 Danny Phantom Clockwork (voice) 2 episodes
2005–2006 Medium Jessica’s Brother 1 episode
2007 In Case of Emergency Guru Danny 1 episode
2008 Son of the Dragon Bird Miniseries
2009 Mental Gideon Graham 1 episode
2009 Celebrity Ghost Stories Himself 1 episode

Television films

Television films
Year Title Role
1967 Johnny Belinda Locky
1979 Mr. Horn Tom Horn
1980 Gauguin the Savage Paul Gauguin
1980 High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane Ben Irons
1984 Jealousy Bobby Dee
1985 The Bad Seed Leroy Jessup
1986 Kung Fu: The Movie Kwai Chang Caine
1987 Six Against the Rock Bernard “Bernie” Paul Coy
1988 I Saw What You Did (1988 film) Stephen
1991 The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw Kwai Chang Caine
1997 Last Stand at Saber River Duane Kidston
1998 Lovers & Liars Mr. Montague
1999 Knocking on Death’s Door Doc Hadley
2001 Warden of Red Rock Mike Sullivan
2002 The Outsider Haines
2008 Kung Fu Killer Crane
2010 Dinocroc vs. Supergator Jason Drake

Quotes

  •  “you cannot be a poet, be the poem.”
  • “There’s an alternative. There’s always a third way, and it’s not a combination of the other two ways. It’s a different way.”
  • [on his late friend and one-time co-star, Brandon Lee] “He was always giving 110%, and it produced a light in the eyes, which is what you look for in movies.’
  • “Every day, at least six people will come up to me and say, “Your show [“Kung Fu”] changed my life.”.
  • [on his lengthy acting career] “It’s always seemed to me like a mission. A holy one, like the Blues Brothers. It’s a marathon. You can’t quit; even coming in dead last has honor. Quitting doesn’t. Look, I had absolute faith in my future when I was starving in New York and no one believed in me besides me and my girlfriend. I’d be stupid to lose that faith after I’ve become a fucking icon. Oh, yes. And I love the work.”
  • “It’s not even a matter of physical fitness, it’s a matter of mind, body, unity and achieving a little tiny bit of spirituality, in your life.”
  • [Before he played Kwai Chang Caine on “Kung Fu”] I wasn’t like a TV star in those days, I was like a rock ‘n’ roll star. It was a phenomenon kind of thing… It was very special.
  • [on his drug/alcohol abuse] “There was only a period of a few years when I was drinking too much. I had a friend who was a mentor, and he suddenly said, “I’ve never seen you abuse a substance before.” I said, “Am I doing that now?”. And I was. That was spring of 1996. I like to think that I stopped drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, but it was actually a month later.”
  • [on when he realized “Kung Fu” was going to be a hit] “Man, I read that pilot script and flipped! But I never believed it would get on TV. I mean, a Chinese Western, about a half-Chinese / half-American Buddhist monk who anders the gold rush country but doesn’t care about gold, and defends the oppressed but won’t carry a gun, and won’t even step on an ant because he values all life, and hardly ever speaks? No way!”
  • [In 2004, on starring in so many low-budget films] “All I’ve ever needed since I more or less retired from studio films a couple of decades ago… is just to be in one. There isn’t anything that Anthony Hopkins or Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery or any of those old guys are doing that I couldn’t do. All that was ever required was somebody with Quentin’s {Quentin Tarantino] courage to take and put me in the spotlight”.
  • [In 2004, on his suicidal thoughts]” I remember one time sitting at the window of the third or fourth floor of the Plaza Hotel for about an hour, thinking about just tipping off.”
  • [on playing Bill in the “Kill Bill” films]” It’s got to be done a certain way. You can see these poses.”
  • [In 1991, on his signature role] “What we did on “Kung Fu”, stressing the philosophy and the desire for peace and the training, is something that has actually never been seen since then.”
  • [In 1977] “Acting was the last thing I thought of because it didn’t seem like you did anything”.
  • [In 1997] “I don’t have that much to say. I’m glad some people showed up. You know it’s April 1, and I still thought people would think it was a joke”.
  • [In 1993]” There is something, dare I say, very Christ-like here: reaching out to lepers, the downtrodden, the profligates. That was one reason I wanted to play someone like that. Whether or not that’s the kind of guy I am, to be able to portray someone who has this sort of holy quality to him was very appealing”
  • “With my tendencies as an anarchist and a revolutionary, this is the kind of place I would have wanted to blow up with a bomb in a paper bag. But I’ve reached a point now where I can see the limitations of Fidel Castro as easily as I can see the limitations of a Rockefeller. I don’t want to be either of those guys.”
  • “I’m perhaps the most gifted actor of my generation.”
  • [In 2008] Whenever I do an exhibit, I always specify. If you want to buy something, a great piece of it is going to go for Food for Africa. That’s the way I do it and I’ll always do it.
  • [In 2009] One foot, in front of the other, things happened, as I try to make them happen, so it wasn’t exactly, no real surprises.
  • [on his 1986 marriage to Gail Jensen, who met him on “The Long Riders”] It works. We feel like we’ve known each other for a thousand years. Something will happen, and we’ll say, “Yeah, you did that to me 800 years ago.”.
  • [In 1992, on trying to break into Hollywood without relying on his father, (John Carradine)] “It took me a long time to realize that he was having a hard time getting jobs himself. But I’m not sure he would have [helped] anyway–you were supposed to make it on your own.”
  • [In 1992] “I had a house in the Hollywood Hills that virtually every brother has lived in. It was like this safe harbor. We all took care of each other.”
  • [on Chuck Norris]: “How deep can you get into aikido? Aikido’s aikido. Chuck Norris, as you know, has a very heavy competitive background. He’s originally trained in Tang Soo Do, then what he did was competition karate. Chuck is very fast and very precise. I think he’s really good. But I don’t think that the whole thing that is kung fu is even touched on by any of these guys. I just think all they’re into is what they know about fighting and their movie mystiques. I don’t think these guys know anything about the history, the philosophy, the inner truth you’re supposed to be searching for. The stuff that we try to do in Kung Fu, which we did in the old series. That’s why I decided to do it again. It just seemed like nobody’s got the assets. They all thought it was a question of kicking and punching.”

Licensing

As the exclusive licensing agent for David Carradine, CMG Worldwide is dedicated to maintaining and developing a positive brand image for our client. CMG is a leader and pioneer in its field, with over 35 years of experience arranging licensing agreements for hundreds of personalities and brands in various industries, including sports, entertainment, music, and more. We actively seek out commercial opportunities that are consistent with our brand positioning goals, and we are committed to pursuing strategies that meet the goals of our clients, as well as our licensing partners.

Please contact us today if you are interested in licensing opportunities with David Carradine. For a full list of CMG Clients, please visit our website here.

 

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