The actor David Carradine, much loved for his film and TV work, has been found hanged in his room in a luxury hotel in the Thai capital where he is believed to have been filming scenes for forthcoming movie Stretch. The grim discovery was made by a hotel maid. Early indications are that he committed suicide, but his agent, who travelled with him, says that he was in great spirits just the day before.
Famous for playing Bill in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films, Carradine enjoyed a long career in which he made over a hundred films. He also worked as a producer, directed three films (including the award-winning Americana) and did some writing for television. Twice nominated for a Golden Globe he was much admired for his work in classics such as Mean Streets and The Long Riders. But more than anything else, he loved martial arts movies, remarking that one of the most rewarding experiences in his life was being approached by fans who say his portrayal of the iconic Shaolin priest Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series Kung Fu changed theirs.
"It's always seemed to me like a mission. A holy one, like The Blues Brothers," he said of his work, to which he showed intense devotion. He was proud of having worked with directors like Ingmar Bergman and Martin Scorsese.
Carradine was 72. He had been married five times and is survived by his wife Annie Bierman, a son and two daughters.