David Carradine Envisioned a Far Different End

Carradine in Robert Halmi's 'Son of Dragon'

Carradine in Robert Halmi's 'Son of Dragon'

David Carradine’s “Break” movie with his “Kill Bill” colleague Michael Madsen is due for DVD release next month and the producer had been talking to Carradine about his possible availability for promotional interviews on that.   The question was how much he’d be able to do while shooting the feature he’s been making.  We hear his “Break” colleagues are just stunned, and are in “wait and see” mode,  not trusting the reports out of Thailand.  

Carradine family members and colleagues, notably director Adam Rifkin, don’t believe he killed himself.   We see that fans also are doubting that Carradine would have taken his own life.  Just last year, he told Beck/Smith reporter Emily-Fortune Feimster that he imagined he’d probably go out in the middle of filming a sword-fighting scene or something like that but not until his 80s at least.    He took a lot of pride in being a survivor in the chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out world of Hollywood.   He talked about that with Marilyn Beck and with me more than once,  in conversations that seemed full of enthusiasm, peppered with comments like “It’s very cool” and “I’m very proud of that.”    Of course, he was an actor.  But this scenario — Carradine Hangs Himself — just doesn’t seem to fit.   It is just awful, beyond sad. 

On a personal note, I always found it amusing how fond he was of  Marilyn even though she regularly gave him hell in print back in his “Kung Fu”  days  for his hippie dippie druggy behavior.   (There’s a lesson in that for all you little leaguers: he probably didn’t even remember the people who kissed his rear back then,  but had a big respect for Mar’, who would not do that.)

Stacy Jenel Smith



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About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

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