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