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David Carradine, dead at 72

Posted at 10:55 PM on June 4, 2009 by Euan Kerr

As a kid whose adolescence co-incided with the early and best years of the "Kung Fu" tv series, I can't help but feel a little glum this evening at the news of David Carradine's death.

He was an unpredicable fellow, and he made a bunch of pretty bad films, but in "Kung Fu" it's fair to say he changed lives, if only by making a bunch of youngsters think about the idea of following a peaceful path. It sounds almost naive now, but at the time it seemed pretty revolutionary to many of us.

And then he turned around and made "Death Race 2000" with Paul Bartel, a low budget celluloid miracle which introduced a generation to absurdist satire.

He made film after film over the years and seemed to have become a parody of himself, until he flipped things around again with Tarantino's "Kill Bill" movies. It was exciting to see him on the top of his game again.

Now he's gone, in a strange incident in a hotel in Bankok. It'll become part of the legend, but whatever actually happened it is a sad end.

June 2009
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