What was David Carradine’s Net Worth?
David Carradine was an American actor, singer, writer, director, producer, and martial artist who died with a net worth of $500 thousand. David Carradine, the son of actor John Carradine, was best known for his main roles as Kwai Chang Caine on the shows “Kung Fu” (1972–1975) and “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues” (1993–1997), as well as Bill in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” series (2003–2004). Carradine featured in over 230 film and television productions, including the miniseries “North and South” (1985), the ABC series “Shane” (1966), and the Woody Guthrie biography “Bound for Glory” (1976), in which he played the major character.
Carradine wrote, directed, and co-produced the 1973 short musical “A Country Mile,” as well as the features “You and Me” (1975) and “Americana” (1981), as well as three episodes of “Kung Fu” and a 2001 episode of “Lizzie McGuire.” David produced “Americana,” “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues,” and numerous additional films, including “Kung Fu: The Movie” (1986), “Crime Zone” (1988), “Future Force” (1989), “Crime of Crimes” (1989), and “Richard III” (1989). (2007). Carradine also wrote the books “The Spirit of Shaolin” (1991), “Endless Highway” (1995), “David Carradine’s Tai Chi Workout” (1995), “David Carradine’s Introduction to Chi Kung” (1997), and “The Kill Bill Diary: The Making of a Tarantino Classic as Seen Through the Eyes of a Screen Legend” (2006), as well as the theme songs for “Americana” and “Sonny Boy” (1989). David died in June 2009 while shooting a movie in Bangkok, Thailand. His death was judged to have been caused by unintentional asphyxiation.
David Carradine was born on December 8, 1936, in Los Angeles, California, as John Arthur Carradine Jr. David has four half-brothers, Keith Carradine, Bruce, Robert Carradine, and Christopher, after his parents, John and Ardanelle, split in 1944.
Carradine was the uncle of Martha Plimpton and Ever Carradine, and the majority of his half-brothers are also performers. David attempted suicide at the age of five after discovering that he and Bruce did not have the same biological father (Bruce was Ardanelle’s kid from her previous marriage, and John adopted him). His father rescued him and then seized and burnt David’s comic book collection.
Once Carradine’s parents divorced, they fought over child custody and alimony, and after the divorce was finalized, David moved live with his father in New York City. David and John co-starred in a live presentation of “A Christmas Carol” in 1967. Before returning to California, Carradine spent time in reform schools, boarding schools, and foster homes. He went to Oakland High School before enrolling at Oakland Junior College. After his first year at Oakland Junior College, David went to San Francisco State College to study music theory and theater, where he composed music for the drama department’s yearly revues. He finally dropped out of college and was inducted into the United States Army in 1960. Carradine made illustrations for Army training aids and founded the “entertainment unit” theater company while stationed at Virginia’s Fort Eustis. David was court-martialed in the Army after being found stealing at a base food store, and he was honorably released in 1962.
Carradine altered his first name after quitting the Army to prevent confusion with his father. In 1964, he made his Broadway and film debuts, in a production of Rolf Hochhuth’s “The Deputy” and the Western film “Taggart,” and the following year, he returned to Broadway, winning a Theatre World Award for Peter Shaffer’s “The Royal Hunt of the Sun.” During the 1960s, David appeared in the films “Bus Riley’s Back in Town” (1965), “Too Many Thieves” (1966), “The Violent Ones” (1967), “Heaven with a Gun” (1969), “Young Billy Young” (1969), and “The Good Guys and the Bad Guys” (1969), as well as guest-starring on television shows such as “Alfred Hitchcock Hour” (1965) and “Ironside” (1968 Carradine starred as Kwai Chang Caine on ABC’s “Kung Fu” from 1972 to 1975, which aired 63 episodes over three seasons and earned David a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination. He appeared in 88 episodes of “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues” from 1993 to 1997, as well as the 1986 television film “Kung Fu: The Movie.”
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Carradine appeared in Martin Scorsese’s 1972 film “Boxcar Bertha,” and he collaborated with Scorsese again in 1973’s “Mean Streets.” He also featured in the films “The Long Goodbye” (1973), “A Country Mile” (1973), “Death Race 2000” (1975), and “Cannonball” (1976) during this period, and he garnered his second Golden Globe nomination for 1976’s “Bound for Glory.” In the 1980s, David featured in over 20 films, including “Lone Wolf McQuade” (1983), “Armed Response” (1986), “Wheels of Terror” (1987), “Run for Your Life” (1988), “Warlords” (1988), “Nowhere to Run” (1989), and “Night Children” (1989). He was nominated for another Golden Globe for his performance as Justin LaMotte in the 1985 miniseries “North and South,” and he narrated the 1983 documentary series “Faces of Culture.” Carradine appeared in films such as “Bird on a Wire” (1990), “Martial Law” (1990), “Karate Cop” (1991), “Double Trouble” (1992), “The Rage” (1997), “Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror” (1998), and “The New Swiss Family Robinson” (1998) in the 1990s, and he voiced Chief Wulisso in 1998’s “An American Tail: The Treasure
Carradine appeared as a guest star on “Just Shoot Me!” (2000), “Titus” (2001), “Alias” (2003; 2004), and “Medium” (2006), as well as hosting “Wild West Tech” on The History Channel from 2004 to 2005 (his half-brother Keith was the original presenter). David starred in the VH1 reality series “Celebrity Paranormal Project” in 2006 and “Celebrity Ghost Stories” in 2009. David co-starred in “Kill Bill: Volume 1” alongside Uma Thurman in 2003, which made $180.9 million at the movie office. He played Bill again in 2004’s “Kill Bill: Volume 2,” which was similarly a box office success ($152.2 million) and won Carradine many award nominations, including his fourth Golden Globe nod. David featured in over 50 films (some of them posthumously) in the 2000s, including “Epic Movie” (2007), “How to Rob a Bank” (2007), “Permanent Vacation” (2007), “Hell Ride” (2008), “Kandisha” (2008), “Crank: High Voltage” (2009), “True Legend” (2010), and “Eldorado” (2011). (2012). Carradine died while shooting the French film “Stretch,” which was released in 2011.
David had five marriages. On Christmas Day 1960, he married his high school girlfriend, Donna Lee Becht, and they had their daughter Calista in April 1962. Following their divorce in late 1967, Carradine started dating his “Heaven with a Gun” co-star Barbara Hershey, with whom he had a son, Free (later changed his name to Tom), in 1972. David and Barbara divorced in the mid-1970s when he started an affair with actress Season Hubley. Carradine married Linda Gilbert on February 2, 1977, and their daughter Kansas was born in 1978. David and Linda separated in October 1983, and on December 4, 1986, he married Gail Jensen. Carradine married Marina Anderson on February 20, 1998, after they were married till early 1997. Marina stated in her divorce filing that David participated in “abhorrent and deviant sexual activity that was possibly lethal,” and she subsequently wrote a book titled “David Carradine: The Eye of My Tornado.” Carradine married Annie Bierman on December 26, 2004, after their divorce was completed in December 2001. They stayed together until David’s death in 2009, and he was stepfather to Annie’s children from her two previous marriages, Amanda, Madeleine, Olivia, and Max.
Carradine was arrested in the late 1950s for attacking a San Francisco police officer. In 1967 and 1980, he was arrested for marijuana possession, and in 1974, he was arrested for malicious mischief and attempted burglary. In 1974, while nude and high on peyote, David stormed into a neighbor’s home and reportedly raped a lady who subsequently sued him for $1.1 million (she only obtained a $20,000 settlement). Carradine was arrested for D.U.I. twice, in 1984 and 1989, and was sentenced the second time to “three years’ summary probation, 48 hours in jail, 100 hours of community service, 30 days’ work picking up trash for the California Department of Transportation, attendance at a drunk driving awareness meeting, and completion of an alcohol rehabilitation program.” He was jailed in 1994 before a Rolling Stones performance at Toronto’s SkyDome for kicking through a glass door. “His side of the story was that he was frightened about being surrounded by people who knew him, so he wanted to go inside the building,” a SkyDome spokeswoman said.
Carradine, 72, was discovered dead in his hotel room at Bangkok’s Swissôtel Nai Lert Park Hotel on June 3, 2009. A police officer said that David was discovered nude and “hanging by a rope in the room’s closet.”
Though many suspected that Carradine committed himself, two examinations revealed that his cause of death was “accidental asphyxiation.” Images of David’s corpse at the site of his death, as well as autopsy photos, were published in newspapers and disseminated on the internet, resulting in anger and an FBI investigation.
Carradine’s burial was held 10 days after his death, and he was interred in a bamboo coffin at Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The title “The Barefoot Legend” and the words “I’m seeking for a place where the dogs don’t bite and children don’t cry and everything always goes just perfectly and brothers don’t quarrel” from his song “Paint” are etched on his tombstone plaque.
Annie Carradine, David’s wife, filed a wrongful death case against MK2 Productions, the company that was producing the film Carradine was shooting in Bangkok at the time of his death, a year after his death. According to the complaint, the company’s assistant offered David with “On the night before the actor’s death, he left him alone for supper. Carradine’s assistant and other film crew members allegedly couldn’t contact him and opted to depart without him. Carradine contacted the assistant an hour later and was informed that the group was across town and that he would have to make his own plans that evening.” Annie won $400,000 from the production firm when the case was resolved in August 2011.
Nominations and Awards
Carradine was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Drama Series – Continuing) for “Kung Fu” in 1973. He was nominated for four Golden Globes: Best TV Actor – Drama for “Kung Fu” (1974), Best Actor in Motion Picture – Drama for “Bound for Glory” (1977), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television for “North and South” (1986), and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for “Kill Bill: Vol. 2.” (2005). David was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 Action on Film International Film Festival, as well as a Capri Legend Award in 2004. Carradine and his half-brothers Keith and Robert got Golden Boot Prizes in 1998, while David garnered Best Supporting Actor awards for “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” at the 2004 Golden Schmoes Awards and the 2005 Saturn Awards (which are put on by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films). He earned a special mention for “Kandisha” during the Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema in 2010, and he was nominated Best Actor by the National Board of Review in 1976 for “Bound for Glory.”
Carradine was nominated for a number of awards for “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” including Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Awards Circuit Community Awards, Gold Derby Awards, International Online Cinema Awards, Italian Online Movie Awards, Online Film & Television Association, Online Film Critics Society Awards, and Satellite Awards. The cast of “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” was also nominated for an Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Cast Ensemble. In 1977, David was nominated for a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for “Bound for Glory.” Carradine was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997 and a bronze plaque on the Walk of Western Stars in 2008, and he was inducted into the Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame posthumously in 2014.