David Carradine  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

David Carradine (born John Arthur Carradine, December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009) was an American actor, best known for his work in the 1970s television series Kung Fu and more recently in the movie Kill Bill. He appeared in more than 100 feature films.


Carradine was known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine in the 1970s television series Kung Fu; he starred in the 1990s spinoff Kung Fu: The Legend Continues as the grandson of his original character. In movies, he starred as 'Big' Bill Shelly in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha (1972), folksinger Woody Guthrie in Bound for Glory (1976), Abel Rosenberg in Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg (1977), and as Bill in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2 (2003, 2004, respectively).

Other notable roles included the lead in Shane (the 1966 television series based upon the 1949 novel of the same name) and a gunslinger in Taggart, a 1964 western film based on a novel by Louis L'Amour. He also starred in the Broadway version of the play The Royal Hunt of the Sun in 1965. More recently, he portrayed Tempus, a powerful demon with the ability to manipulate time, on the popular television series Charmed, as well as Conrad in the television series Alias. Carradine twice played a supernatural being with the power to control time: "Tempus" on Charmed and "Clockwork" on Danny Phantom.

Carradine appeared in an episode of Lizzie McGuire, and also provided his voice for the King of the Hill episode, Returning Japanese, in which he voiced the character of Hank's Japanese half-brother. He provided the voice for Lo Pei, the ancient warrior who was responsible for Shendu's petrification in the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures.

Carradine produced and starred in several exercise videos teaching the martial arts of Tai chi and Qi Gong. Carradine actually had no knowledge of martial arts prior to starring in the series Kung Fu, but developed an interest in it after this experience and became an avid practitioner.

Carradine appeared as the host of Wild West Tech on the History Channel, taking over the duties from his brother Keith. He narrated the PBS anthropology series "Faces of Culture". In 2006, he became the spokesman for Yellowbook, a publisher of independent telephone directories in the United States. He was also the TV spokesperson for Lipton ("This ain't no sippin' tea"), in a memorable commercial where he paid homage not only to Kung Fu, but also to the Three Stooges.

Carradine also appeared in the music video for "Minus You" by the southern California band Chapel of Thieves, which was co-directed by the YouTube personality Boh3m3. He also worked with the Jonas Brothers in their video Burnin' Up, playing a Kung Fu Master, and planned to work with Miley Cyrus. In 2009, he played a 100 year-old Chinese gangster in Crank: High Voltage.


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Taggart Cal Dodge
1966 Shane Shane Television
1967 Johnny Belinda Locky Television
The Violent Ones Lucas Barnes
1972 Boxcar Bertha 'Big' Bill Shelly
1972-1975 Kung Fu Kwai Chang Caine Television
1973 Mean Streets Drunk
1975 Death Race 2000 Frankenstein
1976 CannonballCoy 'Cannonball' Buckman
Bound for Glory Woody Guthrie
1977 The Serpent's Egg Abel Rosenberg
1978 Circle of Iron The Blind Man/Monkeyman/Death/Changsha
Gray Lady Down Capt. Gates
1979 Mr. Horn Tom Horn Television
1980 Cloud Dancer Brad Randolph
The Long Riders Cole Younger
1982 QDetective Shepard
1983 Americana The American Soldier
Lone Wolf McQuade Rawley Wilkes
1984 The Warrior and the Sorceress Kain
1985 North and South Justin LaMotte Television
1986 Behind Enemy Lines Col.James Cooper
Kung Fu:The Movie Kwai Chang Caine Television
1987 Six against the Rock Bernard 'Bernie' Paul Coy Television
1990 Bird on a Wire Sorenson
1991 Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Jozek Mardulak/Count Dracula
Karate Cop \"Dad\"
1992 Animal Instincts William Lamberti
1992 Roadside Prophets Othello
1993-1997 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Kwai Chang Caine Television
1998 An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island Cheif Wulisso
1999 Charmed Tempus Television
2001 Lizzie McGuire Himself Television
Alias Conrad Television
2002 King of the Hill Junichiro Hill Television

"The Outsider" Haines Television

2003 Wild West Tech Host (Starting in 2004) Television
American Reel James Springer
Kill Bill: Vol. I Bill
2004 Kill Bill: Vol. II Bill
2005 Brothers in Arms Driscoll
Miracle at Sage Creek Ike
Danny Phantom Clockwork Television
2006 Medium Jessica's Brother Television
Final Move Captain Baker
Saints Row William Sharp (voice)
The Last Sect Van Helsing
2007 Epic Movie The Curator
Fall Down Dead Wade
Homo Erectus Mookoo
Permanent Vacation Old Man
Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter Mikhail
Big Stan TBA
How to Rob a Bank Nick
The Trident The Shopkeeper
Treasure Raiders Pierre
Camille Cowboy Bob
2008 Chatham Captain Zeb
Last Hour Detective Mike Stone
Hell Ride TBA
Richard III Buckingham
Break The Bishop
Money to Burn Klau
Untitled David Lee Miller Project Vargas
Kandisha The American
Night of the Templar Shopkeeper
Autumn Philip
Burnin' up clip (Jonas Brothers) Himself

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