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Actor David Carradine found dead

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American actor David Carradine has been found dead, hanging by a nylon rope in a hotel room closet in Bangkok, Thailand, according to a Thai police official.

Carradine, who became famous in the 1970s when he starred as traveling Shaolin monk Kwai Chang Caine in the television series "Kung Fu," was 72.

The rope was believed to be from the hotel room curtains, Bangkok Police Lt. Col. Pirom Chanpirom said Thursday.

He said investigators found no sign of forced entry into Carradine's room.

An autopsy was being conducted at a Bangkok hospital, but no results will be available for another day, he said.

A Carradine family spokeswoman issued a short statement saying the family "is devastated by the news of David's passing."

"Circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown, and there will be no further comment until more information can be confirmed," the statement said.

"The family appreciates the many expressions of condolence, and asks for privacy at this time."

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Police provided Carradine's family with information about their investigation, said Tiffany Smith, Carradine's personal co-manager.

Smith said she was "in complete shock" and that suggestions that Carradine took his own life are unbelievable.

"Knowing David, he would never commit suicide," and his death comes at a time when his "career is on a roll," she said.

Carradine was in Bangkok for filming of the movie "Stretch," being produced by a United Kingdom-based company, she said. He was the only American cast member.

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Modern audiences may best know Carradine as "Bill" in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films. He earned a 2005 Golden Globe nomination for his role in the second movie in the two-part saga.

His career included more than 100 feature films, two dozen television movies and theater work, according to the Internet Movie Database. Photo See photos of some of his notable roles »

"He was clearly an actor who followed his own path," said Leah Rozen, the movie critic for People magazine.

"He was never a guy who talked a whole lot. You knew him as an actor, the characters he played, you knew they had a past, you knew there was probably some unhappiness there, but he wasn't going to talk about it."

Carradine made appearances in television series including "Gunsmoke" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." His first starring role in a series was as the title character in "Shane" in 1966.

He worked with such directors as Martin Scorsese in "Box Car Bertha" in 1972 and Robert Altman in "The Long Goodbye" in 1973. iReport: Share memories of David Carradine

Carradine was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as folk music legend Woody Guthrie in the 1976 movie "Bound For Glory," according to a biography on his official Web site.

His theater career began while he studied drama at San Francisco State College in California.

He later landed roles on Broadway in "The Deputy" and "The Royal Hunt of the Sun."

Carradine's legacy will probably be the "Kill Bill" movies and the "Kung Fu" series, Rozen said.

The "Kill Bill" casting was particularly smart, she added.

"Tarantino was tapping into his just natural coolness, but more to the point, Tarantino was playing off that he still had this whole following from the 'Kung Fu' TV series," Rozen said. Video Watch Carradine talk about his 'Kung Fu' role »

Carradine, who was married five times and divorced four, is survived by his widow, Annie Bierman, according to People magazine.

Carradine was part of an acting dynasty. He was the son of actor John Carradine, a character actor who had appeared in hundreds of films, plays and television episodes. David Carradine also acted with his brothers Keith and Robert.

"David's career as an artist did not begin on the stage, though some of his early career was on and off Broadway. His earliest work was as a sculptor and painter," Carradine's official Web site says.

The site also includes an "Art Bio" in which the actor opens up about his life.


"I've always had an especially hard time with everything I've tried to do," Carradine wrote.

"I've made it pretty big as an actor in spite of being terminally shy. ... Invariably, I had huge obstacles to overcome in anything I tried. Had to work against my genes to achieve my dreams."

Sounds like it was murder.


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