Actor David Carradine has been found dead in a Bangkok hotel room, according to multiple news reports. BBC News says that he was in Thailand filming his latest movie, Stretch. He was 72.

The eldest son of character actor John Carradine made more than 200 appearances in films and television shows, first rising to prominence with his starring role as Caine in the TV series Kung Fu. At the time, me and my friends thought he was the coolest thing on the planet: he sought peace with everyone he encountered, yet could quickly put down any opposition that arose simply by using his hands and feet (and head). Later I caught up with his 70s film work: a union leader in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha, laconic race car driver Frankenstein in Paul Bartel's Death Race 2000, and, especially, his embodiment of folk singer Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby's Bound for Glory.

More recently he starred with Uma Thurman in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies, which were widely viewed as a "comeback" for him, but, really, he never went away. He had a trio of very solid performances in the early 80s: as Paul Gaugin in the TV movie Gaugin the Savage; as Cole Younger, an outlaw trying to hold his family together in Walter Hill's The Long Riders; and as a police detective tracking down a flying serpent run amuck in Manhattan in Larry Cohen's Q.

categories Movies, Cinematical