"David Carradine lived the life Hunter S. Thompson only WROTE about!" —M.J. Weldon, Psychotronic Video.
Best known for his work in Kung Fu and Kill Bill, Carradine was one of the most unique stars of our time – fueled by a love-hate relationship with his father, actor John Carradine. Their tempestuous relationship led to David's botched suicide attempt after his father died by shooting himself in the groin with a blank pistol on a movie set!
David's father, John, who appeared in hundreds of films from House to Dracula to the classic Stagecoach was a party animal who hung with boozy pals John Barrymore and Errol Flynn and led a troubled much-married life of his own. There was no love lost between him and John, Jr. – later to be known as David – as father alternately praised then condemned his son's acting performances.
Yet John, aged 82, died in his son David's arms in Milan, Italy November 27, 1988.
Three months later David's mother, John's first wife, Abigail McCool Carradine died in Feburary 1989.
Depressed, understandably upset and stressed from overwork while shooting yet another low-budget actioner, Future Force, David "accidentally" shot himself in the groin with a prop blank pistol. Although not as deadly as a real gun, a blank gun can still cause plenty of damage.
On July 20, 1989, David appeared on The Pat Sajak Show and as he walked through the curtains, he immediately fell down much to the delight of the audience.
Not the best host, Sajak "smoothed" the stunt over with "So… you shot yourself recently?"
Ever the trouper, David coolly responded, "Ya wanna see the scar? It ruined a perfectly good tattoo."
Carradine had "flames tattooed on his penis, Kung Fu symbols on his scrotum… pierced with a gold chain," according to the makeup artist on the two Future Force flicks but Sajak declined.
David then regaled The Wheel of Fortune host with tales of drugs, Goldie Hawn, his evangelist great-grandfather and more.
When Sajak finally had enough of his genial but rambling guest and said "Goodbye", David snapped "That's all I get – eleven minutes?!"
Sadly, on June 4, 2009, Carradine was found dead in his hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand while shooting his latest actioner — the ironically titled “Stretch”. A police official said that Carradine was found hanging by a rope naked in the room's closet. The medical examiner after performing an autopsy ruled suicide out, saying it was an accident — the result of autoerotic asyphyxiation gone terribly wrong.