David Carradine™ was born in Hollywood, California, the eldest son of legendary character actor John Carradine, and his wife, Ardanelle Abigail (McCool). He presided over an acting family that included brothers Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine, as well as his daughters Calista Carradine and Kansas Carradine, and nieces Ever Carradine and Martha Plimpton.

Carradine was born in Hollywood and educated at San Francisco State College, where he studied music theory and composition. It was while writing music for the Drama Department’s annual revues that he discovered his own passion for the stage, joining a Shakespearean repertory company and learning his craft on his feet. After a two-year stint in the army, he found work in New York as a commercial artist and later found fame on Broadway in The Deputy and The Royal Hunt of the Sun opposite Christopher Plummer. With that experience he returned to Hollywood, landing the lead in the short-lived TV series Shane (1966) before being tapped to star opposite Barbara Hershey in Martin Scorsese’s first Hollywood film, Boxcar Bertha (1972). The iconic Kung Fu (1972) followed, catapulting Carradine to superstardom for the next three years, until he left the series to pursue his film career.

“There’s an alternative. There’s always a third way, and it’s not a combination of the other two ways. It’s a different way.”


  • 1966 Theatre World Award, Royal Hunt of the Sun
  • 1974 TP de Oro, Spain. Best Foreign Actor, Kung Fu
  • 1997 Gold Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Television
  • 1998: Honoree — The 16th Annual Golden Boot Awards(along with brothers Keith and Robert)
  • 2005: Action on Film International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award — First annual recipient
  • 2005: Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Saturn Award, Best Supporting Actor, Kill Bill: Volume 2
  • 2008 Honoree — Walk of Western Stars

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