About David Carradine

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.”

- David Carradine

David Carradine's Art

I was fascinated by Auguste Rodin’s work, and tried to pattern my approach after him.  I think he’s my hero, along with Thomas Jefferson and Beethoven.  I went for those guys because they broke the mold, like Bob Dylan and John Lennon, two more of my heroes.  And then of course there’s Einstein.

I was pretty sure I was going to make sculpture my life’s work, but thinking about it I realized I’d be stuck in a room with a cold, north light and a big piece of rock and maybe a pretty model, and considering how hard Art was to make a living at, I decided to write operas instead.  I figured that was a clear field.  American operas are rare.  And I’d be surrounded by singers, dancers and musicians, and I’d get to drink champagne and wear tuxedos and hang out with Leonard Bernstein.