Idol Chatter

DavidCarradinephoto.jpgDavid Carradine, the well-known, well-remembered and well-misunderstood actor, died on the other side of the world recently, and news emerged that his death was the result of either suicide, personal experimentation gone bad, or foul play.
Now the news has come that has ruled out suicide as the cause of death. Unfortunately, however, whatever media attention is given to this will probably focus on the many questions yet to be answered, as exemplified in The Bangkok Post among other outlets. Reports from Bangkok police were not flattering and the newspapers were fairly transparent in describing the murder scene. He had apparently died from either suicide or some sort of personal exploration that didn’t go as planned. Clues of possible foul play have proved inconclusive thus far.
I would like to see the media focus on his life. David Carradine first became known to a wide range of Americans while playing Kwai Chang Caine in television’s “Kung Fu,” which played from 1972-1975. He was famous for that role for the rest of his life, although a new generation got to know him briefly through the “Kill Bill” film, TV’s “Alias” and some other movies and lesser known roles. He had actually been active in more movie projects recently than in previous years.

But while he was known publicly as a simple man of wisdom, his private life was anything but simple. He had seven children through a domestic partnership (with Barbara Hershey) and three failed marriages. He was accused by ex-wife Marina Anderson of “deviant sexual behavior” in court documents which also asserted that he had admitted to an incestuous relationship as well. When he died he was married to Annie Bierman. If true, it is tragic that the life-giving simplicity portrayed in his public life was something he wasn’t experiencing in his private life.
It is comfortable and comforting to say of those who’ve passed that “at least now they’re at peace.” Of course, almost all of us have never been to the other side so it’s challenging to speak about what it’s really like after our run is done here on Earth. By my faith, I hope to see those who’ve passed and to ask them questions about their life and times. If I run into Mr. Carradine, I would want to ask if there were aspects of the lessons of “Kung Fu” that he carried with him through his life, or was that simply a role that he was known for but didn’t necessarily live by. In the meantime, may he, truly, rest in peace.

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