HUNDREDS HONOR DAVID CARRADINE
About David Carradine
At a sprawling hillside cemetery in Los Angeles, hundreds gathered to honor David Carradine on Saturday, June 13, 2009. during a funeral attended by his family, former co-stars and Carridine's Hollywood friends.
The services were invitation-only and were held indoors at the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, a 400-acre cemetery adjacent to Griffith Park in Los Angeles.
It was a cold and gloomy day with blasts of wind sweeping across the cemetery. After the two hour funeral, the more than 400 mourners leaving the service were greeted by the parting of clouds in the west and a then a magnificent sunset.
As the guests gathered to talk and hug outside the hall, security continued to ensure that only invited guests gained entry.
The gathering came more than a week after Carradine, 72, was found hanging in a Bangkok hotel room on June 4. Thai authorities continue to investigate his death and the awaited statement by a private pathologist was released on Thursday. He said that suicide had been ruled out as a cause of David Carradine's death.
Family stays out of sight
The reporters and cameras were there, but Carradine's family stayed out of sight. They wanted a private burial. In a statement released on Thursday, Brothers Keith and Robert Carradine said, please give us privacy and understanding as our family mourns.
Before the service, Keith Carradine came outside to greet some people but he quickly headed back inside.
Among the hundreds of guests were numerous actors, including Michael Madsen, Jane Seymour, Tom Selleck, Frances Fisher, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Edward James Olmos, Ali Larter, and James Cromwell. Rob Schneider also attended, carrying a basket of flowers.
Madsen and Liu both starred alongside Carradine in Quentin Tarantino's two-part "Kill Bill" saga. Carradine married his fifth wife, Annie Bierman, at Madsen's home in 2004.
Best known for 'Kung Fu'
Carradine is perhaps best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine on three seasons of the 1970s hit show "Kung Fu." His role in popular culture was cemented by the time he left the show after three seasons in 1975.
He later went on to star in the cult flick "Death Race 2000" and in Ingmar Bergman's "The Serpent's Egg" in 1977, but by the 1980s his career arc had moved to lower-budget fare.
He continued to foster interests in Asian herbs, exercise and philosophy, and made instructional videos on tai chi and other martial arts.
Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films offered Carradine a career resurgence. His role as the titular character earned Carradine a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor for his role in "Kill Bill — Vol. 2."
Carradine's father, John, was a character actor whose 50-year stage and screen career began during Hollywood's early years.
Some mourners on Saturday opted for bits of Western flair, with some sporting cowboy boots and hats and turquoise jewelry. Keith Carradine wore a bolo tie.
Programs handed out to guests included a photo of a smiling Carradine in a tuxedo on the cover and sketch of the actor on the back, above lyrics to "Midnight Rider" by The Allman Brothers Band.
The program indicated several remembrances by Carradine's family and song selections that included The Beatles' "Let It Be" and Ludwig von Beethoven's "Requiem for a Fallen Hero."
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