David Carradine

by ethnic on June 5, 2009

Birth Name: John Arthur Carradine

Date of Birth: December 8, 1936

Place of Birth: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: June 3, 2009

Place of Death: Nai Lert Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Ethnicity: English, along with German, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch

David Carradine was an American actor and martial artist. He was famous for his role on the 1970s television series Kung Fu. He was the son of Ardanelle Abigail (McCool) and actor John Carradine (born Richmond Reed Carradine), the half-brother of actors Christopher Carradine, Keith Carradine, Robert Carradine, and Michael Bowen, and the uncle of actresses Ever Carradine and Martha Plimpton.

David was married to Annie Bierman, until his death. He had a daughter with his former wife, Donna Lee Becht, a son with his former partner, actress Barbara Hershey, and a daughter with his former wife, Linda Gilbert.

In an interview with Stuff (a website), David stated that he had Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, German, Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian, and Cherokee Native American ancestry. David had English, with smaller amounts of German, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch ancestry (smaller to varying degees). However, no verified Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian, or Cherokee Native American ancestry appears in publicly available family trees of David Carradine.

The surname Carradine is sometimes said to have an Italian or Spanish origin. David’s last traceable patrilineal ancestor is believed to have been a man named Parker Carradine, who was born in Georgia, in North America, c. 1755. There is no evidence that Parker had Italian or Spanish ancestry.

In the Kung Fu series, David played the part of a Shaolin priest named Kwai Chang Caine. David had mentioned that many Chinese people actually thought that he had some Chinese ancestry, though he did not.

David died at the age of 72, in a hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 4, 2009. He was in Thailand to shoot a new film at the time.

David’s paternal grandfather was William Reed Carradine (the son of The Rev. Beverly Francis Carradine and of Laura Reid). William was born in Mississippi. Beverly, a Methodist religious author, was the son of Henry Francis Carradine and Mary Caroline Hewitt. Laura was likely the daughter of David Young Reid and Martha Alice Goss.

David’s paternal grandmother was Genevieve Winifred Richmond (the daughter of Horace Calver/Culver Richmond and Winifred/Winifrede Ryan). Genevieve was born in New York. Horace was the son of Killian van Rensselaer Richmond and Emily Culver.

David’s maternal grandfather was Ambrose Rucker McCool (the son of John S. McCool and Lucy C. Rucker). Ambrose was born in Illinois. John was the son of Thomas McCool and Hannah Dinsmore. Lucy was the daughter of Ambrose Rucker and Miranda Haase.

David’s maternal grandmother was Edith Foster (the daughter of William Bolliver Foster and Emma Koch). Edith was born in Ohio. William was possibly the son of Joseph Foster and Louisa Jane Coleman.

Sources: A discussion of the Carradine family’s origins – http://www.familytreecircles.com

Genealogies of David Carradine – https://www.geni.com

Genealogies of David Carradine (focusing on his father’s side) – http://www.findagrave.com

CarlaVanWagoner / Shutterstock.com

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant February 20, 2018 at 2:44 pm

in germany kung fu is still on tv and i watch it before i go to work :-==

andrew October 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm
andrew October 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm
phaedra March 22, 2016 at 10:50 pm

Looks too ethnic to be these ethnicities….He looks Hungarian/Slavic.

bablah March 23, 2016 at 5:02 am

English, German, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch are all ”ethnic”.
I don’t even understand how one can be more or less ”ethnic”. And what is so Hungarian/Slavic about David Carradine?

gel October 11, 2015 at 2:29 am

“Carradine” could well be a corruption of the Irish name Carabine!


neiltennant July 19, 2015 at 4:15 am

that hurts me so much

only because some ethnicities are not verified that does not mean that they don’t have such ethnicities

when he says he has italian and native roots, that must be true

Gurrl August 8, 2015 at 1:18 am

“when he says he has italian and native roots, that must be true” lol :D

neiltennant August 8, 2015 at 6:08 am

cerradine is an italian surname

if he was not adopted that could be important

roman2886 March 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I have a similar background English Irish Scottish Welsh Austrian German Italian Spanish Filipino Chinese Japanese Indonesian and Malaysian.

roman2886 March 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

His ancestry was originally as listed English Irish Scottish Welsh Italian Ukrainian Spanish and Cherokee ethnic celebs should change it back.

opel101 July 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I don’t know about Ukrainian, Spanish or Cherokee but he wasn’t Italian, so no, they should NOT change it back.

andrew April 8, 2013 at 7:25 pm

The other user wrote about that and I did my researches. It could be an old family story Carradine sr. knew

nnnnn September 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I read about his death, I didn’t know, if I should laugh or pity.
The reason of death – perverted s-m experiments…

levangelista36 June 18, 2012 at 1:31 am
Pete March 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm

His Name is Italian

rickyflo April 6, 2013 at 8:22 am

His name is Italian, silly a–! Carradine is a common Italian heritage name!

andrew April 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm
rickyflo April 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Look, I don’t just say s— out of my ass. Carradine is named for carradini, carradino and all these carradine HERITTTAGGGGEEESS come from italy, and Ireland during some point or inconclusively no where because of the obscurity. Of course, he fits the features of everything there somewhat, but I can see the Italian in him and we people with Italian have few features that make that so. and Who cares he may know and his employers rather than all of your stupid asses but guess what I looked at his imdb bio and trivia. He has everything of the matter except Dutch part, and that just schooled your f—— asses. peace and out. piss me off like that. Educate yourselves before stupidity and being proven wrong.

opel101 July 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Hahaha awwww, are you getting mad, rickyflo? Just give up already. It’s been pretty much proven that he had no known Italian ancestor (on his father’s side) because they tracked his line to a man who lived in 1755 and found NO Italian in there. And what’s this BS about how you can “see” the Italian in him? LOL, that’s total BULL. Hahahaha, keep getting angry little boy. I love it.

andrew April 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

in the italian wikipedia page about his father. the actor John Carradine, there is written he revealed to Italian tv his original surname was Corradini


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