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, and Robert Carradine, and an uncle of actresses Martha Plimpton, Ever Carradine, and Sorel Carradine.
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 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