Stars pay tribute to Kung Fu actor Carradine

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The Independent US

Hundreds gathered to pay tribute to Kung Fu actor David Carradine at a sprawling Los Angeles hillside cemetery in a funeral attended by family, former co-stars and other Hollywood friends.

The invitation-only services were held indoors at the Hall of Liberty at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, a 400-acre cemetery next to Griffith Park.

Guests gathered and hugged outside the hall, where security ensured only invited guests gained entry.

They gathered more than a week after Carradine, 72, was found hanging in a hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 4, after what was believed to have been a sex game that went tragically wrong.

Carradine's family stayed out of sight from a small group of reporters and cameras and the burial was private.

His brothers Keith and Robert Carradine asked for privacy and understanding while the family mourned.

Keith Carradine briefly appeared outside before the service and greeted some people before heading back inside.

Among the 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.

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.

Programmes 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 programme indicated several remembrances by Carradine's family and song selections that included The Beatles' Let It Be and Beethoven's Requiem For A Fallen Hero.