When news broke last week of the death of actor David Carradine, it meant a little more to me than the casual movie fan. Of all the things Carradine gave to Hollywood, he provided me something more.
It's inevitable that whenever anyone sees or hears my name, the question of its origin comes forward. Most believe it to be a Biblical reference, but I would hope that my parents wouldn't name me after the first murderer in history. Thanks, guys.
A TV series debuted in 1972, Kung Fu, with Carradine as the star as a Shaolin monk who travels the Old West. The name of his character is Kwai Chang Caine. The mystery is solved.
The funny thing is that when I reveal this tiny bit of trivia, most people don't believe me. I usually get a chuckle, a smack to the shoulder and then a look of "Are you serious?"
As the story goes, my parents watched the series back in the day and thought that it would make a good name for a kid. I could have ended up as Ponch, Richie or John Boy. Thanks, guys...again.
Carradine was an actor who was able to blend the sensitivity of a monk (Kung Fu) with the savageness of a killer (Kill Bill) and all the while, remain humble. He will be sorely missed in Hollywood.
Godspeed, sir, and thanks.