Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Monitor

David Carradine’s death and ”Bruno”’s lawsuit made news the week of June 7, 2009

Posted on

BIRTHS
Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong, 37, and girlfriend Anna Hansen welcomed a baby boy, Max, June 4 in Aspen, Colo…. Gossip Girl‘s Kelly Rutherford, 40, delivered a baby girl June 8 in L.A. Helena Grace is the second child for Rutherford and ex Daniel Giersch.

MARRIED
Just weeks after the tragic death of his 4-year-old daughter, Mike Tyson, 42, found cause for celebration: He tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Lakiha Spicer on June 6 in Las Vegas.

SPLIT
Lost‘s Emilie de Ravin and husband Josh Janowicz, both 27, filed for divorce. The couple married in June 2006.

RECOVERING
Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle, 48, checked out of a London mental-health center June 4. The singer had been suffering from exhaustion following the show’s finale.

HONORED
Billy Elliot won big at the Tony Awards on June 7, picking up 10 trophies, including one for Best Musical. God of Carnage won Best Play.

APPROVED
On June 9, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced that its members voted to ratify the proposed two-year TV-and-film contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. SAG members have been working without a contract since July 2008.

SETTLED
Brooke Shields, 44, reportedly settled her dispute with the National Enquirer. The actress claimed that a reporter for the tabloid checked her mother out of a nursing home in May in hopes of getting a story.

CONTROVERSY
Following an uproar by UCLA students over the selection of James Franco, 31, as their school’s commencement speaker, the actor canceled due to his filming schedule. Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson was chosen as his replacement.

FAMILY TIME
John Travolta, 55 — still mourning the loss of his son, Jett, who died after suffering a seizure earlier this year — skipped the June 4 premiere of his new film, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. The actor issued a statement on his website thanking the film’s cast and crew for ”their unselfish efforts [that] have allowed my family the additional time to reconcile our loss.”

DEATHS
Singer-songwriter Kenny Rankin, 69, who contributed to Bob Dylan’s 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home, passed away June 7 of lung cancer in L.A. — Additional reporting by Beth Johnson


David Carradine (1936-2009): A mysterious death, a fascinating career
The unsavory circumstances of David Carradine’s death generated plenty of headlines this past week. When the 72-year-old actor was found dead on June 4, bound and hanging in the closet of a Bangkok hotel room, Thai police initially suspected suicide, but that quickly gave way to more grim scenarios centering on auto-erotic asphyxiation. With autopsies under way — by both Thai authorities and Carradine’s family, who have reportedly enlisted forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden — the exact nature of his death may be known within a month. But what’s been obscured by the grisly details of how he died is the fact that, over his career, Carradine carved out an inimitable place in the firmament of American pop culture — mostly with fist jabs and roundhouse kicks.

Carradine became famous for his role on the hit ’70s TV series Kung Fu, playing Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk roaming the American West. But even then, the son of character actor John Carradine was uncomfortable with celebrity. ”He wasn’t a conventional sort of man,” remembers Radames Pera, who played Carradine’s character as a youngster in flashbacks throughout the series. ”Carradine was an artist. He thumbed his nose at Hollywood. He would call himself ‘the barefoot legend,’ and that’s the way he lived.”

In the ’90s, Carradine returned to the Kung Fu franchise with a spin-off TV series, but his quiet, raspy charm was best showcased as the titular assassin in Quentin Tarantino’s two-part Kill Bill. ”I’m not even sure that I’ve lived yet,” Carradine told EW just before the first film’s release in 2003. ”I don’t think I’ve hardly started. It seems like I reinvent myself every few years and get a whole new life.” Farewell, Grasshopper. — Benjamin Svetkey, with additional reporting by Josh Rottenberg

Brüno: Vassup With the Lawsuit?
Eminem may have been feigning anger during Sacha Baron Cohen‘s MTV Movie Awards stunt, but not everyone is so game to play along with Brüno, Baron Cohen’s flamboyantly gay Austrian character. While filming the Borat-like Brüno in 2007, Baron Cohen punk’d a California woman, Richelle Olson, who’s now accusing the actor of crashing her charity bingo game — and then attacking her — in a lawsuit filed May 22. But lawyers behind the movie, out July 10, fought back in a letter they sent to Olson’s attorney: ”Mr. Baron Cohen never touched Olson, much less assaulted her…. Mr. [Baron] Cohen offered only light-hearted comments that were met with general laughter from the audience, and even applause.” — Kate Ward