4. He famously beat out Bruce Lee for the Kung Fu Lead
The role of Caine in Kung Fu remains Carradine’s most famous job.
But Bruce Lee was the original choice – with him helping to create the show and its concepts.
There was outrage that a “Western” thesp was cast instead.
But Kung producer Ed Spielman definitely approved: "I liked David in the part. One of Japan's foremost Karate champions used to say that the only qualification that was needed to be trained in the martial arts was that you had to know how to dance. And on top of being an accomplished athlete and actor, David could dance."
Despite the controversy, it worked out – the show became a major employer for Asian-American actors and Carradine became a major ambassador to the community.
Next: Directing legends