Fox’s “Mental” will pay tribute to the late David Carradine at the end of next week’s episode, even as tributes pour in for the late “Kung Fu” star and preparations begin for his funeral.
Thai police believe that the Carradine most likely died of asphyxiation, but it may have been the result of an autoerotic sex game gone wrong, the Washington Post reports.
"It is unclear whether he committed suicide or not or he died of suffocation or heart failure," Lt. Gen. Worapong Chewprecha of the Royal Thai Police told reporters.
As for “Mental,” the actor filmed a guest spot last summer on the Fox series as “a famous professor, author and philosopher” who gets struck by lightening and falls into a coma.
“‘The Mental’ episode featuring guest star David Carradine will air as planned Tuesday, June 9 on Fox,” the network said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.”
The episode will end with an “In Memoriam” card. It is unknown at the moment whether Fox will use Carradine’s image in promos for the episode.
The 72-year-old film and TV actor was found dead on Wednesday, June 3, in Bangkok, where he was shooting the film “Stretch.” His nude body was found by a hotel maid with a rope around his neck and genitals, leading to speculation that the death may have been the result of autoerotic asphyxiation.
"Knowing him, I can’t imagine it was self-inflicted," Chuck Binder, Carradine’s manager, told EW.com. "I’ve worked with him for six years. There’s no way. He was happy. It just doesn’t make sense."
Producer Nathan Folks and actress Bai Ling also insist the actor was not suicidal, Fox News reports.
"I don’t believe he would have killed himself. Even though he was a very complicated man he was so at peace with himself,” Ling said. “He did so many good things and really wanted to do more things, he told me his career was just really starting and new. You can see thru his eyes he is a complicated but funny person – he spent 20 years mainly doing independent films which I think made him have a lot of interesting thoughts in his head. But he really was someone who was full of life."
A full autoposy report is expected Saturday, but a hospital worker who read the report told AFP, “He died from acute lack of air. Forensic workers have looked at nail and tissue samples to check if the DNA matches DNA found on the rope.”
Carradine’s body will return to Los Angeles on Saturday, ET Online says. The actor is best known for starring in the 70s TV series “Kung Fu” and the “Kill Bill” films.
Lawrence Bender, producer of “Kill Bill,” paid tribute to the actor on Huffington Post.
“I’ll never forget the first time I met him for the movie, with Harvey Weinstein,” he wrote. “Quentin already had called him and told him he had the role — before Harvey and I had even had the opportunity to even meet with him. So here’s David having to come to meet the producers, after the director had given him the job. To say he was coming there with trepidation would be an understatement. He was very defensive and, honestly, I didn’t blame him. But the second he looked at us with that David Carradine look that he gave, Harvey and I looked at each other and laughed and said, "This is Bill!" (the main character of our movie). From there, things warmed up pretty damn quickly and all was good.”