The sad death of actor David Carradine has reminded me of the story about how he because a major star in his most iconic role in smash hit 70’s TV series Kung Fu. The series was in fact developed for Bruce Lee and considering it’s content that makes complete sense but the studio would not cast an Asian even though it was an Asian role so they came up with the crazy premise where a Caucasian child studied in the Shaolin Temple. Carradine did not even know martial arts hence why the fight scenes were all shot in slow motion.
Can you imagine how sensational that show would have been with the greatest on screen martial artist we have ever seen? Ironically Bruce Lee smashed down that racial barrier as in the two subsequent years he became the biggest star in all of Asia and through Enter the Dragon was getting offers as big as anyone in Hollywood at the time of his death. I argue that he turned around a racial barrier in film quicker than any actor in Hollywood history.