Kicking off the week is another look at Bix Courtney, the ill-tempered outlaw of the Kung Fu episode “Ambush.” It was first broadcast on April 4, 1975. Here he confronts series star David Carradine.
The son of legendary character actor John Carradine (also in this episode), David created his own legend over the years as a gifted, award-winning actor, musician and martial artist. He topped off a memorable career with his wonderful performance as the title character of Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill: Vols. 1 & 2 (2003-4). His accidental death in 2009 robbed us of a great talent.
Better late than never, today’s pic comes to us from the Kung Fu episode “Ambush”. It first aired on April 4, 1975. While waiting with his gang to track down a stash of silver, Timothy’s grumpy outlaw Bix Courtney decides to be just plain rude to blind preacher Serenity Johnson (John Carradine).
Carradine, father of series star David Carradine, is a legend in his own right. He made his acting debut at the age of 19 on the New Orleans stage and never looked back. His craggy features and stentorian voice can be seen and heard in everything from James Whale‘s The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and John Ford‘s The Grapes of Wrath (1940) to Ted V. Mikel‘s The Astro-Zombies (1968) and Al Adamson‘s Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970). From the sublime to the ridiculous, indeed. He even sings the title tune of Coleman Francis‘ Night Train to Mundo Fine (aka Red Zone Cuba). You’ll never forget it – no matter how hard you try. A lesser actor’s career never would have survived such atrocities. Carradine emerged triumphant and never stopped working, right up until his death in 1988.
Thursday’s pic comes your way from the Kung Fu episode “Ambush,” first airing on March 22, 1975. Tim is mean, grumpy and glowering as Bix Courtney, lying in wait for a chance to relieve Rhonda Fleming of a stash of silver.
This was one of Tim’s last appearances in anything with a Western theme. It was also the last appearance on Kung Fu for John Carradine, father of its star David, as the wily blind preacher Serenity Johnson.