Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 12:37 UK

Tributes paid to actor Carradine

David Carradine
The star was in Thailand working on his latest film

Tributes have been paid to Kung Fu and Kill Bill star David Carradine who was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room on Thursday, aged 72.

Director Martin Scorsese said he was "deeply saddened" by the news and called him a "uniquely talented actor".

The star was found naked in a wardrobe with a cord around his neck and other parts of his body.

Coroners in Thailand completed an autopsy on Friday, but said they had not yet determined the cause of death.

The process is expected to take up to four weeks, local police commander Somprasong Yenthaum told the AFP news agency.

Scorsese said: "We met when we made Boxcar Bertha together, almost 40 years ago. I have very fond memories of our time together on that picture and on Mean Streets, where he agreed to do a brief cameo.

"David was a great collaborator, a uniquely talented actor, and a wonderful spirit. He loved movies, acting in movies, making movies, and he was always extremely generous."

'Great memories'

Thai hotel statement on David Carradine's death

Actor Michael Madsen, who co-starred with Carradine in Kill Bill and worked with him on a number of movies after, said the star had "a very special place in my heart".

"David was one of the first actors I ever worked with when I started my career and the closest person to a brother that I ever had in my life," he said.

"I had been thinking about calling him for the last several days and advise anybody who has been thinking about reaching out to a loved one to do so. I have so many great memories of David that I wouldn't even know where to begin."

Carradine's niece, actress Martha Plimpton, described the star as "the nexus of our family".

"We will all miss him terribly, and are so grateful for everyone's condolences," she added.

Rainn Wilson, star of the US version of The Office wrote via Twitter: "RIP David Carradine. You were a true hero to so many of us children of the 70s. We'll miss you, Kwai Chang Caine."

David Carradine and Michael Madsen
I have so many great memories of David that I wouldn't even know where to begin
Actor Michael Madsen

Carradine was in Thailand working on his latest film called Stretch when he was found in his room at the Swissotel Nai Lert Park hotel.

Police Lieutenant General Worapong Chewprecha told reporters that it was unclear whether the star took his own life, or if he died of suffocation or heart failure while performing a sex act.

'Good spirits'

But a spokeswoman for Carradine has dismissed the theory he may have taken his own life.

"All we can say is, we know David would never have committed suicide," said Tiffany Smith, of Binder and Associates.

"We're just waiting for them to finish the investigation and find out what really happened. He really appreciated everything life has to give - and that's not something David would ever do to himself."

She added that Carradine was "in good spirits" when he left the US for Thailand on 29 May.

A lawyer for Carradine's brother Keith told CNN's Larry King that the family wanted the FBI to help investigate the death.

Thai police said they had not been contacted by the FBI as yet.

Aurelio Giraudo, the hotel's general manager, told Associated Press Carradine had chatted with staff and even played the piano and flute in the lobby, which the "guests really enjoyed".

Carradine rose to fame as half-Asian martial arts specialist Kwai Chang Caine in the US TV series Kung Fu, which earned him an Emmy nomination.

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