Michael Madsen opens up about son’s suicide, claims he was shamed for seeking help

A smiling man wearing a tuxedo, bowtie and dark sunglasses
Actor Michael Madsen is mourning the death of his 26-year-old son, Hudson.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision/Associated Press)

“Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill” star Michael Madsen and his family are “incredibly overwhelmed with grief and sadness” over the death of his son Hudson Madsen, who was also filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s godson.

The 26-year-old Oahu resident died of a gunshot wound, according to the City and County of Honolulu Dept. of the Medical Examiner. Supervising investigator Charlotte Carter said Tuesday that Madsen’s manner of death was listed as a suicide, citing his death certificate.

The department does not release death dates, Carter said, but noted that a full autopsy report would be available to the public in about four months.


An attorney for Madsen said Wednesday that the actor is doing well and is surrounded by his children while his wife is in Hawaii making arrangements.

A father and son wearing colorful baseball caps, one holding a lollipop
Michael Madsen, left, and son Hudson Madsen in Las Vegas in 2011.
(David Becker / WireImage)

“I am in shock as my son, whom I just spoke with a few days ago, said he was happy - my last text from him was ‘I love you dad,’” Madsen said in a statement to The Times.

“I didn’t see any signs of depression. It’s so tragic and sad. I’m just trying to make sense of everything and understand what happened,” he continued.

He said Hudson had just completed his first tour in the U.S. Army, where he was a sergeant stationed in Hawaii, and that his marriage “was going strong.” According to social media posts from Hudson and his wife, Carlie, he spent time in Afghanistan.

“He had typical life challenges that people have with finances, but he wanted a family,” Madsen said. “He was looking towards his future, so its [sic] mind blowing. I just can’t grasp what happened.”

Actor Michael Madsen was sentenced to five years of probation after crashing his truck in Malibu while drunk earlier this year

Aug. 15, 2019

The actor, 64, said that he has asked for a full investigation by the military. He believes “that officers and rank and file were shaming” his son for needing therapy and that made him stop getting help for mental health issues that he had been keeping private.

“We are heartbroken and overwhelmed with grief and pain at the loss of Hudson,” the Madsen family said Tuesday in a statement to Metro. “His memory and light will be remembered by all who knew and loved him. We ask for privacy and respect during this difficult time. Thank you.”


Hudson Madsen is survived by his wife, his father, mother DeAnna and siblings Christian, Calvin, Max and Luke.