David Gulpilil death: Crocodile Dundee and Australia star dies aged 68

Gulpilil was Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous actor

Sam Moore
Monday 29 November 2021 21:57
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'Crocodile Dundee' actor David Gulpilil, indigenous legend, dead at 68

David Gulpilil, star of Crocodile Dundee and widely considered to be Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous actor, has died aged 68 from lung cancer.

He also appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia alongside Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout, and Netflix’s Cargo with Martin Freeman.

Gulpilil received significant critical acclaim and an AACTA Award for Best Actor for his performance in Charlie’s Country.

Steven Marshall, premier of South Australia, said in a statement: “It is with deep sadness that I share with the people of South Australia the passing of an iconic, once-in-a-generation artist who shaped the history of Australian film and Aboriginal representation on screen.”

Gulpilil was also an accomplished didgeridoo player who mingled with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.

Gulpilil’s birthday is estimated to be 1 July 1953 as there is no actual record of his birth.

After being spotted by Roeg as a 16-year-old, Gulpilil went on to act alongside the likes of Dennis Hopper, William Hurt and Sam Neill.

Gulpilil has also been arrested for domestic abuse several times and served time in prison after fracturing his partner’s arm in 2010.

His last performance was in Storm Boy alongside Geoffrey Rush. The film was released in 2019. Around the same time the actor was diagnosed with lung cancer and subsequently retired from acting.

Gulpilil is survived by his wife and two children.

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