29th November, 2021
David Gulpilil, the famous Crocodile Dundee actor has died at the age of 68 after battling cancer for four years.
The aboriginal Australian actor hailed from the Mandhalpingu clan of the Yolŋu people and was raised in Arnhem land.
He lived his final years in Murray Bridge, a town 75 kilometres east of Adelaide.
His death was announced by South Australian Premier Steven Marshall in a statement on Monday.
“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 – David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu.”
“David Gulpilil’s life was not without its struggles – he encountered racism and discrimination, and lived with the pressures of the divide between his traditional lifestyle and his public profile,” Mr Marshall said.
“It was no surprise to anyone that he was front and centre on opening night, where he would receive his final standing ovation,” Mr Marshall said.
“He began as a man who lived his land and his culture, and he was a man who took it to the world.
“My thoughts are with his family, and his dear friend and carer Mary Hood.”
Gulpilil introduced the world to his culture in his breakout role in Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout in 1971 and he made his mark in the 1986 blockbuster Crocodile Dundee.
The legendary actor and internationally acclaimed dancer also starred in Storm Boy, The Tracker, Ten Canoes and Charlie’s Country.
He was recognised for his services to the arts in the 1987 Queen’s Birthday Honours List – being awarded the Member of the Order of Australia.
A documentary called My Name is Gulpilil about his life was created following his lung cancer diagnosis – a film about the actor’s journey.