David Gulpilil, trailblazing Indigenous Australian actor best known for Crocodile Dundee, dies at 68
David Gulpilil, the Australian actor best known for his iconic role in Crocodile Dundee, died Monday. He was 68 years old.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall confirmed Gulpilil's death in a statement, saying, "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."
Known as Australia's pioneering Indigenous actor, Gulpilil hailed from the Mandhalpingu clan of the Yolŋu people and grew up in Northern Australia. He made his mark on Australian cinema in the 1971 movie Walkabout when he was 16, before breaking out in the blockbuster comedy Crocodile Dundee.
His 50-year career included films such as The Tracker, Charlie's Country, Mad Dog Morgan, The Last Wave, and Rabbit-Proof Fence, for which he received a best supporting actor nomination from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. He also received a second award for the movie Charlie's Country, which acted as a personal comeback of sorts for the actor after spending time in jail for aggravated assault.
Gulpilil had been battling lung cancer since his diagnosis in 2017. In addition to acting, he was known for being a tribal dancer, singer, actor, and painter.