“Crocodile Dundee” actor Dalaithngu has died

Actress Nicole Kidman (center), actor Hugh Jackman (left) and actor David Gulpilil pose with co-star Brandon Walters (below) for a photo following a press conference before the Australia premiere in Sydney on November 18, 2008 Photo: AFP

David Dalaithngu, the native Australian actor who fascinated audiences in his breakout film Walkabout and was hailed as one of the country’s greatest artists, has died at the age of 68, four years after receiving diagnosed with lung cancer.

Dalaithngu, who belonged to the Mandhalpingu clan of the Yolngu people and grew up in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia, has won international accolades for his piercing performances.

After his first film Walkabout (1971), his career spanned five decades and included works from Storm Boy (1976) to Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), The Tracker (2002) and Charlie’s Country (2013), for which he won Cannes’ “Un Certain Regard” Award for Best Actor.

He was probably best known for his role in Crocodile Dundee (1986), shortly after which he was awarded the Order of Australia and was named to the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.

The Aboriginal actor and dancer spent his final years in Murray Bridge, South Australia, due to poor health.

“It is with deep sadness that I share with the people of South Australia the death of an iconic artist of a generation who shaped the history of Australian cinema and Aboriginal representation on screen”, South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall said in a statement Tuesday.

“Mirror to the soul”

“He was a brother, son, friend, father, grandfather and husband. Actor, dancer, singer and painter, he was also one of the greatest artists Australia had ever seen.” , did he declare.

“My thoughts are with his family and his dear friend and caregiver Mary Hood.”

The actor’s family requested that he be called only David Dalaithngu, rather than his full name, as per native custom for those who have recently died.

Most Australian media, including the national broadcaster ABC, have honored this wish.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Dalaithngu was a “mirror to the soul of Australia”.

“On stage, on television and on the big screen, David shone and reflected something huge … from the 60,000 year history of the indigenous peoples of this country to ourselves,” he said. declared to Parliament.

Hugh Jackman, who co-starred with Dalaithngu in Australia (2008), said on Instagram: “From his cheeky laughter to that mischievous gleam in his eyes and his effortless ease in front of the camera… His humanity is irreplaceable.”

The life of the native actor was also marred by alcohol and times of poverty.

“Throw a spear”

In September 2011, he was sentenced to one year in prison and at least five months in prison for hitting his wife with a broomstick while he was drunk.

Dalaithngu’s lawyer at the time said he was embarrassed and wanted to quit drinking and get back to making movies, which he did.

Two years ago, accepting an Lifetime Achievement Award, Dalaithngu recalled how he was recruited for Walkabout as a teenager in Arnhem Land.

“I was a young boy going to school. They came looking for a native boy who could play that part, throw a spear, dance and sing and they said, ‘Yeah, he’s fine.’ “He said in a video shown at the National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observation Committee awards ceremony.

The artist said his own favorite film was Storm Boy, but he considered his best to be The Tracker.

But he also spoke about his battle with cancer.

“Never forget me while I’m here. I will never forget you. I will always remember you even though I am gone forever. I will always remember it,” he said.

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