Actor David Gulpilil Lost Battle With Lung Cancer
Celebrity

Tributes and condolences pour in as the beloved indigenous Australian star has passed away at the age of 68 after struggling with lung cancer for four years.

AceShowbiz - Beloved indigenous Australian actor David Gulpilil has died, aged 68.

The star, who appeared in "Walkabout", "Crocodile Dundee", "Rabbit-Proof Fence", and Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman's "Australia" passed away after a four-year battle with lung cancer.

His death was announced on Monday (29Nov21) via a statement from South Australian leader Steven Marshall, which read, "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."

Born in 1953, he made his film debut at the age of 16 in filmmaker Nicholas Roeg's 1971 film classic "Walkabout".

He also appeared in the mid-1970s films "Mad Dog Morgan", "Storm Boy", and "The Last Wave", directed by Peter Weir.

But he is perhaps best-known for 1986's "Crocodile Dundee", in which he played Neville Bell.

A year later David was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia medal in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours List for "services to the arts through the interpretation of Aboriginal culture."

After years of struggling and a jail spell for aggravated assault, Gulpilil made his acting comeback in "Charlie Country", which he also co-wrote with filmmaker Rolf De Heer. The role as a man retreating to his Aboriginal roots earned him the Un Certain Regard Best Actor prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2019, Gulpilil received the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee Lifetime Achievement Award and revealed he was battling lung cancer in his acceptance speech.

"To everyone, thank you for watching me... never forget me while I am here," he said. "I will never forget you. I will still remember you even though it won't go on forever. I will still remember."

A documentary about his life, "My Name Is Gulpilil", premiered in September (21).

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