Crocodile Dundee star David Gulpilil dies aged 68 as devastated fans pay tribute

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Crocodile Dundee star David Gulpilil has died at the age of 68 after a lengthy battle with lung cancer.

The legendary indigenous Australian actor, who was diagnosed with the disease back in 2017, became known for his groundbreaking work as an actor on the silver screen.

After growing up in the heart of Arnhem with Mandhalpingu clan of the Yolŋu people, the star was one of the first actors to represent someone from an indigenous tribe.

The sad passing of the Hollywood actor was announced by South Australian Premiere Steven Marshall in a statement on Monday morning.

He said: "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 first made his breakthrough role in film during the Nicolas Roeg's film Walkabout, but the star really left his mark on the world through his 1986 blockbuster role in Crocodile Dundee.

The award-winning actor quickly became internationally known for his work and went on to showcase his acting and dancing talents in such films as Storm Boy, The Tracker, Ten Canoes and Charlie's Country.

Following his growing list of successes, David was later recognised for his services to the arts in 1987 after he was named on the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

He was then awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for his incredible work to film and media.

A documentary about his life and his acting achievements titled My Name is Gulpilil was later aired following the star's lung cancer diagnosis to recognise his groundbreaking roles on the silver screen.

David made his final public appearance earlier this year for the premiere of the film which was aired at the Adelaide Festival and applauded by all.

But Mr Marshall said David's life was "not without its struggles".

He added: "He encountered racism and discrimination, and lived with the pressures of the divide between his traditional lifestyle and his public profile.

"I was lucky enough to meet David Gulpilil on a number of occasions – most recently in March this year at the Premiere of his last film My Name is Gulpilil, in which he tells his own story, directed by Molly Reynolds. "

He went on: "This final film, 50 years after his breakthrough on screen, saw Gulpilil credited for the first time in his career as a producer – alongside Reynolds, filmmaker Rolf de Heer and Yolŋu filmmaker Peter Djigirr.

"He was a man who loved his land and his culture, and he was a man who took it to the world."

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