If you managed to catch our recent post that gave you ‘20 Things You May Not Have Realised About Crocodile Dundee’, then you’ll already know that here at Eighties Kids, we’re massive fans of this classic Australian/American comedy film. Crocodile Dundee (1986) starred Paul Hogan as Mick Dundee, with his real-life future wife Linda Kozlowski playing reporter Sue Charlton.
If you’ve never seen Crocodile Dundee before then you should rectify that as soon as possible, because it’s by far one of the funniest films to come out of the late 1980s.
Paul Hogan’s fish-out-of-water performance is hilarious, securing him a Golden Globe for Best Actor.. The supporting characters are universally brilliant, and the hit movie made us completely fall in love with a certain ‘land down under’ – a spectacular worldwide boost for Australian tourism. Who hasn’t dreamed of visiting the outback after seeing Mick Dundee in action?
How did it perform at the box office?
Crocodile Dundee was made on an extremely modest budget of $10 million, and it was designed to have mainstream appeal that would be loved by people the world over (not just Australians). It’s safe to say that they definitely succeeded in that goal, because it ended up being the 2nd highest grossing movie in 1986, not just in America, but in the the whole wide world!
The massive success of Crocodile Dundee meant that there were two sequels, both of which saw Paul Hogan return as Mick Dundee. The first was Crocodile Dundee II which was released in 1988, and that was followed a number of years later by Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles in 2001. The former did pretty well at the box office but was not at all popular with critics, and the latter was a critical and commercial failure, drawing way less impressive audiences. Since its release, Los Angeles has received such poor reviews worldwide, it received a Razzie Award nomination.
So what do the cast of Crocodile Dundee look like today?
Do you know what Paul Hogan and his co-stars look like now? Please join with us now as we pack our massive knife, head off to the Australian outback, and take a nostalgic look back at the cast of this classic 80s movie…
1. Paul Hogan (Michael J. ‘Crocodile’ Dundee)
Before its release, Paul Hogan predicted that Crocodile Dundee would be a big success, and was quoted as saying that he expected it would make millions of dollars. He also thought that it would be a great advertisement for his home country of Australia, saying “I’m planning for it to be Australia’s first proper movie. I don’t think we’ve had one yet, not a real, general public, successful, entertaining movie.”
Not only did he come up with the movie’s story, but he also, along with his business partner John Cornell, provided $600,000 of his own money on top of the funds received from over a thousand other investors!
Before starring in the award-winning Crocodile Dundee, Paul Hogan had his own comedy sketch program called ‘The Paul Hogan Show’ where he played various comedy characters. The show was extremely popular, not only in Australia but also in South Africa, and it ran for a total of 60 episodes. But Hogan isn’t only a comedian. In 1985 he went on to star in an Australian television series on World War 1 called ‘Anzacs’, playing a ‘digger’ called Pat Cleary. The series also featured a who’s who of Australian actors of the day, including Jon Blake, Andrew Clarke, Megan Williams, Tony Bonner, Bill Kerr, Ilona Rodgers, Vivean Gray and Robert Coleby.
However, the first step toward Paul Hogan’s career-defining performance as Mick Dundee came when he appeared in British television adverts for Foster’s Lager, playing an Australian living in London. One of the adverts featured Hogan’s classic line “Strewth, there’s a bloke down there with no strides on!” Do you remember it? Here’s a quick reminder!
Hogan also found international fame in a series of ads for the Australian Tourism Commission, including one in which he famously urged viewers to “throw another shrimp on the barbie”. Hogan appeared in these ads beginning in 1984.
But then came Crocodile Dundee in 1986, a role which Hogan will of course forever be remembered for. As we’ve already mentioned, he came up with the film’s story and also co-wrote the screenplay, winning the 1987 Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy’. The movie was also nominated for, but failed to win, in the ‘Best Original Screenplay’ category at the Academy Awards.
After Crocodile Dundee’s release, Paul Hogan starred in a number of other (mostly lesser known) movies including Almost an Angel in 1990 (which again saw him starring alongside Kozlowski), Lightning Jack in 1994, Flipper in 1996 (a big screen remake of the classic TV show which also starred a young Elijah Wood) and Floating Away in 1998. He also stars in advertisements for the Subaru Outback.
After reprising the role of Mick Dundee in 2001 with Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Hogan also starred in Strange Bedfellows in 2004, which was a movie that was written and directed by Hogan’s good friend Dean Murphy, about two firemen pretending to be in a homosexual relationship for financial benefit.
Another Dean Murphy movie called Charlie & Boots followed in 2009. Released on Father’s Day, this movie stars Hogan as Charlie to the son Boots, played by Shane Jacobson.
Between 2013 and 2015 Hogan toured a live stand up show throughout 25 locations in Australia. Hogan and his first wife, Noelene Edwards, married in 1958 but divorced in 1981 before remarrying less than one year later and divorcing again in 1986. Hogan went on to marry Crocodile Dundee’s Kozlowski in 1990, but we’ll come onto the stars’ wedding a little bit further down the page…
2. Linda Kozlowski (Sue Charlton)
After her big break came playing Sue Charlton, Kozlowski starred alongside 80s legends Bill Paxton and Tim Curry in Pass the Ammo, as well as roles in Almost an Angel in 1990, Backstreet Justice and The Neighbor in 1994, and Village of the Damned in 1995, before she once again starred alongside Hogan in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles in 2001.
The latest news is that she has basically left the acting business, as it was draining to both her professional and personal life. She has been quoted as saying, “these straight to video, schlocky films I was getting were giving me an ulcer, basically because I was the only one on the set that cared about anything. Between that and my biological clock, I decided to give it all away.”
And then there’s the even more personal issue of her real-life marriage to Paul Hogan…
Paul Hogan divorced and remarried his first wife Noelene Edwards, with whom he has five children, before they divorced for the second and final time in 1990. He then went on to marry Kozlowski in 1990…
Hogan and Kozlowski have one child together, a boy going by the name of Chance, but in October 2013, Kozlowski filed for divorce from Hogan due to ‘irreconcilable differences’ walking away with a one-off payment of $6.25 million. She has recently opened up about her marriage to Hogan, revealing that she was fed up of him constantly taking all of the attention in their relationship, and saying that after 23 years of marriage she was ready for her own turn in the spotlight…
Kozlowski revealed that the main issue in their marriage was the fact that the stars didn’t share many interests, saying “Honestly, we just naturally grew apart.”
One of our problems was we really had nothing in common and, over time, that happens to a lot of people. I lived in Paul’s shadow for many, many years and it’s nice to feel my own light right now.”
Hogan agreed, saying “We were opposites and we were attracted to each other for a long time. Opposites in everything. From the food we ate, the music we liked, the entertainment we liked, the colours, the clothes, the places, everything, It worked anyway. It was 20 wonderful years, two or three that were sort of like worn out. I’m very flighty, a woman lasts for about a quarter of a century and then they get bored with me.”
Hogan has also claimed that the stars’ marriage didn’t fail, saying “How can you fail after a quarter of a century? Failed marriages are when two people stay together even though they have long ago lost interest. The divorce was completely amicable. We talk on the phone all the time, I go over and have coffee. We’re completely friendly. Everybody’s happy.”
He was however reported to be ‘stunned’ in 2017 by reports that Kozlowski had tied the knot with her Moroccan lover Moulay Hafid Baba.
4. John Meillon (Walter Reilly)
John Meillon was born in New South Wales, and he joined the Shakespeare Touring Company when he was sixteen.
He worked in England from 1959 to 1965 but he has been quoted as saying that he purposely steered away from Australian roles during his career in the UK. Meillon sadly passed away on the 10th August 1989.
Did You Know? Many people believe that the real-life inspiration for Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee was Rodney Ansell, who aged just 15 went on a fishing trip and had his boat destroyed by a crocodile. This incident left Ansell unconscious and drifting out to sea, where he was eventually washed up onto an island where he had to catch wild cattle and suck their blood to keep himself hydrated. Miraculously he was eventually rescued, became a national celebrity and even wrote a book about his experiences called ‘To Fight The Wild’.
5. David Gulpilil (Neville Bell)
David Gulpilil (full name David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu) is an Australian traditional dancer and actor. As a child he was a talented hunter, tracker and ceremonial dancer, spending his childhood in the bush, well away from any non-Aboriginal influences.
Aged 16 he caught the attention of British director Nicolas Roeg who cast him in his internationally acclaimed motion picture Walkabout, which was where his movie career took off and he was introduced to US audiences.
Did You Know? In January 2018 there was an unveiling of a ‘brand new’ Crocodile Dundee installment called Dundee, which included a trailer that saw the movie with Hollywood stars Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth. Unfortunately it eventually turned out to be a massive hoax designed to boost Australian tourism – what a shame!
Did You Know?
One of Crocodile Dundee’s writers called Ken Shadie has reported that he never thought the famous “that’s not a knife, that is a knife” line was funny at all, being quoted as saying that “it just wasn’t funny on paper.” Surely there’s no way the writer couldn’t see what a legendary moment that would become!
6. Mark Blum (Richard Mason)
Mark Blum started out as a stage actor in the 1970s, before eventually going on to star in a number of films. As well as Crocodile Dundee in 1986, his movies also included Lovesick in 1983, Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985, Just Between Friends in 1986, Blind Date in 1987 and The Presidio in 1988. He is married to actress Janet Zarish.
Did You Know?
It was recently revealed that Paramount Pictures had once thought about making a crossover film between Dundee and Beverly Hills Cop, which would have been the third film for both franchises.
Rightly or wrongly the movie was eventually thrown in the bin when they found out that Eddie Murphy wasn’t a fan of the idea. We would love to have seen how that film would have turned out, how about you?
Did You Know?
Aussie actress and comedian Rebel Wilson has revealed that she would love to star in a Croc Dundee reboot with her in the lead role. She was quoted as saying that “Obviously it would have Paul Hogan in it in some way, but he doesn’t want a female to play Crocodile Dundee. I think it is a travesty as I think out of anyone in Australia I’m the most suited to do it.”
7. Michael Lombard (Sam Charlton)
As well as his brilliant role as Sam Charlton in Croc Dundee, Michael Lombard also starred in a number of other films, including the Academy Award-winning Prizzi’s Honor in 1985, Pet Sematary in 1989, The Devil’s Advocate in 1997, Rounders in 1998, and The Thomas Crown Affair in 1999. He is now enjoying his well earned retirement.
Did You Know?
Did you know that there are actually two versions of Crocodile Dundee? As well as the default Aussie version, there is also an ‘international version’ where much of the Australian slang was replaced by more common terms.
The film also has a slightly different title in America, instead being called ‘Crocodile’ Dundee. This happened because producers were worried that people would think ‘Dundee’ was an actual crocodile rather than a person’s nickname!
Did You Know?
The Guardian recently wrote an article that described Crocodile Dundee as ‘sexist, racist and homophobic’. They focused on the scene where Mick chats up a transexual woman, with the newspaper writing that “Mick Dundee (Hogan) chats up a trans woman, before a friend pulls him aside: “I’ve been trying to tell you all night, that girl, she’s a guy!” Dundee responds by sexual assaulting her. He grabs the woman in the groin area, then points and yells: “A guy dressed up like a sheila! Look at that!” The pub erupts into laughter and applause. There are high fives and back slaps.”
8. Terry Gill (Duffy)
Terry Gill was an actor, theatre owner, producer, director and writer who sadly passed away on the 25th February 2015 after suffering from lung cancer. He appeared in many Australian television shows during his extensive career, including roles as Sgt. Jack Carruthers in The Flying Doctors, Superintendent Clive Adamson in Blue Heelers, as well as a guest role on Neighbours.
Did You Know?
Although Crocodile Dundee was a big hit in its native country, some people felt that it gave a ‘stereotypical’ image of the Aussie.
Many other people disagreed, pointing out that it was a massively successful advertisement for Australia!
Did You Know?
The New York City shooting locations in Crocodile Dundee included a number of places that had also featured in other films, including Vazak’s Bar (The Godfather: Part II), and New York City’s Plaza Hotel (Home Alone 2: Lost in New York). Sadly, the hotel room that the Crocodile Hunter stayed in at the Plaza New York doesn’t actually exist, as it was just a set built for the film. This news has reportedly disappointed many a tourist stopping by.
7. Steve Rackman (Donk)
Steve Rackman was born in the United Kingdom but migrated to Australia as a teenager. He had an extremely successful professional wrestling career, where he went by the name of Steve ‘Crusher’ Rackman, but he is still most definitely best known for his role as Donk in Crocodile Dundee.
Did You Know?
The scene in Crocodile Dundee containing the water buffalo took a whole day to film, as the buffalo they cast was like a fish out of water onscreen.
In addition to the real water buffalo they also did a lot of filming with real crocodiles, with the only fake one in the whole film being the one that attacks Sue. The mechanical crocodile they made for this one scene cost $45,000 to make, and it looked so realistic that someone reported the crew, thinking they had kidnapped a real one!
Did You Know?
Before film studio Paramount acquired the American rights to Crocodile Dundee, the film’s co-writer John Cornell tried to sell it to 20th Century Fox. Cornell has been quoted as saying that ”there was some idiot who sat with his feet on the desk and watched it for about 20 minutes, looked at his watch about eight times and told me that it wouldn’t work. He was extremely rude. I sometimes get pleasure from thinking about what the look is like on his face at a time like this.”
8. Gerry Skilton (Nugget)
Gerry Skilton played Nugget in all 3 Crocodile Dundee films, but he also (with permission from Paul Hogan of course) reprised the character in 2010 for an outback adventure reality series called Nugget Gets A Life! He starred in the Australian mini series’ Cyclone Tracy and The Heroes, and his filmography also includes the 1996 Australian movie Mr. Reliable.
Did You Know?
Rod Ansell, who as we mentioned above was thought to be the real life inspiration for Crocodile Dundee, sadly took Paul Hogan to court believing that he was entitled to royalties from the film.
He was unsuccessful in his endeavours and never received any money, reportedly remaining bitter about this until his death.
Sadly that’s all for now, but we really hope that you’ve enjoyed finding out what the cast of Crocodile Dundee are up to today! Who was your favourite character? And which of the film’s scenes do you remember most fondly?