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Australian actor David Gulpilil (circa 1953-2021)


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 David Gulpilil, the Indigenous Australian who made his film debut in Nicolas Roeg's 1971 classic "Walkabout," died Monday of lung cancer. The artist, dancer and filmmaker -- whose full name was David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu -- did not know how old he was, but it is believed he was born in 1953.

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Gulpilil was a teen tribal dancer when Roeg, the British cinematographer turned director, cast him in " Walkabout." The film starred the Primetime Emmy Award-winning British actress Jenny Agutter as a schoolgirl who -- along with her younger brother (played by Luc Roeg, son of the director) -- became stranded in the Australian Outback after the suicide of their father (John Meillon). During their attempted trek back to civilization, they encountered a young Aborigine (Gulpilil) who was on a "walkabout," a traditional journey undertaken far from towns and cities. 

Walkabout: Cheat Sheet | Movie News | SBS Movies

In Peter Weir's mystical drama "The Last Wave "(1977), Richard Chamberlain starred as a corporate tax attorney who defended five Indigenous Australians charged with a mysterious murder. The controversial case coincided with bizarre weather phenomena throughout Australia -- including rain that produced oil and frogs -- and troubling dreams for the attorney. Gulpilil played Chris Lee, one of the suspects scheduled to go on trial, who might have provided answers, but remained silent.

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Gulpilil appeared opposite Dennis Quaid in "The Right Stuff," Philip Kaufman's 1983 screen adaptation of Tom Wolfe's best-selling book about the origins of America's space program. The film segment focused on Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper (Quaid) as he visited a tracking station in Western Australia before the historic orbital flight of John H. Glenn, Jr. on February 20, 1962.

Gulpilil co-starred as Neville "Nev" Bell, the Outback friend of Paul Hogan's title character in the 1986 comedy "Crocodile Dundee." The film was an international hit and spawned two sequels. 

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In the acclaimed 2002 Australian film "Rabbit-Proof Fence," Gulpilil played a 1930s tracker named Moodoo hired to retrieve three Indigenous girls who escaped from a Western Australian settlement in an attempt to return to their native territory. The drama was  directed and produced by Phillip Noyce based on the 1996 book "Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence" by Doris Pilkington Garimara.

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In 2008, Gulpilil co-starred with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in Baz Luhrmann's World War II drama "Australia," the story of a British woman (Kidman) who inherited an Australian cattle station after the murder of her husband. The man arrested for the slaying: Gulpilil's character, a tribal elder viewed by some as a magic man.

For his performance in the drama "Charlie's Country," Gulpilil won the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actor at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. He played a Northern Australian man coping with the gradual disappearance of his cultural identity in the 21st century. Gulpilil co-wrote the movie's screenplay with director Rolf de Heer.

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David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu AM has gone to his ancestral homeland.
 
An actor, dancer, artist, of the Yolngu, from Arnhem Land, across five decades he hugely shaped Australian cinema and Aboriginal representation on screen.
 
Rest in Peace.
 
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Thank you for this information, Jakeem.  The photos are beautiful.  Here are a few more facts:

David Gulpilil, who died at age 68 on Nov. 29, 2021, was born on July 1, 1953.  He also appeared in the films The Tracker, Ten Canoes and Storm Boy.  Earlier this year, his documentary, "My Name Is Gulpilil," premiered with his name listed as Producer for the first time.

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My gosh, I've seen him in a lot more stuff than I knew. I've seen WalkaboutThe Last WaveThe Right Stuff and Australia, never once realizing it was the same guy. I probably fell into the trap of not paying enough attention to the actor playing the indigenous part.

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4 hours ago, jakeem said:

 David Gulpilil, the Indigenous Australian who made his film debut in Nicolas Roeg's 1971 classic "Walkabout," died Monday of lung cancer. The artist, dancer and filmmaker -- whose full name was David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu -- did not know how old he was, but it is believed he was born in 1953.

Gulpilil co-starred as Neville "Nev" Bell, the Outback friend of Paul Hogan's title character in the 1986 comedy "Crocodile Dundee." The film was an international hit and spawned two sequels. 

See the source image

 

"Wait, you cannot take my picture--"
"Oh, I'm sorry...Afraid it'll steal your soul?"
"No, you have the lens cap on."

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