‘Crocodile Dundee’ enjoys its 30th anniversary this year, but it’s a movie that’ll live forever: a stereotypical snapshot of Australia perfectly preserved in cinematic amber.
The cast, however, do not have that luxury – what have the ageing stars of 'Crocodile Dundee’ been doing since the summer of '86?
Linda Kozlowski – Sue Charlton
The object of Mick Dundee’s affection was also the apple of Paul Hogan’s eye – the actor left his wife to start a relationship with Kozlowski and the pair were married in 1990. Non-'Crocodile Dundee’-related movie roles were not easy to come by, said Linda: “These straight-to-video schlocky films I was getting were giving me an ulcer 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.”
Hogan and Kozlowski had a son, Chance, but the pair divorced in 2003, with Kozlowski citing “irreconcilable differences” and the fact that they just “didn’t have anything in common”. She now spends her time travelling between her home in LA and her tourist business in Marrakesh.
Paul Hogan – Mick 'Crocodile’ Dundee
'Crocodile Dundee’ changed Hogan’s future forever: he will always be associated with the knife-wielding bushman. A few dodgy career decisions – he turned down the lead role in 'Ghost’ – led to a poor sequel, 'Crocodile Dundee II’, and then an atrocious threequel in 2001’s 'Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles’.
Movie roles were few and far between after that, when his biggest challenge became wrangling with the Australian tax office: after several years of tax fraud allegations and encounters with the Australian Crime Commission (he was prevented from leaving the country when he flew to Sydney in 2010 for his mother’s funeral), the criminal investigation against him was dropped, but not before it was revealed he had money in offshore accounts. Now 76 and semi-retired, Hogan helps care for his 17-year-old son, Chance. A TV biopic about Hogan and 'Crocodile Dundee’ is set for broadcast on Aussie TV next year.
John Meillon – Walter “Wally” Reilly
The part of Wally, Mick Dundee’s business partner, was his most high profile role, but actor John Meillon already had a substantial body of work before he got into the croc-catching business. He’d appeared in radio plays since he was a boy, toured with Shakespeare companies and even received an OBE for services to theatre in the Queen’s honours list in 1979.
His last movie was 'Crocodile Dundee II’ in 1988 – the following year, Meillon succumbed to cirrhosis at his home in New South Wales. At least he never had to suffer the indignity of appearing in 'Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles’. He is survived by his wife Bunny and his two children.
Mark Blum – Richard Mason
As Sue’s scumbag editor-slash-lover Richard, Blum was never going to find himself on the winning team, but the actor has enjoyed a lengthy career post-Dundee takedown. Single-serving characters in esteemed TV series paid the bills: Blum can count roles in 'Frasier’, 'The West Wing’ and 'The Sopranos on his CV’.
The odd disparate movie role surfaced in the 21st century too, with the actor starring in films as diverse as journalism drama 'Shattered Glass’ and dance movie 'Step Up 3D’. Blum has since settled into a recurring role as Uncle Bob on the award-nominated Amazon music show 'Mozart In The Jungle’.
Steve Rackman – Donk
You know him as Donk, the unmovable object that Mick Dundee manages to move with a kiss on the lips, but Steve Rackman went by another name in his other career as a professional wrestler – and something tells us “Crusher” could have taken on “Crocodile Dundee” no problem in a fair fight.
Donk reprised his role in both sequels and felt like completing the Crocodile Dundee trilogy was a fitting way to retire from Hollywood. Where is Donk now? He runs a gym back home in Australia… and we bet he’s still great fun in pubs.
David Gulpilil – Neville Bell
Indigenous actor Gulpilil has the kind of acting chops that’d give Mick Dundee’s knife a run for its money – it’s fair to say that playing aborigine Neville wasn’t the artistic high point of his career. In 2002, Gulipilil was nominated for an armful of awards for his part in 'Rabbit-Proof Fence’, starring Nicole Kidman, while he gained further plaudits in fellow Aussie efforts 'The Tracker’, 'The Proposition’ and Baz Luhrmann’s 'Australia’ in 2008, in which he played King George.
Gulipilil has also made headlines for the wrong reasons: in an argument in 2006 he produced a machete (if only there was some sort of pop culture phrase he could have said) while in 2010 he was sentenced to a year in prison after breaking his wife’s arm with a broom. Gulpilil still acts, and recently won Best Actor in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival for the film 'Charlie’s Country’.
Reginald VelJohnson – Gus
Who could forget Gus the limo driver? Hmm, don’t answer that. Maybe we would have forgotten him if it weren’t for the fact that he was played by VelJohnson, who would go on to play donut-loving police officer Carl in 'Die Hard’ just two years later. 'Die Hard 2’ was next on the agenda (he received fourth billing despite his cameo appearance) as was 'Turner & Hooch’, in which he was promoted to Captain.
Movie obscurity turned into TV opportunity, and Reginald VelJohnson appeared in a variety of US TV shows over the following decades, usually playing cops and/or authority figures – his last credited role was as 'Officer James’ on Disney Channel TV spinoff 'Girl Meets World’. Tragically he has not yet been asked back for another 'Die Hard’ movie. For shame.