The light-hearted action-comedy “Crocodile Dundee” released in 1986, became Australia’s most commercially successful film ever made, and the top-grossing non-American movie at the US box office for a time. There had been talks of a reboot due to a positive response to a Dundee Super Bowl ad for Tourism Australia in 2018. Many remembered how funny the classic movie was, and are curious about what happened to the original cast.
The story was about a weathered crocodile hunter named Michael “Mick” or “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan), who was raised by a local aborigine tribe. He was known for taming wild buffalo just by staring in the eyes, killing venomous snakes with his bare hands, and hunting crocodiles in the wilds of the Australian Outback. He ran a small safari tour business with the motto, “If you don’t go out with us, you probably won’t come back.” Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), a feature writer from an American daily newspaper, heard about Crocodile Dundee’s legendary exploits and came to meet him. After going on a safari tour with him, she fell for him, and invited him to go to New York City on the pretext of writing a feature story, and there began his adventure on his first trip out of the bush.
The movie’s success at the box office globally was phenomenal, as it raked in more than US$300 million against a budget of less than $A10 million. The main stars, Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski, reprised their roles in the sequels “Crocodile Dundee II” (1988) and “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” (2001). While the sequel was also a worldwide hit, the next one was a flop, receiving unfavorable reviews from critics as it lacked the charm and humor of the original.
“Crocodile Dundee” Cast – Where are they now?
When a movie was as well-loved as “Crocodile Dundee”, its fans would naturally be curious as to what happened to the cast and where they are now.
Caitlin Clarke was born Katherine Ann Clarke in 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and went on to have a career as an actress in Regional, Off-Broadway, and Broadway as well as movies and television series. She taught acting in New York City from 1998-1999 as part of a Broadway Theatre Institute initiative. “Crocodile Dundee” was her second film, and she played the role of Simone, the friendly prostitute. None of the other projects she was involved in after that were as successful. However, she was best remembered for her role as Valerian in her debut movie “Dragonslayer” (1981). Her Broadway credits included “Titanic: A New Musical” (1998) as she played the role of Charlotte Drake Cardoza based on a character of one of the first-class passengers who made it onto a lifeboat when the Titanic sank.
In 2000, Caitlin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and went back to Pittsburgh where she taught drama class at the Pitt and at the Rauh Conservatory for young people. She subsequently passed away in 2004, at the age of 52.
Steve Rackman had a career in boxing in England before he ventured into professional wrestling with the nickname, “Crusher.” He used to work doors at notorious clubs, and as his big physique was quite impressive, some invited him to join them for wrestling lessons and it went from there. He moved to Australia and joined the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) aired on the Nine Network in the 1970s. One of the most exciting times in his career was wrestling with Andre The Giant inside a steel cage at Melbourne’s Festival Hall, in front of 10,000 spectators. During and after his wrestling days, he had more than 30 advertisements and 40 feature films to his name, oftentimes cast as the ‘bad guy.’ Steve was best known for his role as “Donk” in the “Crocodile Dundee” film series. His agent told him to send a tape of the ‘ugliest, loud-mouthed, mongrel-looking wrestler’ to audition for the character, and before he knew it, he was in all three movies.
As Steve stepped away from the entertainment industry, he opened fitness gyms in Australia with professional wrestler bodybuilder Paul Graham and his wife Carole. He met the former back in 1973 during a WCW taping at Channel 9 Studios. Reportedly, he sold the gyms in 2010 before he retired.
Reginald VelJohnson was born in 1952, in Queens, New York City. He had always been a creative person and believed that he was born to act. At age 10, upon seeing Robert Duvall portray the role of the strange and recluse neighbor, Arthur “Boo” Radley, in “To Kill A Mockingbird,” he knew he could do it too. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre. He might have played the lovable limousine driver named Gus in “Crocodile Dundee,” but he was mostly known for playing a police officer. His big break came when he was cast as Sgt. Al Powell in “Die Hard” (1988) followed by Det. David Sutton in “Turner & Hooch” (1989), and Carl Otis Winslow in “Family Matters” (1989-1998).
He remained active in the industry as he continued in movies and on TV. The veteran actor preferred to keep his personal life private; however, as he never married nor had any kids, there were rumors that he was gay and was linked to actor James Avery. Darius McCrary, who played the role of his son in the popular ABC sitcom, was perplexed when asked about the rumors and said, ‘Why is it even a question, I mean, with any artists, what does their sexuality have to do with them entertaining you then performing for you?’
Reginald was once a victim of a death hoax in 2017. A website called Headlinen News reported that he’d died of a heart attack at the age of 64, but what was believed to be his Twitter account was quick to debunk that rumor. On the About page of the controversial site, it claimed to be a satire site that used real people to create funny stories.
Mark Blum was born in 1950 in Newark, New Jersey. He began acting in theatre in the 1970s, and in the late 1980s, he received an Obie Award for his portrayal of the character Al in Albert Innaurato’s play “Gus and Al.” His Broadway credits included “Lost in Yonkers,” “The Best Man,” and “The Assembled Parties.” His breakout role in movies was “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985) as Gary Glass. After playing the role of Richard Mason, the editor of the newspaper and egotistical boyfriend of Sue, in “Crocodile Dundee,” he went on to star in numerous films and hit series. He served as a board member of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) from 2007 to 2013.
The stalwart actor passed away at the age of 69 in 2020 at the New York–Presbyterian Hospital, due to complications of the Covid-19 virus He’s survived by his wife of 15 years, actress Janet Zarish.
In Memoriam: Mark Blum: http://ow.ly/AQIe50yWVxrHB Studio notes with deepest sadness the passing of our friend and…
The Australian actor was one of the Yolngu people, an Aboriginal clan who inhabited the north-eastern Arnhem Land. He had a traditional upbringing, and didn’t see white people until he was eight. At 16, David was cast by a British filmmaker for the adventure-survival movie, “Walkabout” (1971), due to his tribal dance skills. His role was that of an Aborigine, which was said to be groundbreaking because such a character in Australia was usually played by a white actor in blackface. He’d already appeared in several documentaries, movies, and dramas before he was tapped to play the comic role of Neville “Nev” Bell in “Crocodile Dundee.”
His charisma on-screen as well as his dancing and acting skills resulted in an illustrious career. He won the Best Actor in a Leading Role award twice from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA) for “The Tracker” (2002) and “Charlie’s Country” (2014); he also won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for the latter.
David was introduced to grog, Australian slang for alcoholic, on the set of “Walkabout,” and before long suffered from alcoholism, which later led to a lot of troubles. He was charged in 2006 with ‘carrying an offensive weapon without a lawful excuse’ after an altercation with a friend over his drinking, but was cleared, as the machete in question was said to be used for ceremonial purposes and not intended as a weapon. In 2007, he was accused of ‘bashing’ his wife, Miriam Ashley, and the magistrate in Darwin imposed a 12-month domestic violence order on David. In 2011, he was sentenced to one-year imprisonment for aggravated assault; the previous year, he’d threw a broom at his wife and broke her arm. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and died at the age of 68 in 2021.
John Meillon was born in 1934 in Mosman, Sydney New South Wales. He started acting at the age of 11, and by the time he was 16, he was part of a Shakespeare touring company. His work in theatre was quite extensive, and during the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1979, he was appointed as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his service. His portrayal of a father whose son was dying of leukemia in “The Fourth Wish” earned him an award for Best Actor in a Leading Role from the AACTA in 1976.
The character actor was 55 when he passed away in 1989 from cirrhosis of the liver; his body was discovered in his Neutral Bay home by a friend of his. It appeared that his health had deteriorated over the past year, and he’d become ‘quiet and introspective.’ He was widely known for his role as Walter “Wal” Reilly in “Crocodile Dundee” and its sequel, which turned out to be his last project. He was presented the Raymond Longford Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously by the AACTA. John was cremated, and many of his colleagues came to pay their last respects. During the service, his son from his first marriage said, ‘There is no difference having a famous father or an ordinary father. He would never look at it as being anything else than a good father to me.’
5. John Meillon (with Glen Campbell), 1976 pic.twitter.com/qnPuaVs4uN
— australian kitsch 🐨 (@OzKitsch) June 19, 2020
Linda Kozlowski was born in 1958, in Fairfield, Connecticut. She studied acting at the Juilliard School’s Drama Division and graduated in 1981. She made her debut on stage in an Off-Broadway production of “How It All Began” (1981-82). Linda was part of the “Death of A Salesman” on Broadway, and in the 1985 movie version as she played the role of Miss Forsythe. Her biggest break that gave her worldwide recognition was being cast as the female lead, the feisty reporter Sue Charlton in “Crocodile Dundee.” Linda shared that she was overlooked by the casting agents until they got a call from her co-star in “Death of A Salesman” Dustin Hoffman. He told them that she was a ‘terrific actress’ but wasn’t good at auditions. It turned out to be true as her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.
It was a case of life imitating art, as Linda fell for Paul Hogan on the set as she reprised her role in the sequel of “Crocodile Dundee.” Their affair caused a public outcry, and she knew that people were saying that he was happily married with five kids until a ‘Hollywood bimbo’ came along. First off, she wanted to correct the notion that she was a bimbo, saying that she was college educated. Also, she said that what happened was far from reality, insinuating that Paul’s marriage to his first wife, Noeleen Edwards, wasn’t what it seemed. Apparently, he and Noeleen divorced in 1981 but reconciled and remarried the following year. Paul and Linda tied the knot in 1990, and they moved to California.
As for Linda’s acting career, her last movie was “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” (2001); it was said that she quit acting to focus on being a mother. In an interview with Herald Journal, she revealed that she was miserable in the projects she had been getting of late, and called them ‘schlocky’ films. Also, with her biological clock ticking as she was turning 40, it seemed like the perfect time to have a child; their son was named Chance. However, the couple divorced in 2014. At age 64, Linda was reportedly in a relationship with a Moroccan tour guide named Moulay Hafid Baba.
Paul Hogan was widely regarded as the quintessential Australian, more so when he played the role of Michael “Mick” J. Dundee in “Crocodile Dundee.” He was well-loved by many at least until people learned that he left his wife of 30 years for his much younger co-star, Linda Kozlowski, after the sequel aired. He admitted to being taken aback by the ferocity of the press in covering the story, and the reaction of the public. Paul resented the implication that he abandoned his five children. He said that at that time, they were all grown up except for the youngest, who was 14 – Paul was only 19 when his first child was born. His oldest son said that his father assured him back then that his mother would be taken care of, and that she need not look for a job.
With Linda being branded as ‘the scarlet woman’ or ‘a homewrecker,’ it made life in Australia very uncomfortable for her, so the couple moved to Los Angeles. What he enjoyed most in living there was his anonymity; no one recognized him when he wore sunglasses or a cap, and he considered it a luxury.
In 2005, news came out that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) began an investigation on Paul for tax evasion and fraud pertaining to his “Crocodile Dundee” franchise – it was alleged that he owed ATO millions of dollars of unpaid taxes. After an eight-year-long tax dispute, Paul and the ATO reached a settlement on a ‘without admission’ basis. He was never charged for tax evasion for lack of evidence, but it stained his reputation, so he remained angry about it and had never got it out of his system.
He is currently single. His marriage to Linda ended in divorce after 23 years, and he said, ‘It was a great example of opposites attract, and then one day, they’re just opposites…We never had any bitterness or fighting, never anything like that. Just sort of wore out, and we moved on.’ Paul had custody of his son when they separated. In his 2019 interview, he said that what kept him in America despite his longing to return to Australia was that his son was still not ready for him to leave.
Recently, Paul, in his early 80s, was photographed outside his home holding a red marker beside a note that read, ‘THIS IS MY HOME NOT YOURS.’ This was reportedly aimed at homeless people who camped outside his house in Venice Beach. He noticed the note but denied leaving it and said via his representative that what he did was wrote down instructions for his electrician. Paul said he had great empathy for the homeless, and would never disrespect anyone in such a way especially the most vulnerable.