How ‘Crocodile Dundee’ Played Himself in Film and in Life

Paul Hogan was one of the main stars of the 1980s. He was an accidental participant in an Australian talent show, transformed himself into a vibrant comedy TV star, and then conquered the world with his fictional character, blending elements of Chuck Norris and John Rambo.

Paul Hogan got married at the age of 19 and later became a father of five children. In 1971, when he was already 32 years old, he made his first appearance on television. He performed on a talent show in a comedic persona. His witty and sharp-tongued performance impressed television producers, leading to him being invited to provide caustic commentary on news in the show “A Current Affair.”

Just two years later, Paul Hogan received his own eponymous comedy show, “The Paul Hogan Show,” which ran with tremendous success from 1973 to 1985. This made him popular across the English-speaking world as the show was also broadcast in other countries.

Paul Hogan also became a widely recognized star thanks to several successful advertising campaigns. He endorsed a tourism company and beer, and his humorous lines from these commercials became iconic phrases.

In 1986, Paul Hogan wrote the screenplay and played the lead role in the adventure comedy “Crocodile Dundee.” The story of the cool Australian bushman garnered immense success worldwide. With a budget of 8 million, the film earned 328 million dollars. Paul Hogan even received nominations for an Oscar and a BAFTA as a screenwriter and a Golden Globe Award as an actor.

During the filming of the movie, Paul Hogan found a new love in actress Linda Kozlowski, who was 20 years his junior. He divorced his first wife and married Kozlowski in 1990. They had a sixth child together (the couple separated in 2013).

In 1988, Paul Hogan released the sequel, “Crocodile Dundee II.” It was less well-received by the audience than the first installment but still earned 239 million with a budget of 14 million.

The actor was at the peak of his popularity, and a Hollywood studio offered him the lead role in the 1990 film “Ghost.” Paul Hogan turned it down, and it went to Patrick Swayze. Instead of this iconic romantic comedy, he chose to create his own similar story about a returning from the dead thief, “Almost an Angel” in 1990. This film was a notable failure and even failed to recoup its production costs. His next original project, “Lightning Jack” in 1994, was also a flop.

In 1996, Paul Hogan appeared in the Hollywood family comedy “Flipper,” but this film also did not find much success.

In 2001 and 2020, the actor returned to his famous character with the less successful “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” and “The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee.”

His global fame quickly dimmed, but Paul Hogan remained one of the most significant celebrities in Australia. He acted in successful comedies in his home country, such as “Strange Bedfellows: Fire Wedding” in 2004 and “Charlie & Boots” in 2009, as well as “The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee” in 2018.

In the 2010s, the actor had a successful series of stand-up performances, and at the end of the decade, several special projects were aired on Australian TV in honor of the legendary Paul Hogan’s 80th birthday.

Paul Hogan is currently 84 years old, and when asked about the secret of his success, he says, “I just always took a bite much bigger than I could chew and chewed it as fast as I could.”

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