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Vale David Gulpilil AM

30 November 2021
David Gulpilil in My name is Gulpilil, image supplied

Updated 2 December, 2021: In accordance with the actor’s wishes, the Yolŋu Community now give permission for David Gulpilil’s name to be used.

We at the South Australian Film Corporation express our deep sadness at the passing of David Gulpilil AM, a true icon of Australian screen for more than 50 years.

A proud Yolŋu man, and a celebrated South Australian, Gulpilil’s remarkable talent and charisma shone through in every role he played, with searing performances in some of Australia’s most iconic films including Storm Boy, Crocodile Dundee, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Tracker, Charlie’s Country and most recently his final role, the role of his lifetime, in documentary My Name is Gulpilil.

A bold and brave trailblazer for more than half a century, David Gulpilil forged new paths in screen, forever changing the way Australian film represents First Nations people and their cultural heritage. His contribution to South Australian and Australian arts and culture cannot be overstated.

Today South Australia’s screen industry salutes and farewells a true legend of the industry.


Statement from Premier Steven Marshall

It is with deep sadness that I share with the people of South Australia the passing of an iconic, once-in-a-generation artist who shaped the history of Australian film and Aboriginal representation on screen – David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu AM.

He was a brother, son, friend, father, grandfather and husband. An actor, dancer, singer and painter, he was also one of the greatest artists Australia has ever seen.

It was Storm Boy, made in 1976, that would make him a household name and secured a special place in the heart of all South Australians.

I was lucky enough to meet David on a number of occasions – most recently in March this year at the Premiere of his last film My Name is Gulpilil, in which he tells his own story.

He was a man who loved his land and his culture, and he was a man who took it to the world.

My thoughts are with his family, and his dear friend and carer Mary Hood.


Please note: the actor’s family has given permission for his image to continue to be used.

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