Australian actor David Gulbell, the main name in representing Aboriginal Australians in cinema, has died at the age of 68, it was announced Monday.
Information on the actor’s death was revealed in a statement by South Australian Prime Minister Stephen Marshall, reminding David Gulbel of an “iconic” figure, and one-of-a-kind artist of his generation, who “has shaped the history of Australian cinema and Aboriginal representation on screen”.
Stephen Marshall asserted: “Actor, dancer, singer, and painter, he was one of the greatest artists Australia had ever seen.”
Without specifying the date of death, it is known that David Gulbell lived in Murray Bridge, near Adelaide, and died of lung cancer, which was diagnosed four years earlier.
Born in 1953 in Arnhem Land, David Gulbell belongs to the Mandhalpingu clan of the Yolnu people. He made his film debut in 1971 in the movie “Walkabout” by Nicolas Rogge. His most recent film was the biographical documentary “My Name Is Gulbeel” by Molly Reynolds, which premiered this year.
The Sydney Morning Herald writes that David Gulpilil made his international debut early in his career, when Walkabout was shown in Cannes, where he had the chance to starve with names like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Clint Eastwood or Bob Marley.
The same newspaper also states that the actor had problems with alcohol and drugs and even served a prison sentence for assaulting a partner.
The South Australian Prime Minister also noted that David Gulabil suffered from acts of racism, discrimination and the pressure of having to balance a traditional lifestyle with being a public figure.
In half a century of his career, David Gulbell has participated in such productions as “The Last Wave” (1976) by Peter Weir, “The Chosen One” (1983), by Philip Kaufman, “Crocodile Dundee” (1986), by Peter Fayman, “Australia” (2008) , by Baz Luhrmann, or the TV series “The Remains” (2014), by Damon Lindelof.
In 2014, he won Best Actor at the Australian Film Academy and Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Charlie’s Country (2013) directed by Rolf de Heer.
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