Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
Crocodile Dundee, The Paul Hogan Show, Lightning Jack
Currently Known For:
October 8, 1939
Many Australians have entered the lexicon of worldwide pop culture throughout the years. Before the likes of Steve Irwin, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, there was Paul Hogan. The actor entertained audiences for decades with his humor both on the small screen and in feature films. Though it’s been a while since Hogan has been acting full-time, Hogan is still one of the most well-known Australians ever.
Hogan didn’t set off to be an entertainer while during his early years. The man that was born on October 8, 1939 in Lightning Ridge, Australia soon found himself in Sydney when he got to his teenage years. While there, Hogan started working a blue collar job, helping to build the Harbour Bridge. Hogan was already in his mid 30s by the time that he even flirted with entertainment, and got his first taste on the Nine Network.
In 1971, the network was airing a talent show for Australians that allowed anyone to try out their act in front of a stage. Hogan pulled a misdirection on the audience and the judges, saying that he was going to perform knife juggling. Instead, Hogan told jokes and the audience loved him, which brought him back on the network multiple times. Hogan became so beloved so quickly, that the Seven Network gave him his own variety show (that also aired on the Nine) called “The Paul Hogan Show”.
The was the Australian equivalent of “Saturday Night Live”, running for more than a decade. During the show, Hogan also had his film debut, appearing in the 1980 Australian movie “Fatty Finn”. Once “The Paul Hogan Show” ended in 1984, it looked like Hogan was set for international stardom, first starting with the 1985 miniseries “Anzacs”. Then, that stardom would come to fruition the next year.
That’s when Hogan wrote and starred in the film “Crocodile Dundee”, playing Mick “Crocodile” Dundee himself. The comedy and action film was a massive hit with audiences around the world, making Hogan a bona fide star. At the time, a budget of nearly $9 million was quite sizeable for a movie, but the film make back the profit and then some, earning nearly $330 million at the box office while also earning Hogan a Golden Globe Award.
Naturally, the studio wanted another one to capitalize on the film’s success. With that, “Crocodile Dundee II” was released two years later. Unfortunately, the film wasn’t met with the same type of fanfare. With only 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it wasn’t a critical success, but it was still financially viable. Worldwide, “Crocodile Dundee II” had earned nearly $240 million in box office receipts.
There wouldn’t be another “Dundee” film during the 1990s, but Hogan did appear in a handful of films with him as the star. In 1990, he starred as Terry Dean in “Almost an Angel” about a burglar trying to get into heaven. Unfortunately, the film wouldn’t be a hit. That was then followed up by 1994’s “Lightning Jack” with Hogan playing the title character set in the American west. Again, there were poor reviews and box office receipts.
Hogan finished out the 1990s with the film “Flipper” with Elijah Wood that was based off of the television series of the same name (with mediocre results) and then in 1998 with the film “Floating Away”. Needless to say, Hogan hadn’t been able to replicate the type of success that he found with the “Crocodile Dundee” series.
After having a long career as a celebrity by the time he reached his 60s, Hogan hasn’t had to do much acting in this new millennium. Of course, in 2001, Hogan revived his character as Mick Dundee one more time for the third installment, “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles”. However, the film wasn’t well received by critics and only made around 10 percent at the box office as the first film. Since then, Hogan has only had two acting roles which came in 2004’s “Strange Bedfellows” and 2009’s “Charlie & Boots”. For the past decade, though, Hogan has been essentially retired from acting, but not fully.
He’s had a cameo in the 2018 film “That’s Not My Dog” and appeared as himself on several shows, and there were talks that the “Dundee” series hadn’t been exterminated just yet. That’s because his next project was titled “The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee”. The title suggested that Hogan would be playing the character again, but it’s actually going to be a fictional version of himself based in Hollywood about how he gets knighted for his life’s work.
According to Hogan, he joked that in the past 20 years, he’s been in a “self-imposed exile, living in Santa Barbara, Australia and Colorado.” The film will be an independent release, which Hogan said is because studios didn’t want a fourth full Dundee movie. “For the first five years after the second one, I said I’d never do another one,” he said. “And people would all say, ‘No, you should send him to Tokyo’ or ‘I can see him in Paris.’ Everyone had an idea of where to send him except me. Eventually, being slow, I came around.”
For many fans, it will be exciting to see Hogan back on the big screen, whether it’s as himself or as Mick Dundee. If it’s a hit with audiences, you might get to see Hogan in another Dundee film in the future, which would be welcome to a lot of people.