Hogan was born October 8, 1939, in Parramatta, Sydney (Lightning Ridge,
New South Wales, Australia)
Actor who had been active in the Austrailian entertainment industry for
years before coming to the attention of American audiences in the title
role of Crocodile Dundee (1986) and its sequel (1988). He won a Golden
Globe for that performance, and was nominated for an Oscar for helping
to write the screenplay. He developed and starred in The Paul Hogan Show
(1973–84) and starred in the British film Hogan in London (1975)
before turning his hand to writing. He married his Crocodile Dundee
co-star, Linda Koswalski, in 1990, the same year that their third film
together, Almost an Angel, was released. Though he continues to work in
films, Hogan has become familiar as the voice of Australia in
advertisements for the Australian tourist industry, Subaru Outback, and
Hogan as Michael J Crocodile Dundee
The former pool lifeguard, union organizer and Sydney Harbour Bridge
scaffolder who stumbled onto the telly in 1972 when his workmates dared
him to enter a talent show. That character (who never wore a suit save
in jest; who talked, Hogan said, "like the guys down at the
pub"; and who could spot a poser a mile off) was assertively
working-class, unashamedly Australian, and enormously popular. As Hoges
the footy-loving pub philosopher of The Paul Hogan Show, and as Michael
J. "Crocodile" Dundee, the bushman who conquers New York with
a grin, a "G~day" and a big knife, Paul Hogan made himself
into an emblem of Australianness--and sold it to the world.
Thirteen years after its release, Crocodile Dundee remains the most
successful Australian film ever made. Its $328 million gross was the
10th biggest in history (it still ranks a creditable 56th). The
"Yanks" and "Poms," whose influence on Australian
life had made them favorite butts of Hogan~s quietly patriotic humor,
adored Dundee~s relaxed machismo, his naive goodheartedness. And their
enthusiasm made Australians--always anxious about their international
image--wildly enthusiastic about themselves. "Australia has a new
roving ambassador," cheered Sydney~s Daily Mirror, "the
phenomenally successful Crocodile Dundee, otherwise known as Paul Hogan.
And every one [of his interviews] is a plug for Australia--a positive,
bright, breezy Australia bristling with energy and talent."
Hogan~s countrymen lost no time living up to the advertising: travelers
proudly broadened their accents, salted their speech with Aussie
colloquialisms, and said "G~day" instead of "Hi." On
a visit to the U.S., Prime Minister Bob Hawke introduced himself as the
leader of "Crocodile Dundee country." His allusion to the
Marlboro cigarette commercials was apt. In Dundee, Hogan had created a
hero who personified Australians~ most marketable qualities, a brand
image the nation would rejoice in, and rebel against, for a decade.
Hogan and Linda Kozlowski
That triumph was no accident. Ever since TV producer John Cornell had
spotted Hogan sending up the judges on New Faces and hired him as a
humorous editorialist for the news show A Current Affair, the duo had
been building up the Hoges persona like the prizefighter Hogan had once
briefly been. As their ambitions for their asset grew, from a big-city
audience to a national and then an international one, they used
carefully chosen bouts of advertising to gauge Hoges~ market punch.
Everything they lent his guileless grin to scored a knockout. Winfield
cigarettes became (and remain) the most popular brand in Australia;
Foster~s lager became the second-biggest-selling beer in Britain;
American tourist visits to Australia doubled in four years in the wake
of Hogan~s "shrimp on the barbie" ads. As well as proving
Hoges~ appeal in untried markets, each campaign added a new inflection
to his likable-larrikin persona. By the time filming on Crocodile Dundee
began, Hogan could say confidently: "We know there~s a market
demand for this type of product, and we are supplying that
That didn~t sound much like happy-go-lucky Hoges. But then Hogan, whom
acquaintances describe as an astute businessman with little time for
fools, was, as he conceded, "a bit smarter than I make out on the
old telly." And as he zoomed further from his "ordinary
bloke" origins--divorcing Noelene, his wife of 30 years, to marry
his American Dundee costar, Linda Kozlowski; spending long periods in
Los Angeles; even having a face-lift--Hogan became less and less willing
to play the working-class hero (except in his films, which critics
panned as lame remakes of Crocodile Dundee). "I~m not the little
Aussie battler any more," he protested in 1996. "If I can have
a Rolls-Royce, I~ll have a Rolls-Royce. That~s the whole point of
Australians are also growing impatient with the Hoges/Dundee image,
which is widely seen as too Anglo-Celtic, too laid-back, too philistine,
too yesterday. "Me and Hoges have a lot in common," Hogan once
said. "Neither of us gives a bugger what people think."
Australia hasn~t quite reached that level of insouciance, but (with a
self-confidence that owes much to Mick Dundee) it is now striving to
project a truer image: to be seen as smarter, more entrepreneurial, more
ambitious, more...like Hogan. The new Australianness may have less
appeal at the box office, but as a pub philosopher or a simple bushman
might say, you can never go wrong just being yourself.
1972 Makes TV debut on New Faces, finishing as runner-up in grand final
1972 Starts eight-year run as pitchman for Winfield
1973 Makes first of 60 Paul Hogan Shows
1981 First Foster~s beer commercials shown in U.K.
1984 Australian Tourist Commission ads start in U.S.
1986 Crocodile Dundee is released
1990 Marries Linda Kozlowski
Hogan was listed as one of twelve Promising New Actors of 1986 in
John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 38.
a variety of jobs before coming to notice in 1972 on NEW FACES, a
television talent show. This success led to his own comedy
television series, THEPAUL HOGAN SHOW, the following year.
the Australian Honours award of Member of the Order of Australia.
Australian of the Year in 1985.
in a renovated Victorian farmhouse near Santa Barbara, California.
given a Subaru Outback by the car company for his appearances in
their car commercials.
for Best Actor at BAFTA Awards for CROCODILE Dundee (1987)
for Best Original Screenplay at BAFTA Awards for CROCODILE DUNDEE
for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly at Academy Awards for
the screen for 'CROCODILE' DUNDEE (1987)
Australia has a human face in the American popular mind, it may well be
the smiling, deeply lined visage of Paul Hogan. Less as an actor than a
personality, this lean, tanned and weathered- looking former
construction worker - nicknamed "Hoges" - represented the Land
Down Under in a series of ads for the Australian Tourist Commission that
enticed more than 600,000 Americans abroad.
found him earnest, likeable and down-to-earth. Hogan parlayed these
qualities into international stardom as the co-writer and star of
"'Crocodile' Dundee" (1986), a hugely successful comedy
adventure depicting the adventures of an Outback outdoorsman in New York
City. This unpretentiously old-fashioned comedy was a smash hit that won
Hogan a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy, an Oscar nomination for
the original screenplay and a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and
Television Arts) Award nomination. It also generated a successful
sequel, "'Crocodile' Dundee 2" (1988), which Hogan co-scripted
and executive produced. Together the films grossed over $500 million.
unlikely entertainment career began at age 31 when he wrote to a TV
talent show representing himself as a rural tap-dancing knife thrower.
Hogan was invited on by the producers, presumably to make a fool of
himself. Instead, he won national attention with a blistering satire of
that very show. This triumph led to numerous other appearances,
including a regular stint as a comic commentator on "A Current
Affair", a nightly magazine news show.
boosted his exposure with "The Paul Hogan Show" beginning in
1977 and a series of TV specials filmed in England starting in 1983. He
began proving his mettle as a TV pitchman with a series of award-
winning commercials for Foster's Lager in the United Kingdom. Prior to
the release of "'Crocodile' Dundee", Hogan displayed dramatic
chops in "ANZACS", a popular Australian TV miniseries set
during WWI. 5 Hogan's Hollywood career stumbled after the blockbuster
success of the "Crocodile Dundee" films.
sentimental comic fantasy "Almost An Angel" (1990), in which
he played a burglar slain during a heroic act and given a chance to
redeem his soul, was a commercial disappointment. The genial Western
comedy "Lightning Jack" (1994) also failed to register at the
box-office. Hogan took a different tack with the family picture
"Flipper" (1996), sharing the spotlight with the teen-aged
former child star Elijah Wood and a remarkable sea-going mammal. Hogan
was well cast as the colorful bohemian uncle to whom the youth is sent
to spend the summer.