The South Australian Premier’s office said Dalaithngu’s family had advised his name and image may continue to be used following his passing, in line with his wishes.

Australian Indigenous actor David Dalaithngu has died aged 68.

Dalaithngu enjoyed an acting career spanning 50 years, appearing in iconic films such as Walkabout, The Last Wave, Crocodile Dundee, The Tracker and Rabbit-Proof Fence before he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall paid tribute to the actor in a statement late on Monday.

“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 Dalaithngu (AM),” Mr Marshall’s statement said.

David Dalaithngu was from the Mandjalpingu clan of the Yolngu people, and was raised in the traditional ways in Arnhem land. In his later years he was a resident of Murray Bridge. 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.”


Dalaithngu was recognised in the 1987 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Mr Marshall said his thoughts were with Dalaithngu’s family and friend and carer Mary Hood.

The actor’s family has requested he be referred to as David Dalaithngu.


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