John Cornell, a legend of Australian screen and the man behind Paul Hogan’s success, has died age 80 after long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The producer behind The Paul Hogan Show and Crocodile Dundee films died peacefully this morning in Byron Bay with his wife and eldest daughter. His youngest said her farewells over the phone from the UK.
His family said in a statement this morning: “A classic Australian character, John Cornell made the lives he touched much richer, not only through donations, but also through his generosity of spirit, humour, humility and honour. A true egalitarian, John sought equity and equality, and fought for a fair go.”
Cornell, affectionately known as ‘Strop’, is survived by his wife of 46 years, Delvene Delaney, and daughters Melissa, Allira and Liana.
Born in 1941, Cornell’s long media career began as a journalist in Perth. In 1971, while working for Mike Willesee on A Current Affair, he met Paul Hogan and became his manager.
The two Aussie icons worked together on The Paul Hogan Show, on which Cornell appeared as the character Strop, prompting the nickname he was known by for much of his life.
In 1986, they produced Crocodile Dundee, which remains the most profitable Australian movie of all time, raking in $47 million.