Entertainment & Arts

Aborigine actor David Ngoombujarra dies

David Ngoombujarra and Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles
Image caption David Ngoombujarra appeared in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles opposite Paul Hogan

David Ngoombujarra, one of Australia's best-known Aborigine actors, has died aged 44.

The Australia and Rabbit Proof Fence actor was found dead in a park on Sunday in Fremantle, near Perth. Police said his death was not suspicious.

The three-time Australian Film Institute winner was also in movies including Blackfellas and Ned Kelly.

Australia co-star Hugh Jackman paid tribute to "an extraordinary man, actor and friend".

"So saddened to hear about the passing of David Ngoombujarra. His laugh, warmth and humanity will live on with all who knew him," Jackman wrote on Twitter.

Born in Meekatharra, West Australia, Ngoombujarra was one of thousands of Aboriginal children handed over to white families under Australian government assimilation policies.

He was adopted by a white family in Perth, as David Bernard Starr, before becoming one of the country's best-known indigenous actors.

He won his first AFI award in 1993 for his role in the gritty urban drama Blackfellas.

He was awarded a second in 2003 for Black and White in which he played an Aborigine convicted of killing a young white girl.

And, in 2007, he won a third for a guest role in Australian TV legal drama The Circuit.

His other films included Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles and Kangaroo Jack.