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John Meillon, Outback Character in “Crocodile Dundee” Movies, Dies at 55

August 12, 1989 GMT

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ John Meillon, an actor best known for his roles as an outback rowdy in the Crocodile Dundee movies, died Friday, friends said. He was 55.

Meillon was found dead in his Sydney home by a friend. The cause of death was not yet known. His agent, Bill Shanahan, said he had no details of the actor’s death.

Meillon, whose acting career began at age 11, became prominent worldwide as Paul Hogan’s outback sidekick in ″Crocodile Dundee″ and ″Crocodile Dundee II.″

But earlier roles won Australian television and film awards and led to his being named by Queen Elizabeth II as an Officer of the British Empire.

Bill Gardner said he believed Meillon’s favorite film role was as a single father dealing with his young son’s fatal cancer in the ″The Fourth Wish.″

″He was very selective in the roles that he did - he refused many because he did not think they were good enough and money never entered his head,″ Gardner said.

Actor Noel Ferrier called Meillon one of Australia’s premier actors.

″I was always a bit in awe of Meillon because he was one of those actors ... that when he gets on stage or when he gets in front of a camera, you never felt he was acting,″ he said.

Actor Michael Craig admired Meillon for his daring.

″He would hold a pause longer than anyone else dared to do - and get away with it,″ he said.

Meillon’s other films included ″Sundowners″ and ″Picture Show Man.″

Survivors include his second wife, Bunny Gibson; his first wife, actress June Salter; and a son, John Meillon Jr.

Funeral arrangements are pending.