Australian actor David Ngoombujarra dies
David Ngoombujarra, one of Australia's best-known indigenous actors who starred in films such as Australia and Rabbit-Proof Fence, has died. He was 44.
Ngoombujarra was found Sunday in a park and died in hospital in Fremantle, near Perth on Australia's west coast.
Police say they are awaiting the results of toxicology reports to determine the cause of death. The death is not considered suspicious.
Ngoombujarra won three Australian Film Institute awards for his performances, including honours for Blackfellas in 1993 and for Australian television show The Circuit. He also won an AFI award for best supporting actor for 2002 film Black and White, in which he played an Aboriginal man accused of killing a white girl.
Ngoombujarra's nephew, Kyle Morrison, a theatre company artistic director, says his uncle had a rare talent.
"Uncle David was probably one of the best film actors in this country," he said. "He was one of the most in-demand indigenous actors in the last five years and there's proof of his work from such shows, movies like Australia."
Hugh Jackman, who acted alongside Ngoombujarra in the sprawling saga Australia, paid tribute to him on Twitter.
"So saddened to hear about the passing of David Ngoombujarra Starr. An extraordinary man, actor and friend," he said. "His laugh, warmth and humanity will live on with all who knew him."
Born as David Bernard Starr in 1967, Ngoombujarra was a member of Australia's Stolen Generation — young indigenous children taken from their parents to be educated in white schools.
Born in Meekatharra in Western Australia, he began work as an actor in the early 1980s.
He also had memorable roles in Ned Kelly, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Harry's War, No Way toForget and Kangaroo Jack.
With files from Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Associated Press