Paul Hogan stars in Crocodile Dundee
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Later today, Crocodile Dundee II will air on Channel 4 at 6:25pm. And, while the romantic comedy made waves when it hit cinema screens back in 1986, it made an irreversible impact on the lives of the movie’s stars. The 55-year-old actor behind Crocodile Dundee, Paul Hogan, was married during filming, but he was left smitten by his co-star, Linda Kozlowski. The young American actress played his love interest, Sue Charlton, and – eventually – things got a passionate between them.
Reports began to hit Australian news outlets that Hogan and Kozlowski had struck up a romance behind the scenes of the movie set.
This news was made even more shocking considering that Hogan had an almost 30-year marriage at the time. But before long, he split from his first wife, Noelene Edwards, and started a relationship with the 28-year-old Kozlowski.
Before starring in Crocodile Dundee, Kozlowski was a complete newcomer to Hollywood. Hogan later commented that she was “broke and unemployed” before the movie hit cinemas.
“She delivered the goods,” he added. “She was a star-in-waiting. When she signed up and was coming to Australia, it sort of worried us a little bit. She was a New Yorker. But she was terrific — a pleasure to work with.”
The pair’s relationship continued to blossom, and by 1990 they were married. But because of how high-profile their relationship was throughout the previous years, the press and paparazzi were eager to get involved in the wedding one way or another.
As a result, as reported by Associated Press at the time, the fierceness of the interest in the wedding left Kozlowski no choice but to “ban” reporters, photographers, and other ne’er-do-wells from the event.
Instead, Hogan and Kozlowski invited around 100 guests, including close friends and family. And they then proceeded to continue their film careers together.
The married couple then continued to work together in the following Crocodile Dundee movies (1988’s Crocodile Dundee II and 2001’s Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles). But things got strained from then on.
In 2013, reports hit that Kozlowski had split from Hogan after 23 years of marriage.
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The 55-year-old filed for divorce from Hogan, who was then 74-years-old. The divorce was later finalised in 2014. She told the Australian press: “Honestly, we just naturally grew apart. One of our problems was we really had nothing in common and, over time, that happens to a lot of people.”
She explained that the split was “completely amicable”. She added: “We talk on the phone all the time, I go over and have coffee. We’re completely friendly. Everybody’s happy.”
Hogan also spoke out about his divorce from Kozlowski with the Daily Telegraph. He confessed that they enjoyed 20 “wonderful years” together before becoming “worn out” for “two or three”.
He went on to take the “blame” for the marriage’s ending. He said: “I’m very flighty — a woman lasts for about a quarter of a century and then they get bored with me. We were opposites and we were attracted to each other for a long time. Opposites in everything. From the food we ate, the music we liked, the entertainment we liked, the colours, the clothes, the places, everything. It worked anyway.”
Despite their divorce, he didn’t deem the marriage a failure. “How can you ‘fail’ after a quarter of a century?” he said. “Failed marriages are when two people stay together even though they have long ago lost much interest.”
The end of their marriage followed the news that Kozlowski had quit Hollywood entirely.
After the third movie in the Crocodile Dundee series, Kozlowski decided to give up acting for good. In 2001 she opened up about what pushed her to make this call.
She explained: “These straight-to-video schlocky films I was getting were giving me an ulcer, basically, because I was the only one on the set that cared about anything.”
Kozlowski complained that certain scenes “didn’t make sense”. She’d get pithy replies such as: “Aw, so what, just say the lines!”
“I thought, this isn’t fun anymore,” she sighed. “This is not why I studied, it’s not what I love. Between that and my biological clock, I decided to give it all away.”
She added that she would not want to build her acting career from the ground up for the second time. “I certainly don’t want to go backwards and get back into that grind,” the 43-year-old said. “Driving from Santa Barbara five times a week to go on these auditions I don’t even want to do.”
Despite this, she noted that she could be convinced to return – if the right film came up. She confessed: “But life is strange. If something happened out of the blue that was a step in the right direction to doing more good work, that would be OK, I’d work again.”
Crocodile Dundee II hits Channel 4 at 6:25pm.
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