Did You Know: The Real Crocodile Dundee Died In Crazy Police Shootout

Crocodile Dundee ended 1986 as the second highest-grossing movie of the year (Top Gun was #1). But the man that inspired the character – played by Paul Hogan in the movie – ended his days broken and paranoid in a murderous, drug-fueled shootout.

The real Crocodile Dundee was a man named Rod Ansell. He was an outback-dwelling buffalo hunter who spent months living off the land.

According to melmagazine.com, Ansell moved from Queensland to the deeply rural Northern Territory at age 15 to catch buffalo. When he was 22, he told his girlfriend he was going on a fishing trip that might last a few months. He traveled up the Fitzmaurice River with his two dogs, until a crocodile — or, according to some of his retelling of the tale, a whale — overturned his boat. He and the dogs then lived off the land for two months, sleeping in trees, scooping honey out of beehives and sleeping with snakes, eventually being found by a pair of Aboriginal trackers and brought to safety.

He was eventually flown to Sydney to be interviewed for TV and instantly became a folk hero.

But Ansell didn’t get any money, something he became extremely bitter about. While Hogan made millions in Hollywood.

In 1992, Ansell was convicted of cattle raiding and assaulting the owner of a rival property. In the meantime, he started growing and selling weed and injecting speed.

His speed use continued until he weighed only 115 pounds. Then in 1999, he became the subject of a police man hunt after firing gunshots into a caravan that belonged to a friend of his. Ultimately, he ended up in an exchange of gunfire with the cops and killed a police officer with a gut shot before being gunned down himself. He was shot 33 times.

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