"Tell him I love him," Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) told a random New Yorker, a message to relay across a crowded Grand Central Station to her paramour, Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan). "I love you! I love you!" the passenger exclaimed, prompting the Australian adventurer to cancel his plans to return to the outback and use the shoulders of several passengers on the packed platform as a bridge to get to his ladylove.
So goes the closing scene of "Crocodile Dundee" (1986), one of the biggest comedy hits of the '80s. Now, almost 27 years later, the love between Mick and Sue is still going strong off-screen ... even if the years are starting to visibly catch up with one of them.
Paul Hogan, 73, and Linda Kozlowski, 54, probably had several guests exclaiming "That's not a knife!" as they attended the G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala last Saturday, bringing back memories of what's arguably the film's best gag. Accompanied by their son Chance, the playful and affectionate couple looked just as in love as ever, though their 19-year age gap is certainly now more apparent than it was back in the '80s. (Hogan now looks a lot like Peter Fonda, no?)
Hogan and Kozlowski first met on the set of "Crocodile Dundee" (unofficially "'Crocodile' Dundee," as the quotes were added lest anyone think the movie was about an actual crocodile named Dundee), a fish-out-of-water comedy in which New York reporter Sue Charlton travels to the Australian wilderness to interview Mick Dundee, a rugged adventurer and hunter who survived a vicious crocodile attack. After accepting her invitation to return to the Big City with her, Dundee finds the outback is nothing compared to the concrete jungle of Manhattan Island.
It made for one of Australia's messiest celebrity divorces when Hogan split with his first wife, Noelene Edwards, in 1986, the year that "Crocodile" was released and in which he started romancing his co-star. Hogan and Edwards were first married in 1958 (the year Kozlowski was born) and split in 1981, though they got back together less than a year later. Hogan and Kozlowski were married in 1990 and reprised their on-screen roles in both "Crocodile Dundee II" (1988) and "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles" (2001).
Hogan was presented with the Australian Icon Award at the G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala by Oscar nominee (and, as of last night, Golden Globe winner) Hugh Jackman. "I grew up watching Hoges, he was the everyman," said the "Les Misérables" star. "He's funny, honest, smart, ethical and an icon; for me, a mentor."
There are currently no plans to bring Mick Dundee back for a fourth adventure, though in a world that now embraces over-the-hill action stars with cinematic extravaganzas such as "The Expendables" and "A Good Day to Die Hard," it might be a good time for Hogan to get back into reptile-wrestling shape.