‘Classic Australian character’: TV and film icon John ‘Strop’ Cornell dies aged 80

John Cornell, the Australian TV and film legend behind the Paul Hogan show, Crocodile Dundee films and a driving force for World Series Cricket, has died at the age of 80.

Cornell passed away peacefully this morning in Byron Bay after a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, with his wife and eldest daughter by his side, and his youngest daughter on the phone from the UK.

“A classic Australian character, John Cornell made the lives he touched much richer, not only through donations, but also through his generosity of spirit, humour, humility and honour. A true egalitarian, John sought equity and equality, and fought for a fair go,” his family said in a statement.

He is survived by Delvene Delaney, his wife of 46-years, and his daughters, Melissa, Allira and Liana Cornell.

John Cornell has died aged 80. (ROSS ANTHONY WILLIS)

Cornell, affectionately known as ‘Strop’, was born March 2, 1941, and quickly rose through the ranks of journalism at the Daily News in Perth

He then turned his talents to television and was the original producer of A Current Affair, before teaming up with Paul Hogan, creating a 16 year run of the hugely-successful The Paul Hogan Shows, which Cornell co-wrote, produced and performed in.

A first press conference for World Series Cricket with Ian Chappell [far right], John Cornell, Sir Garfield Sobers and Kerry Packer.
A first press conference for World Series Cricket with Ian Chappell [far right], John Cornell, Sir Garfield Sobers and Kerry Packer. (SMH)

The duo also produced Crocodile Dundee in 1986 – and it remains the most profitable Australian movie of all time.

Ten years earlier he took the concept of World Series Cricket to Kerry Packer, setting the wheels in motion for a sporting revolution.

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