Versatility should be Ernie Dingo's middle name. He's one of Australia's most famous actors and TV personalities, most recognised for his hosting role on 'The Great Outdoors'. The Aboriginal Australian actor who has had an extensive career in film and television, is best known to international audiences through his film roles as 'Charlie in Crocodile Dundee II' and as the Australian detective who chases William Hurt around the globe in Wim Wenders, 'Until the End of the World,' Dingo has also become a familiar and popular figure on Australian television.
Dingo's television career is particularly significant for the way it has broken new ground in the medium's presentation of cultural difference. Initially taking roles scripted specifically for an Aboriginal actor by white writers and directors, he has worked consistently to broaden expectations of what Aboriginality can include and to introduce and popularise an understanding of Aboriginal perspectives on Australian life.
Ernie Dingo grew up around the small Western Australian town of Mullewa, where the local Aboriginal people still speak the traditional Wudjadi language. He first moved into acting in Perth when a basketball team to which he belonged formed a dance and cultural performance group Middar.
One of Dingo's main skills as an actor is an ability to engage audiences with an open, easy screen presence and use of humour, while also capturing serious moods dramatically and convincingly. It is perhaps this versatility, above all, which has made him highly effective as a cross-cultural communicator.
Ernie Dingo has been acclaimed by some as one of Australia's finest contemporary actors. In addition, he has established a place as a major figure in extending mainstream awareness and understanding of Aboriginal Australia.