Beloved Aussie TV legend dies
AUSTRALIAN actor Paul Cronin, once one of the most recognisable faces on television, has died in Melbourne at the age of 81.
The small screen legend, famed for playing Dave Sullivan in the acclaimed series The Sullivans, was surrounded by his loved ones when he passed away last night.
Cronin won five TV WEEK Logie Awards over the span of his long career, which included a long list of credits in much-loved series like Matlock Police, The Flying Doctors and Homicide.
His daughter Susanne told The Herald Sun on Saturday that the family was immensely proud of his achievements, both professional and personal.
"He was the most wonderful father, he was protective, he would have done everything for his girls. We loved him so much, he adored mum so much," she said.
She and sisters Katherine, Jules and Jane were by his side on Friday evening during his final moments, she said.
Saddened to hear of the death of our old family friend Paul Cronin. Great actor, great guy. Will be missed.— Marty Fields (@Martyfields) September 14, 2019
Paul Cronin was a massive part of my childhood. Firstly with Matlock Police and Solo One and then as the iconic and stoic Australian Dad Dave Sullivan. Our Italian immigrant family absolutely adored The Sullivans.#RIPPaulCronin A true Aussie TV legend.— SERGIO 🇭🇲 (@SERG1O_D) September 14, 2019
So sad to hear of the passing of the lovely Paul Cronin. It was an honour to have worked with the great man. Many, many laughs. There will never be another Dave Sullivan. pic.twitter.com/1vwxvdzcxq— Simon Owens (@SimonOMelb) September 14, 2019
Cronin was left devastated by his wife Helen's death in 2013. It was his lifelong companion, who he "still called his bride after 50 years of marriage", who encouraged his leap into show business, she revealed.
"The story goes he was watching TV one night with mum and he said 'I reckon I could do that', and she said, 'why don't you?'," Susanne told the newspaper.
"He got a walk on role in one of the Crawford Productions and then he got Matlock and the rest is history."
Prior to that, Cronin had been working as a semi-trailer truck driver and a draftsman after moving to Melbourne from his home state of South Australia, where he has earnt a name for being a champion gymnast.
"We're so proud of what he achieved in his career. He was determined to follow through on anything he set his mind to. He wanted to start a football team and he did it with the Brisbane Bears."
Cronin lobbied the AFL - a code he adored - for a licence to establish a team in Brisbane in 1986 and was president of the Bears for its first two years.
South Australian MP Frank Pangallo took to Twitter to pay tribute to the icon, who he'd crossed paths with "many times".
"Above all else he was one of the most affable and genuine people you could meet in show business," he wrote.
"A loss but what a legacy."