Vale: David Ngoombujarra

Indigenous actor David Ngoombujarra, best known for the films Blackfellas and the SBS series The Circuit, has died, aged 44.

Ngoombujarra, 44, was found dead on Sunday. Police are awaiting a toxicology report to determine the cause of death.

Ngoombujarra won three Australian Film Institute awards, for Blackfellas, Black and White and The Circuit, in a career spanned more than two decades.

In the SBS drama he played ‘Harry Pope.’

He was born David Bernard Starr in Meekatharra in 1967 and raised in Coolbellup after being removed from his family under Commonwealth government policy. After busking in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in the 1980s he was given bit parts in Breaking Loose and Young Einstein.

His film roles included The Day of the Dog, The Missing, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Kangaroo Jack, Ned Kelly and Australia.

His television credits include Heartland (ABC), Janus, Correlli, Harry’s War, The Games, The Potato Factory, Home and Away, Roll, Parallax, and his final screen role in The Circuit in 2010.

Yirra Yaakin artistic director Kyle Morrison and Ngoombujarra’s nephew said, “I first worked with him as an 11-year-old when he was doing Heartland with Cate Blanchett and Ernie Dingo back in the 1990s.

“He had so much talent and so much charisma and inspiration.

“One of the things that people always remarked about Uncle David was his infectious smile.

“He will always be remembered for that big, beautiful smile.”

The Circuit‘s Writer / Producer Kelly Lefever told TV Tonight, “David was a rare, rare talent – there was and is no-one quite like him. The bravery of his choices and his winning smile will remain forever dear to me. The Circuit would have been a lesser series without his incredibly courageous and complex protrayal of Harry Pope, and I thank him quietly every time I watch a scene for taking it on – he made me laugh and made me cry, and he broke my heart, such was his power on screen.”

“The industry has suffered a great loss, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and his loved ones. He will not be forgotten.”

Source: West Australian


  1. I was under the impression that it was culturally respectful to refer to an aboriginal person who had passed away by their surname only, as in Mr xyz. Is this not the case?

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