Aussie TV legend and The Sullivans star Paul Cronin has died at the age of 81, his family have confirmed in a heartbreaking statement.
The much-loved actor, best known for playing Dave Sullivan in hit TV series The Sullivans and Gary Hogan in Matlock Police, passed away surrounded by his four daughters and grandchildren, the Herald Sun exclusively confirmed.
“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,” his daughter Susanne told the news outlet.
Cronin’s wife Helen sadly previously passed away in 2013 and Susanne added: “He still called her his bride after 50 years of marriage.”
Cronin enjoyed fame before starring in The Sullivans as dad Dave – but this is the role he’s arguably most remembered for. The actor won the Silver Logie five times including three years consecutively from 1978, making him the most Logie-awarded actor in Australia alongside Martin Sacks.
Before joining The Sullivans, Cronin appeared as motorcycle policeman Gary Hogan in the Crawford Productions drama Matlock Police from 1971 to 1975. After starring as Dave Sullivan, he went on to co-host on radio 3AW’s Nightline and Remember When programs.
Cronin was also the host of lifestyle program Discover Down Under that explores the caravan and camping industry in Australia. Meanwhile, a major AFL supporter, he was awarded the licence to establish the Brisbane Bears AFL team in 1986 and went on to become president of the club from 1987 to 1989.
Tributes are flooding in online, with 3AW host Simon Owens writing: “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.”
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
Meanwhile another fan called for Cronin’s AFL team to honour him, writing: “Surely the @brisbanelions wear an extra black arm band tonight for their club founder Paul Cronin. Despite the errors of the early days, He played a pretty significant role in forming the club.”
Elsewhere, one social media user wrote: “Saddened to hear of the death of our old family friend Paul Cronin. Great actor, great guy. Will be missed,” and ‘film archaeologist’ Rhett Bartlett added: “#RIP Paul Cronin, 81. A star of Aussie TV: incredibly memorable as the hard-working patriarch in the WW2-era THE SULLIVANS. Earlier he played the motorcycle cop Gary Hogan in MATLOCK POLICE. Had a great cameo in FRONTLINE as the network owner undone by Mike Moore.”
His daughters Katherine, Jane, Susanne and Jules were reportedly all by his side when he passed away.