He does not want to spend his last minutes away from home: Paul moved to Sydney. He was in a wheelchair
Paul Hogan has arrived back home in Australia as he battles a debilitating condition that’s ravaged his health and left him too weak to carry out basic tasks on his own.
The actor appeared very frail on Saturday as he made his way through Sydney Airport in a wheelchair, pushed along by a minder, after revealing he was desperate to spend his final years back in his home country.
Now 83, the star – famed for his rugged appearances in the popular Crocodile Dundee film franchise – has struggled with muscle wastage and dramatic weight loss after being diagnosed with retroperitoneal fibrosis.
He was able to stand on his own once leaving the terminal, but was in visible pain due to a broken rib.
Hogan has previously spoken about suffering severe homesickness for Australia, but said he was unable to live in his home nation because of his son’s life in Los Angeles.
After disembarking from his flight, Hogan was assisted by ground staff who transported him in a wheelchair.
Despite his ill health, the Hollywood icon was dressed in a chic ensemble befitting his superstar status.
He donned a black dress shirt and tailored trousers, along with a velvet jacket and sunglasses.
Hogan clutched his side multiple times while travelling in the wheelchair, wincing in discomfort.
The Flipper star stood up from the chair unassisted as he waited for his car, and was able to carry a leather sports bag.
However, he struggled to walk as he clung onto his side, and appeared to be in agony due to his rib injury.
Discussing his condition during an interview with A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw – her last before she left Nine’s flagship program after 17 years – Hogan revealed the benign growth has wrapped around the abdominal aorta and pressed on his kidney.
And he admited the devastating impact on his health has left him pining to leave the $3.5million Venice Beach home he shares with son Chance, 24, and return to the relative tranquility of his home country.
He said: ‘[I’ve] been better. I had a problem on the aorta in the kidney and the treatment fixed it, but it shrunk me.
‘I just… I’ve lost all my body fat and the muscles all shrank and the strength has come back, because it left me feeble. I get Chance to open jars for me.’
He added: ‘Quite a few of my friends on diets hate me for it because I try and eat everything fatty and lardy you can think of. Everything they’re not allowed to have. I can’t put on an ounce.’
The actor was prescribed corticosteroids to shrink the growth, but now needs to regain his strength after the health scare dramatically changed his physique.
Hogan said the steroid treatment was worse than the disease.
‘They shrink your muscles and [they’re] supposed to make you fat, but I got thinner and thinner and thinner,’ Hogan revealed.
‘I’m now in the business of trying to put a bit of fat on… because you feel the cold too much when you’ve got no body fat.’
Hogan now has a pacemaker fitted and says he is ‘being held together by string’ while attempting to work his way back to full health.
The Golden Globe winner said he always ‘maintained’ his fitness up until he was 79, and admits he is lucky to have been healthy for so long.’I was still fit. I’d still take out most 40 year olds,’ he said. ‘And then I turned 80 and it’s lovely that saying that “turning 80 is not for sissies” because things start to fall apart.’
Hogan has previously said he is desperate to return home to Australia as his health declines, but says he can’t leave son Chance – his child with ex-wife and former Crocodile Dundee co-star Linda Kozlowski – alone in California.
‘I’m not in the place I’m meant to be, but I’m not allowed to complain about anything,’ he said.
‘I’ve had such a gifted life. I’ve had so many wonderful things happen to me without deserving them so I shouldn’t complain but, yeah, ideally I’d rather be back in Sydney because I miss the rest of my family there.’
Hogan revealed recently he’d been ‘homesick for years’ after the Venice Beach neighbourhood surrounding his home became a magnet for vagrants.
‘I miss the people, the ambience – and there’s something you just can’t put your finger on, but there’s something about Australia that is friendlier and more laid-back,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘It never takes itself seriously – there’s no arrogance like there is in other places.’
He moved to Los Angeles in 2005 with his then-love interest and former co-star Linda Kozlowski, who he met on the set of Crocodile Dundee.
He left his first wife Noelene to pursue a love affair with much-younger Linda, now 64, and they wed in 1990.
In 2014 she filed for divorce but they are said to still be on good terms and live in the same neighborhood while co-parenting their son.
In an interview with Sunrise last year, Hogan said he was ‘desperate’ to return to Australia and leave his life in America behind.
‘I am desperately homesick,’ he said. ‘I’m living in LA County, which is 10 million people and half of them have got Covid. So am I homesick? You bet your life.’
His home is in the once-elite beachside suburb of Venice, where a vast increase in homelessness has seen hundreds of tents line the beach’s famous boardwalk and a sharp increase in crime.
When asked how he was coping with Los Angeles’ crime wave, Hogan simply said he ‘doesn’t go anywhere.’
He added: ‘[I’m] bored in lockdown, and the minute I can get on the plane without being locked in a hotel for two weeks, I’m back.’
The iconic Australian actor appeared in Channel Seven’s The Roast of Paul Hogan last month.
An array of Australian talent, including Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Ernie Dingo and John Paul Young, poked fun at Paul’s expense while also paying tribute to his life and career.
The star filmed the event in front of a live audience at Crown Casino in Melbourne in April.