The Life and Times of John Meillon, a Legend of Australian Cinema

If you’re a fan of classic Aussie movies, you surely know who John Meillon is. The beloved actor from the land down under, who graced the world with his iconic roles in Crocodile Dundee and its sequel, is remembered for his joy and charisma on the screen.

Meillon was born on 1 May 1934 and had a prolific acting career until he passed away on 11 August 1989. He offered viewers an array of characters – from comedy to drama – that were both memorable and endearing. We’ll never forget when Walter Reilly says, in his unmistakable Aussie accent: “That’s not a knife [pause]. THIS is a knife!” in Crocodile Dundee.

Other Australian New Wave films where Meillon shined include Wake in Fright and The Cars That Ate Paris. He even voiced advertisements for Victoria Bitter beer! It’s no surprise why this lovable Australian character actor is still a household name today – he certainly left an indelible mark on our hearts.

Best Known Roles of John Meillon

You may fondly remember the iconic actor John Meillon from a variety of his most famous roles. First and foremost, he was best known for his role as Walter Reilly in Crocodile Dundee and Crocodile Dundee II. He also voiced multiple commercial advertisements for Victoria Bitter beer.

In addition, he appeared in several Australian New Wave films including Wake In Fright and The Cars That Ate Paris to name a few. His performances over the years have earned him posthumous recognition as one of Australia’s most beloved actors.

So, the next time you hear his well-known catchphrase “That’s not a knife!” — shout it out loud with joy, and remember the life of Meillon, an actor who will be forever remembered by generations to come.

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Iconic Commercials With John Meillon

You may not know this, but John had a remarkable talent for comedic timing – and he displayed it as the voiceover artist of some iconic commercials!

Meillon was best known for his work in voicing Victoria Bitter beer advertisements – particularly the catchphrase “Good onya, VB.” There’s no denying his contribution to making those commercials so memorably entertaining.

Besides commercials, Meillon also played characters in some very successful films – most notably Walter Reilly in the original Crocodile Dundee from 1986 and its sequel, Crocodile Dundee II from 1988.

But no matter what your favorite John Meillon performance was, you can be sure that he was an incredibly talented actor. His legacy is one to be remembered and admired for generations to come.

Filmography of Meillon

You may remember Meillon for his role as Walter Reilly in the Crocodile Dundee films, but did you know that he also acted in a range of other films? From Australian New Wave films like Wake in Fright to The Cars That Ate Paris, Meillon’s acting career was filled with memorable roles and performances.

Here are some other notable roles that Meillon starred in:

  • The Devil’s Playground (1976): one of his first major roles, this was a lauded Australian film directed by Fred Schepisi
  • Let the Balloon Go (1976): Meillon took on the role of Father Gallagher, an antihero who has trouble adjusting to modern society
  • Careful He Might Hear You (1983): an acclaimed adaptation of a classic novel, Meillon played a small but important role as the father of two children
  • Race for the Yankee Zephyr: an action flick from 1981 that featured Meillon as one of the main characters
  • Snapshot (1979): in this suspenseful thriller, Meillon plays a police detective on the case of a set of missing photographs

These are only some examples of Meillon’s long and varied filmography—there’s plenty more where that came from! So whether you know him from Crocodile Dundee or some other movie, you can be sure that John Meillon left an impressive mark on cinema culture.

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Legacy of John

You will recognize John for his unforgettable roles in Crocodile Dundee and The Cars That Ate Paris. He was an Australian character actor who excelled at both comedic and dramatic roles, making him a beloved fixture of the Australian New Wave films of the 70s and 80s.

X Meillon’s legacy extends beyond on-screen appearances. He also voiced advertisements for Victoria Bitter beer, a popular Australian lager, which can still be heard today as part of retro advertising campaigns. He was a staple on television, in films, and on stage during his roughly 30-year career.

Meillon’s contribution to Australia’s cultural identity cannot be overstated. From playing a memorable criminal in Wake in Fright to voicing an iconic catch phrase – “Get Some Goss!” – in Victoria Bitter commercials, he left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of his homeland.

Even today, Meillon’s legacy lives on through reruns of classic films, vintage beer advertisements and recognizable characters that defined post-war Australian cinema. His role as Walter Reilly will always remain a fond memory of Australians everywhere.


John Meillon’s legacy to the world of film and television will remain with us forever. His iconic roles in Crocodile Dundee, The Cars That Ate Paris, and Wake in Fright solidified him as an Australian film icon. Furthermore, his role as the voice of Victoria Bitter advertisements endeared him to generations of Australians.

Meillon was a talented actor of incredible range, capable of portraying both dramatic and comedic roles with equal finesse. His influence on the world of film and television will be remembered for many years to come. His enduring legacy will continue to inspire actors, filmmakers, and film fans alike.

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