2 March 1941|
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
|Occupation||Film producer, writer, actor and businessman|
|Years active||1973 to 1995|
|Children||Allira and Liana (with Delaney); Melissa (previous marriage)|
John Cornell (born 2 March 1941) is an Australian film producer, writer, actor, and businessman who was born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. He is best known for his role as "Strop" in The Paul Hogan Show, and he was instrumental in the introduction of World Series Cricket in 1977.
In 1971, while working as a producer for the television show A Current Affair, Cornell recognised the talents of a Sydney Harbour Bridge rigger, Paul Hogan (who had been the subject of an interview by the station). Cornell became Hogan's manager and often appeared alongside him in his popular television show, The Paul Hogan Show, as a character called "Strop" (a dim-witted dinkum Australian surf lifesaver). He produced and co-wrote the screenplay for Hogan's 1986 film Crocodile Dundee which became the highest grossing Australian film. He also produced and directed the successful 1988 sequel, Crocodile Dundee II.
Cornell worked closely with Kerry Packer and Austin Robertson in setting up World Series Cricket (WSC) in 1977. Based on a suggestion in 1976 by Dennis Lillee (whom Cornell was managing at the time), Cornell presented the idea to Kerry Packer—primarily with the aim of providing better financial rewards to the players. Cornell was actively involved in the recruitment of players for WSC, for example travelling to New Zealand to sign players (including Doug Walters). Cornell engaged the Mojo agency to produce radio and television advertisements to promote WSC—including the production of the jingle "C'mon Aussie C'mon".
Cornell was born in Kalgoorlie, but grew up in Bunbury in Western Australia. He states that he was considered a "ratbag"[a] at school, but he topped the class in both English and economics at Bunbury High.
Cornell married Australian television personality Delvene Delaney in 1977, and they have two children: Allira and Liana. He was married twice before, and has a daughter from one of those marriages (Melissa, born in 1970).
Cornell suffers from Parkinson's disease and has undergone deep brain stimulation to alleviate the symptoms. The disease had rendered Cornell largely immobile, however treatment by Professor Peter Silburn at St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane enabled him to "enjoy 2km walks with his wife".
Cornell and Paul Hogan were investigated for alleged tax evasion as part of the Australian Taxation Office's Project Wickenby which commenced in 2004. They were also investigated by the Australian Crime Commission "over the use of offshore accounts to bank royalties from the Crocodile Dundee films" (with both denying any dishonest conduct). They were later cleared of any wrongdoing by the ACC. In 2012 Hogan and Cornell confirmed that they had settled the eight-year dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.
Cornell has been involved in various roles in the following projects:
- Almost an Angel (1990) – producer, director
- Crocodile Dundee II (1988) – producer, director
- Crocodile Dundee (1986) – producer, writer
- Hogan in London (1975) – producer, actor, writer
- The Paul Hogan Show (1973 to 1984) – producer, actor, writer
- "Ratbag" is an Australian slang term for a non-conformist, a mischievous troublemaker, a scoundrel, a rascal or a lovable scallywag. The term can be used in a non-offensive way (as is the case in this article), or it may be used more pejoratively, as someone thoroughly disapproved of: a villain, a crook, a disreputable person.
- Guilliatt, Richard (21 August 1988). "AUSTRALIAN DEALMAKER: John Cornell; The Man Who Sold Hollywood on 'Crocodile Dundee'". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Woodhouse, Ursula (20 April 1986). "A very rich ratbag". The Sun-Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 172. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- "Paul Hogan's tax probe cost $20 million". news.com.au. News Corporation. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Sharp, Annette (16 April 2010). "Radical treatment for Parkinson's has transformed John 'Strop' Cornell". Herald Sun. News Corporation. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
- "Australian Content Box Office – Top 100 All Time". screenaustralia.gov.au. 1 January 2012. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Hogan, Jesse (18 August 2012). "When cricketers saw the light". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Gupta, Varun (18 April 2008). "Twenty20 can affect ODIs, not Tests: Lillee". Hindustan Times. HT Media Ltd. Retrieved 24 August 2012 – via HighBeam. (Subscription required (help)).
- Lillee 2003, p. 128.
- Lillee 2003, p. 129.
- Lillee 2003, p. 138.
- McClymont, Kate (9 April 2011). "Ruling revives Tax Office pursuit of Hogan". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Waterhouse, Kate (18 January 2012). "Liana's Bard Girl". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Houston, Cameron (23 April 2007). "Byron Bay's Beach Hotel gets $65m". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- Sharp, Annette (16 April 2010). "A Parkinson's 'miracle' for John Cornell, television's 'Strop'". The Daily Telegraph. News Corporation. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Moran, Susannah (19 January 2010). "Paul Hogan and John Cornell face final tax bills". The Australian. News Corporation. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- "Project Wickenby – Overview". Australian Taxation Office. 11 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.