Whatever Happened To Linda Kozlowski?

Linda Kozlowski was a struggling actress when she auditioned for a movie whose star and creator was an obscure Australian actor whose name elicited puzzled looks in Hollywood. She landed the part, not realizing that audition would forever shape her life when the low-budget comedy about a crocodile hunter from the Australian Outback turned out to be one of the biggest movies of 1986.

"Crocodile Dundee" went on to earn a staggering $328 million at the international box office — not too shabby for a movie that cost about $7 million to make (which reportedly included investments from a few wealthy cricket players and INXS singer Michael Hutchence), making star Paul Hogan a household name and a hot property in Hollywood.

Yet with all that success, Kozlowski pulled a vanishing act. She hasn't appeared onscreen since 2001, when she revived her "Crocodile Dundee" role for the ill-fated sequel "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles." For an actress who played the female lead in one of the biggest films of the 1980s, her career went surprisingly quiet in the years that followed. So what happened? Read on and discover the amazing secret behind Linda Kozlowski's exit from Hollywood.

How Linda Kozlowski landed the role that made her famous

When she auditioned for "Crocodile Dundee," Linda Kozlowski was an up-and-coming actress with only two screen credits under her belt: a bit part in a short-lived TV series called "Nurse" and the pivotal role of Miss Forsythe in a 1985 television adaptation of "Death of a Salesman" starring Dustin Hoffman, a role she had previously played in Hoffman's Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's acclaimed tragedy.

"Before 'Dundee' she was unemployed and broke," "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan told People of his co-star in 1986, "but she delivered the goods. She was a star-in-waiting. When she signed up and was coming to Australia, it sort of worried us a little bit. She was a New Yorker. But she was terrific — a pleasure to work with."

Kozlowski had become friendly with Hoffman, and the actor called the "Crocodile Dundee" team to put in a good word. "Dustin's call was like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval," a friend told People, "but Linda got the movie because they liked her."

Shooting Crocodile Dundee was no picnic for Linda Kozlowski

In "Crocodile Dundee," Linda Kozlowski played street-smart NYC travel reporter Sue Charlton, who's out of her element when she finds herself in the middle of the Australian Outback. As she told People, her character's reaction to her new surroundings wasn't all that different from her actual experience. 

"My hut was literally right on the edge of a billabong [a crocodile-filled swamp]," she explained. "Now that they're protected, the crocs have all gotten huge and fat and cocky. Crocodiles are really bold, and they do come up on land. Late at night, when we were going to the mess hall, we'd be ... very careful."

However, Kozlowski proved to be a trouper. "We thought the bugs and the snakes and the danger of crocodiles would freak her right out," said actor Paul Hogan. "I mean, there have been three or four deaths up there from crocodiles since Christmas, and there were crocodiles in the water where we shot the movie. But she never complained. She was professional. She never said, 'I won't do these things.' Mind you, we had a guy with a loaded Magnum between her and the water."

Linda Kozlowski fell in love with co-star Paul Hogan and had a lavish wedding

While the film's blockbuster success took everyone by surprise, that was nothing compared to the sparks that were flying between "Crocodile Dundee" stars Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski. Their undeniable attraction to each other led the co-stars to embark on a romance that would span decades, ultimately resulting in the end of Hogan's nearly 30-year marriage and tying he and Kozlowski together, both professionally and personally, for years to come.

Despite an age difference of nearly 20 years, Hogan and Kozlowski's feelings for each other only continued to grow stronger. In May 1990, Hogan, then 51, and Kozlowski, then 33, married in his hometown of Sydney, Australia, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that the groom gave his bride a spectacular wedding gift: a $2 million mansion that he had custom-built just for her.

According to a report from the Associated Press, media interest in the couple's nuptials was so intense that reporters were banned from the ceremony. According to Hogan, the wedding was attended by about 100 guests, including close friends, family, and a "couple of mates."

Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski were the Brangelina of their day

While Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski were virtual unknowns before "Crocodile Dundee," that was certainly not the case after the movie became an international sensation. And when rumors began to emerge that the co-stars had taken their romance from the big screen to real life, the media couldn't get enough. This was especially true in Hogan's native Australia, where their every move was chronicled by the media.

For example, a 1988 report in the Sydney Morning Herald documented a "steamy" trans-Atlantic flight to London during which the pair couldn't keep their hands off each other. "They hardly left each other alone through the whole flight," an anonymous passenger claimed. 

"When I first fell in love with Paul, there was a big outcry because he was married and had five kids. It was hard because the classy, elegant thing to do is to not say anything," she said of that era in a 2001 interview with a reporter from Scripps Howard News Service. "It's your personal life, and so they would come out and print their version of the story, which had nothing to do with reality."

Linda Kozlowski and Paul Hogan made more movies together

With a movie as successful as "Crocodile Dundee," a sequel is a given. By the time "Crocodile Dundee II" was released in 1988, rumors of Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski's affair provided added publicity, with the film earning $239 million worldwide — impressive, yet still $100 million less than the original. Film critics, however, were unimpressed. As The New York Times' Janet Maslin wrote, "The earlier one had novelty to keep it going, and this time the novelty has begun to wear thin."

Hogan and Kozlowski followed the movie with another film, and, this time, there were no crocodiles involved. As a confirmed couple, the duo co-starred in the 1990 comedy "Almost an Angel," with Hogan playing a thief who has a near-death experience that convinces him he's an angel. "Almost an Angel" bombed at the box office, bringing in a measly $1.6 million domestically in its opening weekend and just $6.9 million worldwide — a far cry from the heights of "Crocodile Dundee."

Later, Hogan and Kozlowski reunited for 2001's "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles," but the dismal box office ($39.4 million worldwide) proved the franchise had run out of steam. 

Linda Kozlowski closed the curtain on her acting career

While working with Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski was also striking out on her own, determined to prove she could hold her own as an actress without her husband. That didn't quite work out as she hoped, appearing in a few forgettable direct-to-video duds throughout the 1990s. Anyone remember "Zorn"? "The Neighbor"? "Backstreet Justice"? After appearing in a 1996 made-for-TV western called "Shaughnessy," Kozlowski took a break from acting and focused on raising son Chance.

After a few years off, Kozlowski reprised the role of Sue Charlton one more time for 2001's "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles." Not only would it be her and Hogan's last time working together, but it would also mark the final acting role of Kozlowski's career. 

As she told the Los Angeles Times in 1988, the writing had been on the wall for a while, with the success of "Crocodile Dundee" turning out to be both a blessing and a curse as she found herself typecast in the eyes of Hollywood casting directors. "After 'Crocodile Dundee,' I turned down lots of stuff, most of it where I'd play the girlfriend of some funny man," she explained.

Why Linda Kozlowski gave up on Hollywood

Speaking with Scripps Howard News Service in 2001, Linda Kozlowski got candid about her decision to quit acting. "These straight-to-video schlocky films I was getting were giving me an ulcer, basically because I was the only one on the set that cared about anything," she admitted. "I'd say, 'Well, this scene doesn't make sense.' 'Aw, so what, just say the lines.' I thought, 'This isn't fun anymore. This is not why I studied, it's not what I love.' Between that and my biological clock, I decided to give it all away."

However, she admitted that if the right opportunity came along she would definitely consider returning to the screen. "I certainly don't want to go backwards and get back into that grind, driving from Santa Barbara five times a week to go on these auditions I don't even want to do," she added. "But life is strange. If something happened out of the blue that was a step in the right direction to doing more good work, that would be OK, I'd work again."

Linda Kozlowski's divorce from Paul Hogan

While Paul Hogan continued to star in movies — albeit increasingly less successful ones, such as 2004's "Strange Bedfellows" and 2009's "Charlie & Boots" — Linda Kozlowski focused her energies on motherhood. "I was about to turn 40 and just wanted to have a baby, and time was running out and I was miserable, really, in the last two jobs I'd done," she revealed in a 2001 interview with Scripps Howard News Service, explaining that she'd made the right choice. She added, "I'm 43 years old, I've got a baby, I'm happy and content. I've reached the point in my life where I'm happy and have gotten over the whole thing."

Yet this contentment didn't last as the couple gradually found themselves drifting apart. In 2013, People reported they had split, with Kozlowski, then 55, filing for divorce from her 74-year-old husband after 23 years of marriage. The divorce was finalized the following year. "Honestly, we just naturally grew apart," Kozlowski told Australian magazine New Idea (via the Sydney Morning Herald). "One of our problems was we really had nothing in common and, over time, that happens to a lot of people."

The truth about Linda Kozlowski's split from Paul Hogan

Linda Kozlowski's divorce from Paul Hogan "was completely amicable," according to a 2014 interview the actress did with New Idea magazine (via Sydney Morning Herald). "We talk on the phone all the time, I go over and have coffee. We're completely friendly. Everybody's happy."

According to Hogan, there was no dramatic ending to the marriage — it simply became "worn out." In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he explained that he and Kozlowski enjoyed "20 wonderful years, two or three that were sort of like worn out." He added, "I'm very flighty — a woman lasts for about a quarter of a century and then they get bored with me." As Hogan recalled, "We were opposites and we were attracted to each other for a long time. Opposites in everything," noting, "From the food we ate, the music we liked, the entertainment we liked, the colours, the clothes, the places, everything. It worked anyway."

Despite their divorce, Hogan doesn't see their marriage as a failure. "How can you 'fail' after a quarter of a century?" he said. "Failed marriages are when two people stay together even though they have long ago lost much interest."

Linda Kozlowski's life with Paul Hogan was dramatized for TV

Years after her divorce, Linda Kozlowski had the surreal experience of watching her relationship with Paul Hogan play out in a made-for-television miniseries. Produced for Australia's Channel Seven in 2017, "Hoges" (Aussie fans' nickname for Hogan) featured Josh Lawson portraying Hogan, chronicling his rise from working-class rigger on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to international film stardom. Actress Laura Gordon was cast as Kozlowski. 

Reviews for the miniseries were decidedly mixed, with the Sydney Morning Herald offering five out of five stars for a "lovingly presented" biopic. Other reviewers were far less charitable. "The folly begins with Lawson bearing virtually no physical resemblance whatsoever to the person he was hired to play," said The Guardian, pointing to the "roadkill-looking hairpiece pasted to his scalp," while Australia's News.com.au quipped that "the bad wigs and hammy acting ... have caused viewers to cringe all over Australia."

Ratings were good but not great, with the Daily Mail reporting 1.32 million Australians viewed the first of the movie's two parts. "While it was among the most watched shows on the day," the Mail pointed out, "it was a long way behind similar telemovies from recent years."

Linda Kozlowski found love again

Linda Kozlowski's passion for travel opened the door for her to find love again after her divorce from Paul Hogan. Following their split, Kozlowski took a trip to Morocco, where she was led by local tour guide Moulay Hafid Baba. As she told Luxe Beat, the attraction was immediate. "We knew in a flash that we had known each other for a thousand years, which was a magic moment in both our lives," she gushed. 

In late 2017, Australia's Globe reported that Kozlowski and Baba had married, and alleged (via News.com.au) that the news left Hogan "stunned." An anonymous source told the outlet that Hogan "wants Linda to be happy, but probably wishes she was with him." The source added, "There is still a part of him that will always love Linda and he maybe thought they'd still end up together."

However, Hogan scoffed at reports he was "heartbroken" that his ex-wife had moved on. "Paul is genuinely delighted at Linda's news and wishes her all happiness in her new relationship. For real," Hogan's manager, Douglas Urbanski, told the Daily Mail. "Anything else you hear is pure fabricated invention."

Linda Kozlowski still worries about ex Paul Hogan

In May 2018, New Idea reported Linda Kozlowski sold her L.A. home and moved full-time to Morocco after her wedding to Moulay Hafid Baba. And while her ex Paul Logan may have professed happiness about her marriage, the magazine cited an unnamed source who claimed that the actor was "devastated that Linda has sold her home and cut ties with America, and is moving so far away," noting, "He's going to be incredibly lonely now that they are moving to Morocco. Paul doesn't have a lot of friends in L.A. and finds it hard to get close to new people, so it's affecting him a lot knowing that they will be gone."

Meanwhile, Kozlowski is said to still worry about Hogan, who celebrated his 80th birthday in October 2019. She's particularly concerned about his smoking. "Paul's had an incredible life and she can't imagine the world without him in it," a source told Women's Day. "She's constantly badgering him to have regular health check-ups, and to give up the cigarettes, because she wants him around for a long while yet."

Linda Kozlowski embarked on a new career

Linda Kozlowski started over in her personal life, and she also turned the corner on a whole new career that has nothing to do with Hollywood. Speaking with Honest Mum, Kozlowski opened up about launching a new Marrakesh-based travel business, Dream My Destiny. 

"My ambitions now are to continue to work hard with my tour company well underway and to enjoy the wonderful people and experiences that cross my path as a consequence of this endeavor. I also want to keep traveling and start a line of Moroccan-inspired clothing down the line," she said. She noted, "In five years I hope to be healthy, happy and maybe living in the country ... an olive farm and donkey sanctuary in the outskirts of Marrakesh sounds wonderful!"

"My partner Baba really knows Morocco like the back of his hand and combine that with my sense of what's happening now," she told the Daily Mail. "What's hip, what's trendy, what do people want ... What do the ladies want! I have a sense for that being an actress and traveler."

Why Linda Kozlowski decided to start over in Morocco

Speaking with Luxe Beat, Linda Kozlowski gushed about her new life in Morocco, which offered her a very different kind of lifestyle than she'd ever experienced before. "One thing I always hated about acting was that it got in the way of having an adventurous life," she explained. "You had to stick around [L.A.] and wait for work. Now I'm rejoicing in my freedom."

While Morocco is a world away from Hollywood, she admitted that's precisely what she's been enjoying about her new life. "I love luxury, but I love to rough it too," she added. "Baba and I once stayed three nights in the Sahara completely alone ... during the afternoon, we had just a tiny strip of shade from our tent. Time stood still and all we could do was lie in that strip of shade and talk and laugh."

Asked if she ever sees herself getting back in front of the cameras, Kozlowski admitted she doesn't miss her former career one bit. "I don't miss acting because my life is so full now," she declared. "Reality is better than make believe."

Linda Kozlowski is worth a cool $10 million

When Linda Kozlowski settled her divorce from Paul Hogan, she did not exit the marriage empty-handed. As TMZ reported in 2014, court documents indicated that she received a lump sum payment of $5.775 million, and was permitted to keep living in their home in Venice, California until 2018. She was also given the option to buy the home for the original purchase price of $1.59 million.

A 2017 article in the Daily Mail indicated that Kozlowski put her divorce settlement to work, using the cash to purchase three beachfront properties in the sought-after Los Angeles community nicknamed "Silicon Beach" due to its attractiveness to tech CEOs. "She has been really smart and made millions. She got a settlement from Paul of course and she's used it well," a neighbor told the Mail, adding, "Property prices have rocketed in Venice and she's rode the crest of a wave, no doubt about it." Due to her shrewd real estate wheeling and dealing, the neighbor assured that Kozlowski's "fortune will only do one thing — go up."

The neighbor was not wrong. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Kozlowski is sitting pretty with a comfortable net worth estimated at $10 million.