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'Everyone's TV Dad': Aussie Actor Paul Cronin Dies, Aged 81

Australian actor Paul Cronin, best known for his role in The Sullivans, has died at 81.

Cronin - who won five silver Logies - played Dave Sullivan in the beloved soap opera, and Gary Hogan in Matlock Police.

He died surrounded by his four daughters and grandchildren, according to the Herald Sun.

Cronin played patriarch Dave Sullivan on The Sullivans across the entire run of the Nine series, from 1976 – 1983

"He was the most wonderful father, he was protective, he would have done everything for his girls," he daughter Susanne said.

"We loved him so much, he adored mum so much."

Paul Cronin, best known from police drama Matlock Police and its spin-off Solo One and sensing a lull in his acting fortunes, was set for a new career in real estate before he was short-listed for the lead role of Dave Sullivan.

Born the son of a farmer in South Australia, after leaving school Cronin became a farmer himself.  He later married his wife Helen, who gave birth to four daughters including twins.

Cronin was a big supporter of the AFL and took it upon himself to establish the Brisbane Bears team in 1986 and served as president of the club from 1987 to 1989.

As Australians learn of his death, many are sharing pictures and fond memories on social media, and a common sentiment is that Cronin was the television dad so many grew up with.

With AAP