Active - 1980 - 1994  |   Born - Dec 16, 1944   |   Died - Jul 2, 2003   |   Genres - Comedy, Spirituality & Philosophy, Fantasy

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Biography by AllMovie

A member of southern Africa's indigenous San tribe, N!xau would go from a life of peaceful solitude to an unexpected turn as the world's most famous bushman following the release of Jamie Uys' 1981 comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy. Born in the Kalahari Desert sometime around 1944 (N!xau himself was unsure of his exact birth date), N!xau was discovered by director Uys and immediately cast in the lead of The Gods Must Be Crazy. Paid only a few hundred dollars for his appearance in the film, N!xau's lack of knowledge regarding the value of currency resulted in the actor literally letting his payment float away in the wind. Nevertheless, the world soon fell in love with the unassuming bushman, and though he would receive the royal treatment as he toured the globe, N!xau was more comfortable sleeping on the hotel room floors than the beds provided for him. Rumored to have only seen three white people before the film was shot, and having never been in a community larger than the small village of huts inhabited by his tribe, the trappings of fame had little effect on N!xau in terms of personality, though by the time a sequel to The Gods Must Be Crazy was set to shoot, his understanding of currency led him to demand several hundred thousand dollars in order to build a home for his wives and family. The successful sequel was so popular as to spawn three more Hong Kong-produced sequels (one featuring a hopping vampire dropped into N!xau's tribe!), and the down-to-earth star would subsequently return to Namibia to be with his family. On July 2, 2003, N!xau was found dead near his home after going on an excursion to find wood. He was believed to have been 59 at the time of his death.

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