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John Clarke, beloved Down Under for his satire, dies at 68

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/10/2017

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — After Australia's Prime Minister John Howard refused to apologize to indigenous Aboriginal people for past atrocities, an actor who happened to have the same name as the nation's leader read out a moving apology on a television show.

The 2000 skit on "The Games" was one of many culturally iconic moments created by John Clarke, a comedian and political satirist beloved in Australia and New Zealand.

Clarke's family said the 68-year-old died on Sunday of natural causes while taking photographs of birds in the Grampians National Park, a three-hour drive from his home in Melbourne, Australia. A friend said Clarke died from a heart attack.

His death had people from both countries reminiscing about the skits and songs Clarke performed that often touched on the essence of life Down Under.

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