Humble Pacific Island movie star Mungau Dain dies in mid-20s

FILE - This Sept. 9, 2015, file photo shows Mungau Dain in Venice, Italy. Dain had never considered acting before he starred in the Oscar-nominated film “Tanna.” He got the role because his elders decided he was the best-looking guy in their traditional village on the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Dain died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in the capital Port Vila, after contracting a leg infection that wasn’t quickly treated. He was in his mid-20s. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Mungau Dain, who earned the role in the Oscar-nominated film "Tanna" because his elders decided he was the best-looking guy in their traditional village on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, has died.

Dain died Saturday in the capital Port Vila, after contracting a leg infection that wasn't quickly treated. He was in his mid-20s.

Martin Butler, who co-directed "Tanna," says Dain wasn't a natural actor but was very enthusiastic, learned quickly, and ended up giving a fabulous performance. The movie won a number of awards, including two at the Venice Film Festival.

Dain is survived by his wife Nancy and two children.

His village, Yakel, remains in a traditional two-week mourning period.

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