Bruce Roland Carter left a good Samaritan with one ear dangling from his head in a brutal and unprovoked attack east of Adelaide and has been jailed for at least two-and-a-half years.
Carter was high on drugs and drunk when he launched at his victim in September last year, punching him to the ground and biting both his ears, with one partially severed.
In sentencing on Tuesday, District Court Judge Simon Stretton said the senseless violence had left the victim permanently disfigured.
The injured man had come to Carter's aid believing the 36-year-old may have become bogged after crashing his car while doing burnouts near a dam in Murray Bridge.
Carter jumped out of the driver's seat looking "dazed, confused and angry", Judge Stretton said.
He rushed at the victim, punching him in the face before biting both his ears with one needing to be amputated.
"In short, he's lost an entire ear and part of his second ear. He's suffered physically from your assault, in particular from the brutal way you bit off his ears," Judge Stretton told Carter.
"It was a vicious and completely unprovoked attack on an innocent member of the community who was trying to go out of his way to try to help you."
The court heard Carter had become depressed over injuries he suffered in a previous hit-and-run road crash and his failure to win compensation.
That led him to abuse a range of drugs including cocaine, heroin, cannabis and alcohol, drugs he said were easy to come by because of his work in the film industry.
On the night of his offending, he took a cocktail of home-brewed bourbon, cannabis and other pills.
The actor had roles in Gods of Wheat Street, Redfern Now and the television series remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock, as well as in the 2015 feature film Last Cab to Darwin.
He pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally causing serious harm and one count of aggravated assault and was jailed for four years and nine months with a non-parole period of two years and six months.
In previous sentencing submissions, defence counsel Mike Norman said Carter's remorse was "very, very real" and was evident during a recent Aboriginal sentencing hearing.
"He clearly listened, he clearly took great note of the harm he has caused."
Mr Norman said Carter, who was also a talented painter and musician, was destined to be a leader of his people in the next 10 or 20 years and had thought a lot about his future since his offending.
"As he said to his nanna, 'I did the crime nanna, I'm gonna do the time'."