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Chips Rafferty MBE

1909 – 1971

Chips Rafferty MBE (1909-1971), screen actor, was born John Goffage and nicknamed 'Chips' as a boy. He worked in a number of manly jobs including shearer, miner, drover and pearl diver before making his film debut in Ants in His Pants in 1938. He made a foray into Hollywood for The Desert Rats (1953), and was vaguely and briefly marketed as Australia's answer to Cary Grant, but he was more in his element playing the lean and laconic bushman. Variations on this character appear throughout his filmography, which constitutes a list of films that contributed to the establishment of the popular notion of Australian identity: Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940), Bush Christmas (1947), The Overlanders (1948), Eureka Stockade (1948), Rats of Tobruk (1951), Kangaroo (1952), Smiley (1957), Smiley Gets a Gun (1959), The Sundowners (1960) and They're a Weird Mob (1966).

Updated 2018