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Chips Rafferty
, 1970

by Anthony Browell

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 38.1 cm x 30.3 cm, image: 30.8 cm x 21.3 cm)

Chips Rafferty (1909-1971), screen actor, made 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).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2003
Accession number: 2003.129