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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Chips Rafferty

c. 1955
Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph on paper (25.4 cm x 20.2 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 with funds provided by Timothy Fairfax AC 2003
© Max Dupain/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Max Dupain (age 44 in 1955)

Chips Rafferty MBE (age 46 in 1955)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Supported by

Tim Fairfax AC (53 portraits supported)

Related information

Little faces

10:30am, Wed 26 May – Fri 25 Jun

Little faces is for babies and toddlers (with their grown up) to play, sing and have fun discovering a portrait together.

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Dupain detective

Magazine article by Johanna McMahon, 2019

Johanna McMahon revels in history and mystery in pursuit of a suite of unknown portrait subjects.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency