Chips Rafferty

Chips Rafferty MBE (26 March 1909 – 27 May 1971) was an iconic Australian actor. Called "the living symbol of the typical Australian", Rafferty's career stretched from the 1940s until his death in 1971, and during this time he performed regularly in major Australian feature films as well as appearing in British and American productions. He appeared in commercials in Britain during the late 1950s, encouraging British emigration to Australia. He was born John William Pilbean Goffage in Broken Hill, New South Wales to John Goffage, an English-born stock agent, and Australian-born Violet Maude Joyce. Gaining the nickname "Chips" as a school boy, Rafferty studied at Parramatta Commercial High School before working in a variety of jobs, including opal miner, sheep shearer, drover, airman and pearl diver before making his film debut in Ants in His Pants in 1938. At that time he was managing a wine cellar in Bond St, Sydney. Rafferty's onscreen image as a lanky, laconic bushman struck a chord with film goers and Rafferty soon became the most popular actor in Australia, appearing in such films as Forty Thousand Horsemen, The Rats of Tobruk, The Overlanders and Eureka Stockade.


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