News People Mourners farewell NT’s first film star Daphne Calder

Mourners farewell NT’s first film star Daphne Calder

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The funeral of the Northern Territory’s first film star has heard she turned down a Hollywood career because of her love for the Red Centre.

Family and friends gathered in Alice Springs at the John Flynn Church to remember the life of Daphne Calder.

Mrs Calder died last week, aged 89.

She rose to fame when she starred alongside Chips Rafferty in the 1946 blockbuster the Overlanders.

Mourners have told how she fell in love with Alice Springs during filming and decided to turn down a movie career in favour of life in the centre.

Her daughter Erika told the congregation she always saw Alice Springs as home and described how the film brought her mother to the town.

“The crew was flown to Alice Springs on two DC-3s and mum said she thought seeing the beautiful country she’d never leave,” she said.

After the film, Mrs Calder shunned the spotlight and married a local station owner.

She became an active member of the Alice Springs community, establishing a nursery and working tirelessly for numerous community organisations, as well as serving as a town councillor.