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Character Profiles > Daphne Clarke Elaine Smith

Daphne Rose Clarke (née Lawrence) 1985-1988
Lived: 22, 28 Ramsay Street
Parents: Allen Lawrence and Tina Bentley
Marital Status: Des Clarke (1986-1988)
Children: Jamie
Family Tree: Clarke/Lawrence
Occupation: Stripper, Coffee Shop Owner
Died: 1988

Daphne Lawrence was born into a rich and upper class family but the wealth never substituted for what she wanted most - the love of her parents. They were always too busy and career-driven to spend time with Daphne. Her mother, Tina, left when Daphne was in her early teens and the two never spoke again. Daphne was left with her father Allen who had become bitter and aggressive following the breakdown of his marriage. Sick of feuding with Allen and not living up to the Lawrence name, Daphne left home and moved to the neighbouring suburb of Erinsborough where she worked as a secretary before becoming a stripper to support herself financially.

After performing at Des Clarke's bucks party in Ramsay Street, Daphne returned the following morning to look for a lost earring. Des' wedding had been called off and he now needed someone to help pay his mortgage. Daphne was on the market for somewhere to live with the lease coming to an end on her flat and after persuasion from Des' mate Shane Ramsay, who had fallen for Daphne, moved into No. 28 with Des. She and Des became good friends and Daphne soon found herself going out with Shane much to the annoyance of his cantankerous father, Max, who couldn't stand the fact that a stripper was living in his street - much less dating his son. The relationship with Shane ended after Daphne turned down his marriage proposal. Daphne then began a relationship with Des after the two realised they were more than just good friends. They became engaged but the wedding ended in disaster when the wedding car was hijacked by a bank robber dressed in a gorilla suit. Thinking Daphne has jilted him, Des left the church and by the time Daphne arrived, it seemed the relationship was over. Daphne moved out, while Andrea, an ex-girlfriend of Des' turned up from Perth with her young son, Bradley, whom she claimed was Des' child. Des decided to do what he thought was the honourable thing and made plans to be a family with them. Daphne, meanwhile, rented a room with her good friend, zany Clive Gibbons across the road at No. 22. Daphne lived happily here with Clive and her old school friend, Zoe Davis, but her thoughts were never far from Des and what might have been.

Her mind was taken off her problems with Des when she was given the lease to the local Coffee Shop by her beloved, eccentric grandfather, Harry Henderson, who had won it in a poker game. Running the Coffee Shop meant Daphne no longer had to be a stripper, or work as a secretary to sexist bosses, and so she put her all into making a success of the business, which she soon called, appropriately, 'Daphne's'. However, things got off to a slow start and, believing the business was not making a profit, the management of the Lassiter's complex decided not to renew Daphne's lease when it expired. Clive came up with various schemes to get the Coffee Shop more business and he and Daphne eventually decided on a pancake-making contest. The whole neighbourhood became involved in the competition and the profits of the Coffee Shop increased enormously as the shop became a focal point of Erinsborough. Ultimately, the management of Lassiter's realised they would be foolish not to keep the shop in action and extended Daphne's lease.

Daphne finally looked set to make it to the altar with her beloved Des after he ended his relationship with Andrea following the discovery that Bradley was not his son. Daphne and Des became engaged once again and Daphne finally made it up the aisle and became Mrs. Clarke. The Clarke's honeymoon turned out to be a disaster, however, when hapless Des pulled a muscle in his back as he carried Daphne in his arms.

Shortly after their marriage, Des and Daphne became legal guardians of Mike Young, who they had met through Mike's friendship with Scott Robinson from next door. Mike came from a violent home where his father constantly abused his long-suffering mother and when the Clarkes' offered Mike a room at No.28, he was happy to accept it. Daphne was particularly fond of Mike and was always there for him when he needed her. When Mike was banned from seeing his girlfriend, Jane Harris, by her stern grandmother Mrs. Mangel, Daphne tried to help the couple persuade Mrs. Mangel that Mike was a decent bloke. But Mrs. Mangel would not relent and it transpired she had been receiving poison pen letters about Mike, which had been the reason for her dislike of him. Daphne got to the bottom of the letters when she caught school bitch Sue Parker posting one of the letters through Mrs. Mangel's front door. Daphne exposed Sue as a liar and persuaded Mrs. Mangel to let Mike and Jane see each other.

Des and Daphne's wedded bliss was ruined when Daphne came close to death after suddenly contracting meningitis. After a lucky recovery, Daphne discovered she was pregnant making both her and Des extremely happy as they looked forward to starting a family. The months of Daphne's pregnancy were filled with drama, however. Daphne suspected Des of having an affair when he returned from a business trip in Hobart and began receiving mysterious long distance phone calls. Her worst fears were realised when a letter arrived in the post for Des from Tasmania, and unable to contain her curiosity, Daphne steamed it open and was horrified to find it was from Lorraine. Although Des was furious with Daphne for opening his mail, it was nothing compared to the anger Daphne felt towards Des for making contact with his ex-fiancée. Before Des could explain himself, Daphne threw him out and their marriage was very much on the rocks. Matters weren’t helped by Scott Robinson printing a story in the Erinsborough News about the couple’s marital difficulties. Even though Scott didn’t use their real names, the whole neighbourhood knew who he was talking about, and Daphne and Des found themselves the victims of local gossip. Madge Mitchell tried to help mend the rift between the couple by inviting them to a dinner party at the Ramsay house to introduce her friend Harold Bishop to the neighbours. Unbeknownst to Des and Daphne, the dinner party had been specifically cooked up by Madge to try and get them back together. It ended in tears though when Harold mentioned Hobart and all hell broke loose between Daphne and Des. After a blazing row, it seemed their marriage was over. But the following morning, Des rushed to Daphne’s side when she slipped on the floor of No.28. After Clive assured them the baby was fine, the couple realised they had been foolish to jeopardise their future happiness and when Des finally sat Daphne down and explained to her that he had merely given Lorraine financial advice in Hobart, they agreed to put the incident behind them.

More drama occurred when the couple began decorating the baby’s nursery and were faced with a lawsuit after Mrs. Mangel - who had been helping them - lost her memory after falling from a ladder in the nursery. Des began to worry that the stress of a lawsuit hanging over their heads was dangerous for Daphne's health and ended up settling with Mrs. Mangel in private. But when Daphne found out she was infuriated with her husband for keeping it from her.

Daphne finally gave birth to a little boy, Jamie, after she had gone into labour while on a fishing trip with Des and Jim Robinson. Luckily, Jim's new girlfriend, Beverly Marshall was with the three and, being a doctor, helped deliver Jamie safely. A bout of postnatal depression followed for Daphne and more drama followed when her long-lost mother, Tina, appeared at Jamie's christening. A hostile confrontation between mother and daughter followed but they ended up parting on speaking terms after a lot of talking and soul-searching.

Then, Daphne received word that her father was dying. Des managed to persuade Daphne that she should make up with Allen before it was too late and so, Daphne paid her father a visit. After an emotional reconciliation, Daphne decided to nurse her ailing father in his final days and took Jamie to stay with him. Following his death some months later, Gail Robinson offered to drive Daphne and Jamie back to Ramsay Street after the funeral. But a tragic twist of fate occurred when they were involved in a serious car crash as they drove back to Erinsborough, which left Daphne seriously injured. She lay in a coma for months with a devoted Des constantly by her side. Her many neighbours and friends visited daily in the hope of her recovering but to no avail. As Des sat by her side holding his beloved 'Daph's' hand, Daphne woke briefly to speak her last words - 'I love you too, Clarkey' - to Des before she went into cardiac arrest and died.

1-605, 680, 686, 689, 690

Magic Moments
Episode 295: Des and Daphne's Wedding

Episode 690: Daphne's Death

Biography by Moe