Chaplin, Charles Spencer

ACTOR, DIRECTOR, SCENARIST, COMPOSER, PRODUCER (ENGLAND)
BORN 16 Apr 1889, London - DIED 27 Dec 1977, Corsier-sur-Vevey
GRAVE LOCATION Corsier-sur-Vevey, Vaud: Cimetière, Sur le Crêt

Charly Chaplin was the son of music hall entertainers. When he was eight years old he performed in a musical called "The Eight Lancaster Lads". From 1906 until 1913 he was part of the vaudeville groupe of Fred Karno. In 1910 they visited the USA and in 1913 he left for Hollywood. In 1914 he appeared in his first movie, "Making a Living". In "Kid Auto Races at Venice" (1914) followed. The next few years he made numerous movies, writing and directing them himself.

In 1918 he married Mildred Harris. They had a son, but he died after three days. In 1920 the marriage ended in a bad was. Chaplin claimed that his wife had an affair with the lesbian actress Alla Nazimova and Mildred claimed that he was a sexual sadist. After the divorce Mildred had an affair with the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII.

In 1919 Chaplin founded United Artists together with D. Faibanks, M. Pickford en D.W. Griffith. The first movie he made for United Artists was "A Woman in Paris" (1923).

In 1924 he married Lita Grey, with whom he had two sons. Thy separated in 1927. In 1928 he received an Academy Award for "The Circus". In 1936 he married actress Paulette Goddard during a cruise in China. It's unclear if the marriage was legally binding, since Paulette couldn't produce a marriage certificate when she was in the race for the part of Scarlet O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind" (eventually played by Vivian Leigh). Chaplin and Goddard divorced in 1942. In 1942 he had a brief affair with actress Joan Barry. In 1943 she turned out to be pregnant, stating that Chaplin was the father. A trial followed in 1944 and a blood test told that he was not the father of the child. But the test was not admitted as evidence and he was ordered to pay $75 a week until the child would come of age.

In 1943 he had married for the fourth and last time. His new wife was Oona O'Neill, the daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill. This marriage was a happy one and lasted until his death.

Among his great successes were "Modern Times" (1936) and "The Great Dictator" (1940). In 1952 he was suspectedd of Communist sympathies. After a stay in London the USA refused him to return and he settled in Switzerland with his family. He made only two more movies, "A King in New York" (1957) and "A Countess from Hong Kong" (1967). The last film was flopped and was the first and last failure in his entire career. He prepared another movie, "The Freak", in which his daughter Victoria was meant to star, but nothing came of it.

In 1975 he was knighted by Elizabeth II and in 1977 he died in Corsier-sur-Vevey near Lake Geneva. On 2 Feb 1978 his coffin was stolen from the cemetery, but his body was found a few miles away in a corn field. The criminals were caught and on 23 May 1978 he was reburied.

Family
• Wife: O'Neill-Chaplin, Oona

Related persons
• is half-brother/half-sister of Chaplin, Sydney
• was a friend of Eisler, Hanns
• was the lover of Hiebel, Henriette Margaretha (La Jana)
• was a friend of Horn, Camilla
• was a friend of Mason, James
• was the lover of West, Rebecca

Sources
Charles Chaplin - Biography - IMDb
• Reeth, Adelaïde van & Guido Peeters, Herinneringen in Steen, De Haan/Unieboek, Houten, 1988
Mildred Harris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Images

The grave of Charly Chaplin at the cemetery of Corsier-sur-Vevey, Vaud.
Picture by Androom (05 Dec 2007)

 


Chaplin, Sydney

Published: 16 Dec 2007
Last update: 12 Sep 2010