Charlie & Edna, c. 1917-1918

Charlie met Edna Purviance in San Francisco in January 1915. He had been searching for a leading lady for his second Essanay comedy, A Night Out, but was having no luck. An associate at Essanay remembered a beautiful girl who frequented a local cafe—that girl was Edna. Chaplin later recalled that she was “more than pretty, she was beautiful.”  Edna went on to appear in 34 films with Chaplin from 1915-1923. She is my favorite of his leading ladies. They had a sweetness onscreen that Charlie didn’t have with any of his other leading ladies, in my opinion.  Long after their romantic relationship ended (which was around the time this photo was taken), I believe Charlie & Edna continued to care deeply about each other even though they led separate lives, and Chaplin kept Edna on his payroll until her death from cancer in 1958.

After her retirement from films, Edna met and fell in love with Jack Squire, a pilot. They were married from 1938 until his sudden death in 1945. He was the true love of Edna’s life.


  1. You know my feelings about them on screen together, I think it is a travesty that she still does not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…seemed like there was some interest than it sort of died down. I know there is so much speculation on them as a real life couple…I know some think he did not treated her right and to me that is insulting to Edna's intelligence that she wouldn't realize she was being treated poorly, I'm sure there is much that Charlie and Edna kept between themselves about their relationship.

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