L-R: Tennis champion Bill Tilden, Charlie, Douglas Fairbanks & Spanish tennis player Manuel Alonso, August 1923

Tilden was a friend of Charlie’s for many years. His career ended in scandal in the 1940s after he was arrested for soliciting an underage male prostitute. Following his incarceration, Tilden was shunned by most of Hollywood but Charlie decided to help his friend by allowing him use his tennis courts to give lessons. Oona Chaplin was one of his students.


  1. I remember reading a Mary Pickford biography, and a lot was said about how Fairbanks was obsessed with tanning to the darkest degree. Pickford even had a completely politically incorrect term of endearment for him. The pictures in the biography also attest to this obsession. As does this photo above.Pre-dates George Hamilton's tan.

  2. Yes, his tan was ridiculous. I've read that Cary Grant patterned his year-round tan after Doug–but he was never as dark.

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