|Warner Bros. publicity photo, 1927 (sydchaplin.com)|
At 30 minutes passed midnight on his brother’s 76th birthday, Sidney John Hill (aka Sydney Chaplin)* passed away in his apartment at the Hotel Ruhl in Nice at the age of 80. There was no funeral. He was laid to rest at the Cimitiére de Clarens-Montreux in Montreux, Switzerland. His widow, Gypsy, was buried beside him in 1991.
Charlie and Oona arrived in Nice on Saturday the 17th to view the body and ensure its safe transportation to Marseilles, where it would be cremated. Geraldine remembers being worried about her father’s response to Sydney’s death and whether or not he would be able to recover from it. But instead, although he was dreading the viewing, Charlie thought Sydney looked wonderful, like he could wake up and begin talking to him at any second. (Lisa K. Stein, Syd Chaplin: A Biography, 2011)
|Syd’s final resting place|
*Sidney John Hill was the name he was given at birth and is the name on his death certificate (Hill was his mother Hannah’s maiden name). Syd’s last name was never officially changed to Chaplin.