Charlie with sister-in-law, Minnie, on the set of CITY LIGHTS, c. 1930

Minnie Gilbert Chaplin, a former Fred Karno Company performer, was the first wife of Charlie’s half-brother, Sydney (although there is no legal record of their marriage). She appeared in five of Sydney’s Keystone films and makes a brief appearance in one of the dancehall scenes in A Dog’s Life. She died of cancer in 1936.


  1. Maybe the marriage happened abroad so there is no record. I got married in a flower shop by a notary in a little town across the Florida/Georgia border. My certificate said THIS IS NOT A CERTIFIED COPY. If I had never gone down to the court house later and filed I would not be in the govt records at city hall.Today when young people get a minister to marry them, the minister is supposed to have a copy of some paperwork that the couple procured from the state. They have five days to a month to send in the copy officially for a court record. It is funny that so very many never do that . It got so bad with these backyard common law 'for public display' weddings that some states automatically file the serial number on the certificate that the justice of the peace got within days. Even if you did not go through with the wedding!!!!

  2. I think Syd deliberately wanted to be under the radar with the court system and the tax system. Outta sight and outta mind. That is my motto too. Gee, he learned enough about the liabilities of financial parasites coming out of the woodwork from Charlie's life. His wife Gypsy was taken care of until her death in their suites on the French Riviera though. Maybe he had casino money. Was there a mafia in the region back then?

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