“Peter” was Paulette’s nickname although I don’t know the origin of it. Chaplin biographer David Robinson believes it was Chaplin’s pet name for her, while other sources claim it was a name she had given herself. Chaplin refers to her as “Peter” in early drafts of the “Stowaway”* script from the mid-1930s as well as a little known project from the same period about a male dancer named Tamerlain (Paulette was to play another dancer). She had a vanity box with the name Peter spelled out in diamonds, as well as pieces of jewelry that bore the name. For instance, in Diego Rivera’s Pan American Unity mural from 1940, Paulette is wearing a necklace with a charm that says “Peter.”
Paulette “Peter” Goddard was born on this day in 1910.
Photos © Roy Export S.A.S.
*The Stowaway story eventually became Chaplin’s last film, A Countess From Hong Kong (1967), but it was originally written as a vehicle for Paulette.