In the late summer of 1922, director Marshall Neilan introduced Chaplin to the notorious Peggy, who had the term “gold digger” coined in her honor because she had married and divorced several millionaire husbands in quick succession. She arrived in Hollywood “direct from Paris,” Chaplin wrote, “attractively gowned in black, for a young man had recently committed suicide over her.” (My Autobiography, 1964)
During their “bizarre, though brief, relationship” (as Chaplin called it), Peggy told him several anecdotes about her association with a Parisian publisher. These stories inspired him to write A Woman Of Paris as a starring vehicle for Edna Purviance. In fact, in early notes for the film, he used the name “Peggy” to refer to Edna’s character (later called “Marie”).
During the course of their whirlwind affair, which included a week on Catalina Island, reporters had a field day speculating whether or not Chaplin would become Peggy’s next millionaire husband (not bloody likely).
Here’s a sampling: