Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. KBE was born on 16 April 1889 in London, England. He was an English composer, filmmaker, and comic actor. During the silent film era, he got fame and became a global icon through his on-screen persona, The Tramp. Chaplin is considered one of the most influential figures in the film industry. His career spanned over 75 years starting from the Victorian era during his childhood and till the day he died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland on 25 December 1977.
In 1918, Charlie Chaplin married for the first time at the age of 29. His first wife was Mildred Harris, whom he married because of the false alarm of Mildred Harris being pregnant. Throughout his life, he has been through accusations of extramarital affairs and secret babies. The truth is that Chaplin had 11 children with his three wives, excluding Paulette Goddard, his third wife. All of his children have been working in films and televisions along with theaters.
11 Children of Charlie Chaplin
Mildred Harris was the first wife of Charlie Chaplin. Mildred was a 16-year-old star and she believed that she was pregnant. However, it was a false alarm and she gave birth to Charlie’s firstborn. In 1920, their marriage ended in divorce and later on, Mildred appeared in some movies like For Husbands Only and The Inferior Sex.
The firstborn of Charlie Chaplin with Mildred Harris was Norman Spencer Chaplin. He was born on July 7, 1919. Norman died after three days because of birth defects. In 1921, Chaplin’s serious-comic film The Kid was inspired by Norman.
Charlie Chaplin and Mildred Harris’ marriage ended in divorce in 1920. Chaplin married actress Lita Grey, who was meant to be his leading lady in The Gold Rush, one of the funniest Charlie Chaplin movies. Lita Grey was also a 16-year-old star who got pregnant when the filming just started. However, an unhappy married couple had two children Charles Jr and Sydney before they got divorced in 1927.
Charles Chaplin Jr.
Charles Chaplin Jr. was born on May 5, 1925. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army. Later on, he tried acting such as a small part in the movie Limelight. In Limelight, he had an uncredited clown role. However, Charles Chaplin Jr. was never able to become a star in Hollywood.
In 1958, Charles Chaplin Jr. married Susan Magness. The couple had a daughter, Susan Maree who was born in 1959. In the same year, their marriage ended in divorce. In 1962, Charles Chaplin Jr. married Marta Brown which also ended in divorce.
Due to pulmonary embolism, Charles Chaplin Jr. died at the age of 42 on March 20, 1968, in Santa Monica, California.
Sydney Chaplin was the second son of Charlie Chaplin and Lita Grey. He was born a year later than Charles Chaplin Jr on March 30, 1926. Sydney Earl Chaplin also served in the military and started acting. His main focus was on performing in theaters rather than in movies. Sydney co-founded the Circle Theater which was a beloved meeting place for Hollywood’s elite. However, he played a major role in Limelight along with his father and brother.
Sydney Chaplin continued his career in other films and appeared in various roles from 1952 to 1977. In 1960, Sydney married Noelle Adam, a French actress, and dancer. They had a son, Stephan who was born in 1960. However, their marriage ended in divorce in 1985. A year before their divorce, Sydney got involved with Margaret Beebe and they got married in 1998. Their marriage lasted till Sydney died due to a stroke on March 3, 2009, at the age of 82.
Third Marriage: Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard
Charlie Chaplin married Paulette Goddard in 1936. It was his third marriage that lasted for 6 years. Paulette Goddard was an actress who appeared in The Great Dictator and Modern Times. In 1942, their marriage ended in divorce with no children.
Fourth Marriage: Charlie Chaplin and Oona O’Neill
Charlie Chaplin found true happiness when he married Oona O’Neill in 1943. When they got married, Oona was only 18 years old and Chaplin was 53 but somehow, they found their soul mates. Chaplin considered Oona for an unmade film Shadow and Substance in 1942. Since then, they were inseparable and Oona supported Chaplin during a court case in the 1940s and 1952 when Chaplin was exiled from the U.S.
Oona O’Neill was one of Charlie Chaplin’s wives to be known as Lady Chaplin. After being banned from the U.S. the couple made their home in Switzerland and had eight children: Geraldine, Michael, Josephine, Victoria, Eugene, Jane, Annette, and Christopher.
The first daughter of Charlie Chaplin and Oona O’Neill was born July 31, 1944. She was an acclaimed actress who not only worked in Hollywood but also in Spain and France with famous directors such as Almodovar and Lelouche. She has still been active in the industry and her most recent appearances on screen are Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Red Land, Holy Beasts, and The Barefoot Emperor. On television, her recent appearance was on The Crown and Britannia.
Geraldine Chaplin had two serious and long-term relationships. The first one was with Carlos Saura, a Spanish film director. The couple had a son named Shane Saura Chaplin. The second one was with Patricio Castilla, a Chilean Cinematographer. Geraldine and Patricio got married in 2006 and the couple had a daughter named Oona Castilla Chaplin, an actress in Spanish and British films.
Michael John Chaplin was the second son of Charlie Chaplin and Oona O’Neill born on March 7, 1946. He made a few appearances in films before moving to Switzerland with his second wife. Later on, he began to write and produce. In 2013, Michael Chaplin published the novel “The Fallen God”. Also, he embarked on a documentary on the possible Gypsy roots of his father.
Michael Chaplin’s first wife was Patrice Chaplin, a writer. The couple had two sons but their marriage ended in divorce. Later on, Michael married Patricia Betaudier, a painter and daughter of Patrick Betaudier. The couple had five children out of which Dolores Chaplin and Carmen Chaplin were the actresses.
Josephine Hannah Chaplin was born on March 28, 1949. Like most of her siblings, she appeared in some of Chaplin’s films and opted for acting in film and television as her career. Maurice Ronet, a French actor, was the partner of Josephine Chaplin. The couple had a son, Julien Ronet and she lived with Maurice Ronet till his death in 1983.
In 1969, Josephine Chaplin married Nicholas Sistovaris, a Greek furrier. The couple had a child named Charly. In 1977, their marriage ended in divorce. Eventually, Josephine found her soul mate Jean-Claude Gardin in 1989. Chaplin and Gardin moved to France where Josephine ran Chaplin’s Paris Office. The couple had a son named Arthur but sadly Gardin died in 2013.
Victoria Agnes Thierree-Chaplin was born on March 19, 1951. She was one of the few Chaplin’s children who never sought work in the film industry after a brief appearance in the film alongside her father. In 1969, Victoria Chaplin married Jean-Baptiste Thierree, a French actor and circus performer. The couple had two children Aurelia Thierree and James Thierree.
In 1974, Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Theirree founded Le Cirque Imaginaire which was a center for their children’s performances. From 1990 onwards, the name was changed to Le Cirque Invisible.
Eugene Anthony Chaplin was born on August 23, 1953. He was the first child born after the Chaplin family moved to Switzerland. He worked at the Geneva Opera as a stage manager but became a sound engineer to work with some of the biggest names in the music industry such as Queen and Rolling Stones. Also, he worked in the circus industry, wrote a musical, and produced a documentary about his father.
Eugene Chaplin married Bernadette McCready. The couple had four children Kiera Chaplin, Kevin Chaplin, Laura Chaplin, and Shannon Chaplin. Eugene had twins Oona and Skye from his second wife Dergermaa Enkhbat. Eugene was passionate about the circus and he worked with Nock Circus in Switzerland. Now, he is often invited as a jury member in circus competitions worldwide.
Jane Cecil Chaplin was born on May 23, 1957, in Switzerland. She is a screenwriter and film producer. In the late 1970s, she worked for Milos Forman in New York. For some time, she lived and worked in Orlando, Florida with Ilya Salkind, a film producer. Jane and Ilya got married in 1985 and had two sons: Orson Chaplin (1986) and Osceola Salkind (1994). Their marriage ended in divorce in 1999.
Jane Chaplin moved to Colombia in 2002 and wrote screenplays. In 2006, she published a biography of her father “17 Minutes With My Father”.
Annette Emily Chaplin was born on December 3, 1959, in Switzerland. She has devoted her life to the theater. For the past three decades, Annette has lived between Montoire sur le Loir, Switzerland, and Paris. In all these places, Annette and her husband Jacques Auxenel transformed a Silo into a brand-new theater.
Annette Chaplin has mainly produced modern comedies in which she starred herself and Jacques directed. It is said that Annette breeds Purebred Arabians and Franche-Montagne/Freiberger horses.
Christopher James Chaplin was the last child of Charlie Chaplin. He was born on July 8, 1962, in Switzerland. He studied the piano with Irene Denereaz in Vevey before he left for London to become an actor. Also, he composed collaborative sessions and orchestral pieces for BBC radio.
Since 2005, Christopher Chaplin has focused on his career as a composer. To achieve his goals, he has collaborated with German ambient, experimental, and electronic musician Hans-Joachim Roedelius and others. In 2016, he released his first album Je Suis le Tenebreux.
Charlie Chaplin’s Children – What Happened To Them
Charlie Chaplin, a silent film star, has been on screen since he was 12. He was a charming comedy star on the silent film screens. However, he was known for having affairs with young actresses in his films. After the divorce from his second wife, he was known as a playboy who was emotionally abusive and manipulative. Also, his second divorce was one of Hollywood’s biggest scandals of all time.
Charlie Chaplin married four girls during their teen years, one of the controversies about Charlie Chaplin. His true soul mate was Oona O’Neill, the fourth wife. Out of all the wives, he had 11 children while excluding Paulette Goddard, his third wife. All his children have been on-screen in films and television. Whereas, few were inclined towards theatrical work and devoted their lives to keeping theaters alive.