Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin c. 1920, National Portrait Gallery, Strauss-Peyton Studio

Birth Name: Charles Spencer Chaplin

Date of Birth: 16 April, 1889

Place of Birth: London, England (sometimes disputed)

Date of Death: 25 December, 1977

Place of Death: Corsier-sur-Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland

Ethnicity: English, some Irish

Charlie Chaplin was an English actor, comedian, filmmaker, and composer.

Charlie was the son of Charles Chaplin, a singer, and Hannah Chaplin (born Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill), an actress and singer. He was married to Oona O’Neill, until his death. He had a son with his former wife, American actress Mildred Harris, two children with his former wife, American actress Lita Grey, and eight children with Oona. Among his eleven children are actors Sydney Chaplin and Geraldine Chaplin (Geraldine Leigh Chaplin), and among his grandchildren are actors Dolores Chaplin, Carmen Chaplin, Kiera Chaplin, Oona Chaplin, circus performer and actor James Thiérrée, and actor and rapper Orson Chaplin.

Charlie was of English, and some Irish, ancestry.

Charlie is often stated to have had some degree of Romani (Gypsy) ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestral claim has ever been verified/documented. Charlie was sometimes believed to have been Jewish (especially during his lifetime), but his parents were not of Jewish heritage.

Charlie’s paternal grandfather was Spencer Chaplin (the son of Shadrach Chaplin and Sophia Hancock). Spencer was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Shadrach was the son of Shadrach Chaplin and Elizabeth Wilden/Wilding.

Charlie’s paternal grandmother was Ellen Elizabeth Smith (the daughter of William Smith and Emma Bristo/Bristow). Ellen was born in Trimley, Suffolk. Emma was the daughter of William Bristo/Bristow and Rebecca Page.

Charlie’s maternal grandfather was named Charles Frederick Hill (the son of John Hill). John was evidently born in Ireland.

Charlie’s maternal grandmother was Mary Ann Terry (the daughter of John Terry and Mary Ann Lake). Charlie’s grandmother Mary Ann was born in Newington, Surrey. John was evidently born in Ireland.

Sources: Genealogies of Charlie Chaplin –

Genealogy of Charlie Chaplin (focusing on his father’s side) –

Draft card of Charlie Chaplin –

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