Sydney Chaplin

Birth Name: Sidney Earl Chaplin

Date of Birth: March 30, 1926

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: March 3, 2009

Place of Death: Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, as well as Irish, Scottish, Spanish, and Welsh

Sydney Chaplin was an American actor.

He was the son of British actor Charlie Chaplin and American actress Lita Grey (born Lillita Louise MacMurray). Charlie was of English, and some Irish, ancestry. Lillita had Scottish and English ancestry on one side, and Spanish, English, and Welsh ancestry on the other. Sydney was married to Margaret Beebe, until his death. He had a son with his former wife, French dancer and actress Noëlle Adam.

Among his half-siblings is actress Geraldine Chaplin, and among his half-nieces and half-nephews are actors Dolores Chaplin, Carmen ChaplinKiera Chaplin, Oona Chaplin, Orson Chaplin, and circus performer and actor James Thiérrée.

Sydney’s paternal grandfather was Charles Chaplin, a singer (the son of Spencer Chaplin and Ellen Elizabeth Smith). Charles was born in Marylebone, London, England. Spencer was the son of Shadrach Chaplin and Sophia Hancock. Ellen was the daughter of William Smith and Emma Bristo/Bristow.

Sydney’s paternal grandmother was Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill, an actress and singer (the daughter of Charles Frederick Hill and Mary Ann Terry). Hannah was born in Newington, London, England. Charles was the son of John Hill. Mary Ann was the daughter of John Terry and Mary Ann Lake. It appears that both John Hill and John Terry were born in Ireland.

Sydney’s maternal grandfather was Robert Earl McMurray (the son of Thomas G. MacMurray and Helen T. Hadley). Robert was born in California, and is said to have been of Scottish and English descent.

Sydney’s maternal grandmother Lillian “Lillith” Curry (the daughter of William Edward Curry and Louisa Seymourfine Carrillo). Lillian was born in California. William was born in London, England, the son of Thomas Armichael Curry, and his mother was born in Wales, according to the 1920 U.S. Census. Louisa was the daughter of María Merced.

Sydney’s great-grandmother Louisa was of Spanish ancestry, from a prominent family who had lived in California for nine generations. She was descended from Antonio María Lugo, whose family was from Andalusia, Spain, and was one of the first families to be given a land grant by the king of Spain. Other names in Sydney’s Spanish family were Alvarado, Pico, Rimpau, and Sepúlveda.

Sydney’s father is often stated to have had some degree of Romani (Gypsy) ancestry. It does not appear that 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.

Sources: Genealogies of Sydney Chaplin –

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

Genealogy of Sydney’s father –

Draft card of Sydney’s father –

Sydney’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Sydney’s maternal grandmother, Lillian “Lillith” (Curry) McMurray Grey –

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.