Birth Name: Orson Belisario M. Chaplin Salkind
Place of Birth: Westminster, London, England
Date of Birth: 1987
*Ashkenazi Jewish, Mexican (father)
*English, Irish, 1/16th Scottish (mother)
Orson Chaplin is an American actor and rapper. Among his first cousins are actresses Carmen Chaplin, Kiera Chaplin, Oona Chaplin, and circus performer and actor James Thiérrée. Among his aunts and uncles are/were actress Geraldine Chaplin and actor Sydney Chaplin.
Orson is the son of Jane Cecil Chaplin and Ilya Salkind (born Ilya Juan Salkind Dominguez), a film and television producer, who is known for producing the live-action Superman films. His mother has English, Irish, and one sixteenth Scottish, ancestry. His father was born in Mexico City, Mexico, to a Jewish father and a Mexican mother. Orson’s father, paternal grandfather, and paternal great-grandfather were all successful international film producers. He was raised partly in Florida, Switzerland, and California.
Orson’s paternal grandparents were Alexander Salkind (the son of Mikhail Salkind and Maria Gerschikov) and Berta Domínguez. Alexander was born in Danzig, Poland, to Jewish parents from Kiev, Ukraine, who flead the Russian revolution. The family lived in Leningrad, Berlin, and Paris, before fleeing to Cuba in 1939, and later Mexico. Berta was Mexican.
Orson’s maternal grandfather was actor Charlie Chaplin (born Charles Spencer Chaplin, the son of Charles Chaplin and Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill, both of whom were entertainers). Charlie was born in England. His documented ancestry was English and some Irish. Orson’s great-grandfather Charles was the son of Spencer Chaplin and Ellen Elizabeth Smith. Hannah was the daughter of Charles Frederick Hill and Mary Ann Terry.
Orson’s maternal grandmother was Oona O’Neill, an actress (the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill [Eugene Gladstone O’Neill] and writer Agnes Boulton). Oona was born in Warwick Parish, Bermuda. Eugene was born in New York City, New York, the son of actor James O’Neill, who was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, and of Ella O’Neill (born Mary Ellen Quinlan), who was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Irish parents, Thomas Joseph Quinlan and Bridget Lundigan. Agnes was born in London, the daughter of Edward William Boulton, an artist, who was American, of English and Scottish descent, and of Cecil Maud/Maude Williams.
Charlie 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, although Orson is of Jewish descent through his paternal grandfather.
Sources: Genealogies of Orson Chaplin – http://www.jewage.org/wiki/en/Profile:P2100764502
Family history of Orson’s paternal family – http://www.americancinemapapers.com/files/SUPER_SALKINDS.htm
Obituary of Orson’s paternal grandfather, Alexander Salkind – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/obituary-alexander-salkind-1274937.html