Sydney Chaplin (actor)

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Sydney Chaplin
File:Sydney Earl Chaplin.jpg
Born Sydney Earl Chaplin
(1926-03-30)March 30, 1926
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died March 3, 2009(2009-03-03) (aged 82)
Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.
Cause of death Stroke
Occupation Actor
Years active 1952–1977
Spouse(s) Noëlle Adam
(m. 1960; div. 1985)
Margaret Beebe
(m. 1998–2009; his death)
Children 1
Parent(s) Charlie Chaplin
Lita Grey

Sydney Earl Chaplin (March 30, 1926 – March 3, 2009) was an American actor.


Chaplin was born five weeks prematurely. He was the second son of actors Charlie Chaplin and Lita Grey. The two had married in November 1924 when she became pregnant with Sydney's elder brother Charles, who was born 10 months before him in May 1925. The two also later had eight half-siblings from their father's fourth marriage to Oona O'Neill as well as a deceased half-brother Norman (from their father's first marriage). His parents divorced a year after his birth.

After serving in the United States Army in the Second World War in Europe, Chaplin turned to acting both on stage and in films. He was one of the founding members of the Circle Players at The Circle Theater, now known as El Centro Theatre, and appeared in several Broadway productions, including Bells Are Ringing opposite Judy Holliday in 1957, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, and Funny Girl opposite Barbra Streisand in 1964, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Chaplin also had supporting roles in two of his father's films, Limelight (1952) and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967).

Through his first marriage to Noëlle Adam, he had one son named Stephan (born 1960). Chaplin retired from acting in the 1970s, and in the 1980s owned and managed a restaurant, Chaplin's, in Palm Springs, California. He helped complete and publish his mother, Lita Grey's autobiography, Wife of the Life of the Party, and shared his own history and private thoughts on his parents in the book’s foreword.

He seldom indulged in public appearances promoting his father’s legacy. Notable exceptions were his attendance at the Cineteca di Bologna festival (Il Cinema Ritrovato), which mounted a fiftieth anniversary screening of Limelight held in 2002, and at Cinecon in Los Angeles in 1998, and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2004, where he spoke after screenings of his father’s film The Circus to promote film historian Jeffrey Vance’s Chaplin books.[1]

He died of a stroke on March 3, 2009, at the age of 82. He was survived by his second wife, Margaret Beebe, his son Stephan, and a granddaughter Tamara.

Selected filmography

Further reading

  • Grey, Lita. My Life With Chaplin, Grove Press. 1966.
  • Chaplin, Lita Grey; Vance, Jeffrey. Wife of the Life of the Party. Foreword by Sydney Chaplin. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1998 pg. ix-xi-3. ISBN 0-8108-3432-4.
  • Guardian obituary


External links