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Geraldine Chaplin

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Geraldine Chaplin
Chaplin in 2023
Geraldine Leigh Chaplin

(1944-07-31) July 31, 1944 (age 79)
CitizenshipUnited States
United Kingdom
Years active1952–present
Patricio Castilla
(m. 2006)
PartnerCarlos Saura (1967–1979)
Children2, including Oona Chaplin
FamilyChaplin family

Geraldine Leigh Chaplin (born July 31, 1944)[1][2] is an American actress whose long career has included roles in English, French, Italian, and Spanish films.

Geraldine is a daughter of Charlie Chaplin, the first of eight children with his fourth wife, Oona O'Neill, and thus a granddaughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill.[3] After beginnings in dance[1][3] and modeling,[4] she turned her attention to acting, and made her English-language acting debut (and came to prominence in what would be a Golden Globe-nominated role[5]) as Tonya in David Lean's Doctor Zhivago (1965).[6] She made her Broadway acting debut in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes in 1967,[7] and played ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in Raúl Araiza's Nefertiti and Akhenaton (Nefertiti y Aquenatos) (1973) alongside Egyptian actor Salah Zulfikar. Chaplin received her second Golden Globe nomination for Robert Altman's Nashville (1975). She received a BAFTA nomination for her role in Welcome to L.A. (1976). She played her grandmother Hannah Chaplin in the biopic Chaplin (1992), for which she received her third Golden Globe nomination.

Chaplin has appeared in a wide variety of critically recognized Spanish and French films. She starred in The Ones and the Others (Les Uns et les Autres) (1981), Life Is a Bed of Roses (La vie est un roman) (1983) and the Jacques Rivette experimental films No King (Revenge) (Noroît (Une vengeance)) (1976) and Love on the Ground (L'Amour par terre) (1984). She was the partner of director Carlos Saura for 12 years until 1979, starring in his films Ana and the Wolves (Ana y los lobos) (1973), Raise Ravens (Cría Cuervos) (1976), Elisa, My Life (Elisa, vida mía) (1977), and Mama Turns 100 (Mamá cumple cien años) (1979). She was awarded a Goya Award for her role in In the City Without Limits (En la ciudad sin límites) (2002),[8] and was nominated again for The Orphanage (El orfanato) (2007).[not verified in body] Her contribution to Spanish cinema culminated in her receiving the gold medal from the Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences in 2006.[9] In 2018, she starred in Red Land (Rosso Istria), an Italian film by Maximiliano Hernando Bruno based on Norma Cossetto and the foibe massacres. In 2019, she played the Duchess of Windsor in season 3 of the Netflix period drama series The Crown.[10]

Early life and education


Geraldine Leigh Chaplin was born on July 31, 1944, in Santa Monica, California,[1][2][11] the fourth child of actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, and the first child of his fourth wife, Oona O'Neill,[3] whom he married in 1943.[12] Charlie Chaplin was 55 when Geraldine Chaplin was born and Oona was 19 years old. Geraldine was the first of their eight children.[3][12] Her paternal grandparents were English Charles Chaplin Sr. and Hannah Chaplin (born Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill), and her maternal grandparents were Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish-American playwright Eugene O'Neill and English-born writer Agnes Boulton.[13]

When Geraldine was eight years old, her father took the family on vacation to Britain and Europe. Two days after the family set sail, the U.S. Attorney General James P. McGranery signed an order refusing Chaplin permission to re-enter the country.[14] Chaplin's father moved the family to Switzerland.[15] She attended boarding school there, where she became fluent in French and Spanish. Also in this time period, Geraldine appeared in her father's film Limelight (1952).[1]



Dance and modeling


At 17 years of age, Chaplin decided to forgo college to pursue dance instead,[3] and studied ballet for two years in England,[citation needed] including a period in 1961 at the Royal Ballet School.[1] She then danced professionally for a year in Paris.[citation needed] Although a good dancer, she felt she had not trained from an early enough age to excel at it and so gave up ballet.[citation needed]

Chaplin then found work as a fashion model in Paris.[citation needed][4][16] She was then discovered by David Lean.[when?][where?][3]

Early acting, 1965–69


When her dream of becoming a ballet dancer ended, Chaplin followed her father into what was to become a prolific acting career.[3] She came to prominence[citation needed] in the role of Tonya in David Lean's Doctor Zhivago (1965).[3] Lean chose her to play the main character's wife,[6] for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination in the category, "Most Promising Female Newcomer".[5] In an interview to publicize the film, she explained, "Because of my name, the right doors opened."[17]

With Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhivago (1965)

In 1967, she made her Broadway debut in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes.[7] Her performance was praised by Clive Barnes in a New York Times review, where he noted that Chaplin "acts with spirit and force... with a magnificently raw-voiced sincerity" giving a performance of "surprising power".[18]

She also started what would become a major collaboration that year, starring in Spanish film director Carlos Saura's psychological thriller Peppermint Frappé (1967).[citation needed]

The Hawaiians through Cría Cuervos, 1970–79


Chaplin starred alongside Charlton Heston in the American historical film The Hawaiians (1970). Chaplin then appeared in The Three Musketeers (1973), and Nefertiti y Aquenatos (1973) of Raúl Araiza in which she played the role of ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti alongside Egyptian movie star Salah Zulfikar, as well as the sequel, The Four Musketeers (1974). Chaplin was cast as the obnoxious BBC reporter Opal in Robert Altman's Nashville (1975), for which she received her second Golden Globe nomination, for Best Supporting Actress.[19] She went on to star in the Altman films Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976), and then A Wedding (1978), doing Roseland (1977) in between.Chaplin later occasionally co-wrote scripts for and starred in several later Saura films—for these, receiving her greatest critical success [20] such as Ana and the Wolves (1973), Cría Cuervos (1976), Elisa, vida mía (1977), and Mamá cumple cien años (1979). Cría Cuervos won the Special Jury Prize Award at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.[21] Critic Vincent Canby praised Chaplin's "superb" performance.[22]

With Salah Zulfikar in Nefertiti y Aquenatos (1973)

Chaplin starred in several films produced by Altman and directed by Alan Rudolph, with a BAFTA-nominated role in Welcome to L.A. (1976), in which she played a housewife addicted to cab rides.[23] She received critical acclaim for her role in Remember My Name (1978), in which she played Anthony Perkins' murderous estranged wife.[24]

In an interview with The New York Times in 1977,[25] Chaplin cited that her career was going more successfully in Europe than in the United States. She complained that "I only seem to work with Altman here ... I don't have any offers in this country, none. Not even an interesting script to read. The only person who ever asks me is Altman—and James Ivory."[25]

French-language and other roles, 1980–89


In the 1980s, Chaplin starred in several French-language roles, including Claude Lelouch's Les Uns et les Autres (1981), Alain Resnais' Life Is a Bed of Roses (1983), Jacques Rivette's experimental Love on the Ground (1984), and then the American film, I Want to Go Home (1989).

Chaplin also starred in Rudolph's 1920s-set film, The Moderns (1988).

Chaplin, Scorsese, and Zeffirelli, 1990–99


In the biographical film about her father, Chaplin (1992), she played her grandmother Hannah Chaplin, for which she was nominated for her third Golden Globe Award.[19] Soon after, she was directed by Martin Scorsese in The Age of Innocence (1993), and appeared in Franco Zeffirelli's version of Jane Eyre (1996).

Chaplin went on to appear in Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor (1997).

The Spanish period, 2000–present

Geraldine Chaplin at the Odesa International Film Festival 2012

Chaplin received a Goya Mejor Actriz de Reparto for her role in Spanish-Argentine thriller En la ciudad sin límites (In the City Without Limits, 2002).[8] Other notable Spanish films she collaborated with and appeared in Pedro Almodóvar's Talk to Her (2002), and Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage (2007), for which she received a second Goya Award nomination.[citation needed] She also starred in the Catalan drama, The Mosquito Net (2010), for which she was awarded the Crystal Globe.[26]

In 2006 Chaplin was awarded the gold medal by the Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España—the Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences—for her contribution to Spanish cinema.[9]

Chaplin appeared in The Wolfman, in 2010.

In Americano, she appeared with Salma Hayek, and featured with Jane Fonda in All Together (both 2011). She reunited with Juan Antonio Bayona for the films The Impossible (2012), A Monster Calls (2016), and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). Chaplin received the Best Actress Award at the Havana Film Festival for her role in the Dominican Republic film Sand Dollars (2014).[citation needed]

In 2018, she starred in Red Land (Rosso Istria), an Italian movie by Maximiliano Hernando Bruno based on Norma Cossetto and the foibe massacres.[27]

In 2022, she appeared in the music video for the song "Pure"[28] by Swiss artist, Gjon's Tears.

Personal life

Chaplin at a screening of The Orphanage in Madrid in 2007

Chaplin's son, Shane Saura Chaplin, was born in 1974. His father is Spanish film director Carlos Saura, who directed several films Chaplin appeared in.

Chaplin's daughter, Oona, is now an actress in British and Spanish films. Chaplin married Oona's father, Chilean cinematographer Patricio Castilla, in 2006.

In 1978, the Chaplin family were the victims of a failed extortion plot by kidnappers who had stolen the body of Charlie Chaplin. Geraldine Chaplin negotiated with the kidnappers, who had also threatened her infant son.[29]

As of 2011, Chaplin has maintained a home in Miami. She also was spending time in residences between Madrid and Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland (the latter near the former long-time home of her parents).[30]


Chaplin in a break on the set at the Caffè Gambrinus in Naples, Italy


Year Film Role Director Notes
1952 Limelight Little Girl in Opening Scene Charles Chaplin Uncredited
1965 Crime on a Summer Morning Zelda Jacques Deray
Doctor Zhivago Tonya Gromeko David Lean Nominated – Golden Globe Award Most Promising Newcomer
1966 Andremo in città Lenka Nelo Risi
1967 Casino Royale Keystone Kop Ken Hughes
John Huston
Joseph McGrath
Robert Parrish
Richard Talmadge
I Killed Rasputin Mounia Golovine Robert Hossein
Stranger in the House Angela Sawyer Pierre Rouve
A Countess from Hong Kong Girl at Dance Charlie Chaplin
Peppermint Frappé Elena / Ana Carlos Saura
1968 Stress Is Three Teresa
1969 Honeycomb Teresa
1970 The Hawaiians Purity Hoxworth Tom Gries
The Garden of Delights Woman in Church Carlos Saura Uncredited
1971 Perched on a Tree Mrs. Muller Serge Korber
1972 Innocent Bystanders Miriam Loman Peter Collinson
Z.P.G. Carol McNeil Michael Campus Maria Award for Best Actress
A House Without Boundaries Lucía Alfaro Pedro Olea
1973 Ana and the Wolves Ana Carlos Saura
The Three Musketeers Anne of Austria Richard Lester
Marriage a la Mode Marie des Anges Michel Mardore
Yankee Dudler Kate Elder Volker Vogeler
1974 The Four Musketeers Anne of Austria Richard Lester
¿...Y el prójimo? Luisa Ángel del Pozo
Sommerfuglene Anne Zimmler Chris Boger
1975 Cría cuervos Ana / Maria Carlos Saura
Nashville Opal Robert Altman Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress[19]
1976 Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson Annie Oakley
Welcome to L.A. Karen Hood Alan Rudolph Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress
Scrim Ann Jacob Bijl
Noroît Morag Jacques Rivette
1977 Roseland Marilyn James Ivory
Elisa, vida mía Elisa Santamaria / Elisa's Mother Carlos Saura
In Memoriam Paulina Arevalo Enrique Brasó
1978 Remember My Name Emily Alan Rudolph Miami International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Paris Film Festival Award for Best Actress
A Wedding Rita Billingsley Robert Altman
One Page of Love Lise Maurice Rabinowicz
Blindfolded Eyes Emilia Carlos Saura
1979 L'Adoption Catherine Marc Grunebaum
Mama Turns 100 Ana Carlos Saura
The Widow of Montiel Adelaida Miguel Littín
Mais ou et donc Ornicar Isabelle Bertrand Van Effenterre
1980 Le Voyage en douce Lucie Michel Deville
The Mirror Crack'd Ella Zielinsky Guy Hamilton
1983 Life Is a Bed of Roses Nora Winkle Alain Resnais
1984 Love on the Ground Charlotte Jacques Rivette
Les Uns et les Autres Suzanne / Sara Glenn Claude Lelouch
1987 White Mischief Nina Soames Michael Radford
1988 The Moderns Nathalie de Ville Alan Rudolph
1989 The Return of the Musketeers Queen Anne of Austria Richard Lester
I Want to Go Home Terry Armstrong Alain Resnais
1990 Gentille Alouette Angela Duverger Sergio Castilla
The Children Joyce Wheater Tony Palmer
1991 Buster's Bedroom Diana Daniels Rebecca Horn
1992 Off Season The Anarchist Daniel Schmid
Chaplin Hannah Chaplin Richard Attenborough Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress[19]
1993 A Foreign Field Beverly Charles Sturridge
The Age of Innocence Mrs. Welland Martin Scorsese
1994 Words Upon the Window Pane Miss McKenna Mary McGuckian
1995 Para recibir el canto de los pájaros Catherine Jorge Sanjinés
Home for the Holidays Aunt Gladys Jodie Foster
1996 Jane Eyre Miss Scatcherd Franco Zeffirelli
Os Olhos da Ásia Jane Powell João Mário Grilo
Crimetime Thelma George Sluizer
1997 The Odyssey (1997 miniseries) Eurycleia Andrei Konchalovsky
1998 Cousin Bette Adeline Hulot Des McAnuff
Finisterre, donde termina el mundo Mother Xavier Villaverde
1999 To Walk with Lions Victoria Anrecelli Carl Schultz
Beresina, or the Last Days of Switzerland Charlotte De Daniel Schmid
2000 ¿Tú qué harías por amor? Madre Carlos Saura Medrano
2002 The Faces of the Moon Joan Turner Guita Schyfter
In the City Without Limits Marie Antonio Hernández Goya Award for Best Supporting Actress
Talk to Her Katerina Bilova Pedro Almodóvar
2004 The Bridge of San Luis Rey The Abbess Mary McGuckian
2005 Heidi Rottenmeier Paul Marcus
BloodRayne Fortune Teller Uwe Boll
Oculto Adele Antonio Hernández
Melissa P. Nonna Elvira Luca Guadagnino
2007 The Orphanage Aurora J. A. Bayona Nominated – Goya Award for Best Supporting Actress
Theresa: The Body of Christ Priora Ray Loriga
Miguel y William La dueña Inés París
Los Totenwackers Salgado Ibón Cormenzana
Boxes Mother Jane Birkin
2008 Inconceivable Frances Church-Chappel Mary McGuckian
Parlami d'amore Amelie Silvio Muccino
Parc Marteau's Mother Arnaud des Pallières
Ramírez Galerist Albert Arizza
Diary of a Nymphomaniac Abuela de Valére Christian Molina
2009 The Island Inside Victoria Dunia Ayaso
Félix Sabroso
Imago Mortis Contessa Orsini Stefano Bessoni
2010 The Making of Plus One Geri Mary McGuckian
The Wolfman Maleva Joe Johnston
There Be Dragons Abileyza Roland Joffé
The Mosquito Net María Agustí Vila
The Trick in the Sheet Alma Alfonso Arau
2011 ¿Para qué sirve un oso? Josephine Tom Fernández Málaga Spanish Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress
The Monk L'abbesse Dominik Moll
Americano Linda Mathieu Demy
All Together Annie Stéphane Robelin
Memories of My Melancholy Whores Rosa Cabarcas Henning Carlsen
2012 O Apóstolo Dosinda (voice) Fernando Cortizo
Un amor de película Jean Diego Musiak
The Impossible Old Woman J. A. Bayona
2013 The Return Coco Chanel Karl Lagerfeld Short film
Three-60 Jean Christophe Alejandro Ezcurdia
Another Me Mrs. Brennan Isabel Coixet
2014 Amapola Memé Eugenio Zanetti
Sand Dollars Anne Laura Amelia Guzmán
Israel Cárdenas
Nominated – Ariel Award for Best Actress
2015 Marguerite & Julien Lefebvre's mother Valérie Donzelli
Valentin Valentin Jane Pascal Thomas
The Forbidden Room The Master Passion / Nursemaid / Aunt Chance Guy Maddin
Me and Kaminski (film) Therese Wolfgang Becker
2016 A Monster Calls The Head Teacher J. A. Bayona
2017 Anchor and Hope Germaine Carlos Marques–Marcet
2018 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom[31] Iris J. A. Bayona
Red Land Giulia Visantrìn Adulta Maximiliano Hernando Bruno
2019 Holy Beasts Vera V. Laura Amelia Guzmán
Israel Cárdenas
The Barefoot Emperor Lady Liz Jessica Woodworth
2023 Luka The General Jessica Woodworth
Seneca – On the Creation of Earthquakes Cecilia Robert Schwentke


Chaplin in 2014
Year Film Role Notes
1967 La familia Colón Silvia Episode: "Esa muchacha llamada Silvia como una golondrina"
The Danny Thomas Hour Donna (Hippie Girl) Episode: "The Scene"
1971 Carlos Lisa Television film
1973 Nefertiti y Aquenatos Nefertiti Television film
1978 The Word Naomi Dunn Miniseries; 4 episodes
Short Letter to the Long Goodbye Judith Seldan Television film
1981 The House of Mirth Lily Bart
1983 My Cousin Rachel Contessa Rachel Sangalletti Miniseries; 4 episodes
1985 The Corsican Brothers Madame Savilia de Franchi Television film
1991 Duel of Hearts Mrs. Miller
1993 Screen One Beverly Episode: "A Foreign Field"
1996 Gulliver's Travels Empress Munodi Miniseries; 1 episodes
1997 The Odyssey Eurycleia of Ithaca Miniseries; 2 episodes
Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor Mother Teresa Television film
1999 Mary, Mother of Jesus Elizabeth
2000 In the Beginning Jochebed Miniseries; 2 episodes
2002 Dinotopia Oriana Miniseries; 1 episode
2003 Winter Solstice Gloria Blundell Television film
2004 A Christmas Carol Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come / Blind Beggarwoman
2006 Agatha Christie's Marple Mrs. Fane Episode: "Sleeping Murder"
Les Aventuriers des mers du Sud Maggie Television film
2012 The Hollow Crown Alice Episode: "Henry V"
2013 Jo Liliane Coberg Episode: "Place de la Concorde"
2016 Beyond the Walls Rose Miniseries; 3 episodes
2017 Electric Dreams Irma Episode: "Impossible Planet"
2019 The Crown Wallis, Duchess of Windsor Supporting role (season 3)
2 episodes
2020 Britannia Queen Mother of Amena Season 2, Episode 5


  1. ^ a b c d e Hollywood.com Staff (December 21, 2016). "Geraldine Chaplin: Actor, Dancer". Hollywood.com. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Allocine.com Staff (December 21, 2016). "Geraldine Chaplin: État Civil, Biographie". Allocine.fr (in French). Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Williams, Holly (July 15, 2011). "Funny Girl: The Not-So Silent Star Oona Chaplin". The Independent. London. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  4. ^ a b McDonald, Patrick (October 27, 2016). "Interview: Geraldine Chaplin, at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival". HollywoodChicago.com. Chicago.
  5. ^ a b Variety Staff (January 6, 1966). "MGM Leads In Golden Globe Nominations with 20; 'Zhivago' Has 6" (PDF compilation). Daily Variety. 130 (24). Hollywood, CA. Retrieved December 21, 2016. This online PDF contains an expertly assembled compilation of news reports and reviews about the movie.
  6. ^ a b "Geraldine Chaplin to Make American debut in 'Tonia'". The New York Times. November 21, 1964. pp. 26
  7. ^ a b Zolotow, Sam. "'Changes coming in "The Little Foxes"". The New York Times. November 2, 1967
  8. ^ a b CINE-PREMIOS GOYA Geraldine Chaplin recibe Goya Mejor Actriz de Reparto. Spanish Newswire Services. February 1, 2003.
  9. ^ a b "La Academia de Cine concede la medalla de oro a Geraldine Chaplin". El País. July 7, 2006
  10. ^ Framke, Caroline (November 4, 2019). "TV Review: The Crown Season 3 Starring Olivia Colman".
  11. ^ Thomson, David (2010). "Geraldine Chaplin". The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. A Borzoi Book. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 172f. ISBN 978-0307271747. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Erickson, Harold L.; Barson, Michael (August 25, 2016). "Charlie Chaplin: British Actor, Director, Writer, and Composer". Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  13. ^ "More of a Long Story". www.eoneill.com. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  14. ^ Maland, Charles J. (1989). Chaplin and American Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02860-5. [dead link]
  15. ^ Dale Bechtel (2002). "Film Legend Found Peace on Lake Geneva". www.swissinfo.ch/eng. Vevey. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Chaplin, Geraldine (November 1964). "Geraldine Chaplin". "Limelighters" (Interview). Interviewed by Oriana Fallaci. Madrid. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  17. ^ Reed, Rex "If My Name Was Annie Smith". The New York Times. December 10, 1967. pp. x7.
  18. ^ Barnes, Clive. "Theater: 'The Little Foxes' Revisited". The New York Times. January 6, 1968. pp. 24
  19. ^ a b c d "Geraldine Chaplin". www.goldenglobes.com.
  20. ^ Boztas, Senay (July 25, 2023). "Unseen Chaplin script online". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  21. ^ Smith, Paul Julian. "Cría cuervos . . . : The Past Is Not Past". The Criterion Collection.
  22. ^ Canby, Vince. "Cria! Film on Childhood". The New York Times. May 19, 1977. pp. 71
  23. ^ "1978 Film Supporting Actress – BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.
  24. ^ "Remember My Name". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  25. ^ a b Klemesrud, Judy (September 21, 1977). "Her Name Helped—So Did Her Talent". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  26. ^ "Spanish director Vila wins at Czech film festival". The Independent. July 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 15, 2010.
  27. ^ MYmovies.it. "Red Land (Rosso Istria)". MYmovies.it.
  28. ^ Gjon's Tears - Pure (Official Video), November 24, 2022, retrieved November 28, 2022
  29. ^ Deseret News Staff (February 23, 1993). "Geraldine Chaplin: Living Among Ghosts". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  30. ^ Phillips, Michael (October 13, 2016). "Geraldine Chaplin and 'So Many Ghosts' at Essanay". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  31. ^ Hall, Jacob (March 6, 2017). "'Jurassic World 2' Will Toss Geraldine Chaplin Into the Maw of a T-Rex". /Film. Retrieved March 6, 2017.