Geraldine Chaplin

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Geraldine Chaplin
Geraldine Chaplin 2014 (cropped).jpg
Chaplin in Brazil, August 2014
BornGeraldine Leigh Chaplin
(1944-07-31) 31 July 1944 (age 70)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Years active1952–present
Spouse(s)Patricio Castilla (2006–present)
Partner(s)Carlos Saura (1967–1979)
ChildrenShane Saura (b. 1974)
Oona Castilla Chaplin (b. 1986)
ParentsCharlie Chaplin
Oona O'Neill
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Geraldine Chaplin
Geraldine Chaplin 2014 (cropped).jpg
Chaplin in Brazil, August 2014
BornGeraldine Leigh Chaplin
(1944-07-31) 31 July 1944 (age 70)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Years active1952–present
Spouse(s)Patricio Castilla (2006–present)
Partner(s)Carlos Saura (1967–1979)
ChildrenShane Saura (b. 1974)
Oona Castilla Chaplin (b. 1986)
ParentsCharlie Chaplin
Oona O'Neill

Geraldine Leigh Chaplin (born 31 July 1944) is an American-born British actress and the daughter of Charlie Chaplin and Oona O'Neill.

She came to prominence for her Golden Globe–nominated role of Tonya in David Lean's Doctor Zhivago (1965). She received her second Golden Globe nomination for Robert Altman's Nashville (1975). She also appeared in his other pictures, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) and A Wedding (1978). She received a BAFTA nomination for her role in Welcome to L.A. (1976). She then appeared in Roseland (1977) and Remember My Name (1978). She played her grandmother Hannah Chaplin in the biopic, Chaplin (1992) for which she received her third Golden Globe nomination. She also appeared in The Age of Innocence (1993), Jane Eyre (1996), Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor (1997) and The Wolfman (2010).

Chaplin has also appeared in several Spanish and French films. She starred in Claude Lelouch's Les Uns et les Autres (1981), the Alain Resnais comedy, Life Is a Bed of Roses (1983) and the Jacques Rivette experimental film, Love on the Ground (1984). She has, arguably, enjoyed her greatest critical success collaborating with Carlos Saura. She starred in several notable films by the director, such as Ana and the Wolves (1973), Cría cuervos (1976), Elisa, vida mía (1977), and Mamá cumple cien años (1979). She collaborated with Pedro Almodóvar in Talk to Her (2002). She was awarded a Goya Award for her role in En la ciudad sin límites (2002) and was nominated again for The Orphanage (2007). Her contribution to Spanish cinema culminated in her being awarded the Gold medal by the Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences in 2006.

Personal life[edit]

Geraldine Chaplin was born in Santa Monica, California, the fourth child of filmmaker Charlie Chaplin. She was the first of his eight children with his fourth and last wife, Oona O'Neill. Her paternal grandparents were English singers Charles Chaplin, Sr. and Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill and her maternal grandparents were Nobel- and Pulitzer-Prize-winning American playwright Eugene O'Neill and English-born writer Agnes Boulton. When Geraldine was eight years old, the family moved to Switzerland, where she attended boarding school and became fluent in French and Spanish. In 1967 she began what would become a twelve-year relationship with Carlos Saura, who directed her in several films between 1967 and 1979.

In 1978 the Chaplin family were the victims of a failed extortion plot by kidnappers who had stolen the body of Charlie Chaplin. Geraldine negotiated with the kidnappers, who threatened to shoot her infant son in the knees.[1] After living in Spain for over 25 years, she left in 1992 after being accused by Spanish intelligence services of being a terrorist arms dealer. The Basque terror group ETA had made a false claim that Chaplin supported the group's cause. Although Chaplin was cleared of any association, she was still viewed with suspicion, and she returned to the family home in Vevey, Switzerland.[2] In the same year, a detainee from a left-wing Chilean group that collaborated with ETA alleged that plans for the 1988 kidnapping of Madrid businessman Emiliano Revilla were made during meetings at the Madrid home of Chaplin's partner, Chilean cinematographer Patricio Castilla.[3] Patricio Castilla appeared voluntarily in court to declare that he knew and regularly let stay at his house two well known MIR members but said he did not know them to have a connection with ETA. The judge did not charge him.[4] She married Castilla in 2006. She has two children: Shane, a psychologist[5] (b. 1974, by Saura), and Oona, an actress (b. 1986, by Castilla). She has a beachside home in Miami and also lives alternately between Madrid and Switzerland.[6]


When Chaplin was eight years old, she appeared uncredited in her father's film Limelight. She attended the Royal Ballet School[7] but, when her dream of becoming a ballet dancer ended, she followed her father into the acting profession. David Lean chose her to play Tonya,[8] the main character's wife, in his film Doctor Zhivago, (1965) for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. In an interview to publicise the film, she explained, "Because of my name, the right doors opened."[9]

With Omar Sharif in Doctor Zhivago, (1965)

In 1967, she made her Broadway debut in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes.[10] Her performance was praised by Clive Barnes in a review published in The New York Times. Barnes noted that Chaplin "acts with spirit and force," all the while "acting with a magnificently raw-voiced sincerity" in what was a performance of "surprising power."[11]

In the same year, she also began what would become a significant collaboration when she starred in Spanish film director Carlos Saura's psychological thriller, Peppermint Frappé. She later starred in (and occasionally co-wrote scripts for) later Saura films such as Ana and the Wolves (1973), Cría cuervos (1976), Elisa, vida mía (1977) and Mamá cumple cien años (1979). Cría cuervos is regarded as their finest collaboration, winning the Special Jury Prize Award at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. Vincent Canby praised Chaplin's "superb" performance.[12]

In 1970, she starred alongside Charlton Heston in the American historical film The Hawaiians. In 1974 she starred in The Three Musketeers, as well as the sequel a year later, The Four Musketeers. In 1975 she starred as the obnoxious BBC reporter Opal in Robert Altman's Nashville, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She later starred in the Altman films Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) and A Wedding (1978).

In an interview with The New York Times in 1977, 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."

She 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. She received critical acclaim for her role in Remember My Name (1978), in which she played Anthony Perkins' murderous estranged wife. She also starred in Rudolph's 1920s set film The Moderns (1988). She has also starred in several French-language roles, including Jacques Rivette's Love on the Ground (1984) and the Alain Resnais films Life Is a Bed of Roses (1983) and I Want to Go Home (1989). In 1992, she played the role of her grandmother Hannah Chaplin in the biographical film about her father, Chaplin, for which she was nominated for another Golden Globe award. A year later she was directed by Martin Scorsese in The Age of Innocence. In 1996 she appeared in Franco Zeffirelli's Jane Eyre.

Chaplin received a Goya Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Spanish-Argentine thriller, In the City Without Limits (2001).[13] Other notable Spanish films she appeared in include Pedro Almodóvar's Talk to Her (2002) and José Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage (2007), for which she received a Goya Award nomination. She also recently starred in the Catalan drama, The Mosquito Net (2010), for which she was awarded the Crystal Globe. In 2006 Chaplin was awarded the Gold medal by the Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España for her contribution to cinema.[14]

She recently appeared in Americano, a drama alongside Salma Hayek and ...And If We All Lived Together with Jane Fonda. She also reunited with Juan Antonio Bayona for the 2012 film The Impossible. On December 14, 2014 she was awarded as Best Actress in Havana Film Festival for her work as and old lesbian in the Dominican Republic film Sand Dollars.


Chaplin at a screening of The Orphanage in Madrid in 2007.
1952LimelightLittle Girl in Opening SceneDirector: Charles Chaplin
1965Crime on a Summer MorningZelda
Doctor ZhivagoTonya GromekoDirector: David Lean
Golden Globe Awards Nomination: New Star of the Year – Actress
1966Andremo in cittàLenka
1967A Countess from Hong KongGirl at danceDirector: Charlie Chaplin
Casino RoyaleKeystone Kop(uncredited)
I Killed RasputinMounia Golovine
Stranger in the HouseAngela Sawyer
Peppermint FrappéElena/AnaDirector: Carlos Saura
1968Stress Is ThreeTeresaDirector: Carlos Saura
1969HoneycombTeresaDirector: Carlos Saura
Writer (also story). Film entered into the 19th Berlin International Film Festival
1970The HawaiiansPurity Hoxworth
The Garden of DelightsActressDirector: Carlos Saura
1971Perched on a TreeMme Muller(as Géraldine Chaplin)
1972Innocent BystandersMiriam Loman
Z.P.G.Carol McNeilWinner: Medalla Sitges en Plata del Ley: Best Actress
A House Without BoundariesActressFilm entered into the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival
1973Ana y los lobosAnaDirector: Carlos Saura
The Three MusketeersAnna of AustriaDirector: Richard Lester
Marriage a la ModeActress
Yankee DudlerKate Elder
1974The Four MusketeersQueen Anne of AustriaDirector: Richard Lester
¿...Y el prójimo?Luisa
SommerfugleneAnne Zimmler
1975Cría cuervosAna The MotherDirector: Carlos Saura
Winner: Premios ACE: Best Actress
Film received the Special Jury Prize Award at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.
NashvilleOpalDirector: Robert Altman
Golden Globe Awards Nomination:Best Supporting Actress
1976Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History LessonAnnie OakleyDirector: Robert Altman
Welcome to L.A.Karen HoodDirector: Alan Rudolph
BAFTA Awards Nomination:Best Supporting Actress
NoroîtMoragby Jacques Rivette; episode from an intended four part series "Scenes from a Parallel Life"
1977RoselandMarilynDirector: James Ivory
Elisa, vida míaElisa Santamaria/Elisa's MotherDirector: Carlos Saura
In MemoriamPaulina ArevaloDirector: Enrique Brasó
1978Remember My NameEmilyDirector: Alan Rudolph
Winner: Miami Film Festival: Best Actress
Paris Film Festival: Best Actress
A WeddingRita BillingsleyDirector: Robert Altman
One Page of LoveLise
Blindfolded EyesActressDirector: Carlos Saura
Mama Turns 100AnaDirector: Carlos Saura
La viuda de MontielAdelaidaEntered into the 30th Berlin International Film Festival
Mais où et donc OrnicarIsabelleDirector: Bertrand Van Effenterre
1980Le Voyage en douceLucieEntered into the 30th Berlin International Film Festival
The Mirror Crack'dElla Zielinsky
1981Les Uns et les AutresSuzan/Sara GlennDirector: Claude Lelouch
The House of MirthLily BartTelevision film
1983Life Is a Bed of RosesNora WinkleDirector: Alain Resnais
My Cousin RachelContessa Rachel SangallettiTelevision miniseries
1984Love on the GroundCharlotteDirector: Jacques Rivette
1987White MischiefNina SoamesDirector: Michael Radford
1988The ModernsNathalie de VilleDirector: Alan Rudolph
1989The Return of the MusketeersQueen AnneDirector: Richard Lester
I Want to Go HomeTerry ArmstrongDirector: Alain Resnais
1990Gentille AlouetteAngela Duverger
The ChildrenJoyce Wheater
1991Buster's BedroomDiana DanielsDirector: Rebecca Horn
Duel of HeartsMrs. MillerTelevision film
1992ChaplinHannah ChaplinDirector: Richard Attenborough
Golden Globe Awards Nomination: Best Supporting Actress
Hors SaisonAnarchistby Daniel Schmid
1993A Foreign FieldBeverly
The Age of InnocenceMrs. WellandDirector: Martin Scorsese
1994Words Upon the Window PaneMiss McKenna
1995Para recibir el canto de los pájarosCatherine
Home for the HolidaysAunt GladysDirector: Jodie Foster
1996Jane EyreMiss ScatcherdDirector: Franco Zeffirelli
Gulliver's TravelsEmpress MunodiTelevision miniseries
Os Olhos da ÁsiaJane Powell
1997Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's PoorMother Teresa
1998Cousin BetteAdeline Hulot
Finisterre, donde termina el mundoMadre/Mother
1999To Walk with LionsVictoria Anrecelli
Beresina oder Die letzten Tage der SchweizCharlotte DeDirector: Daniel Schmid
2000In the BeginningYochevedTelevision film
2001Just Run!Madre
The Faces of the MoonJoan Turner
2002DinotopiaGrandmotherTelevision miniseries
En la ciudad sin límitesMarieGoya Awards
Best Supporting Actress
Talk to HerKaterina BilovaDirector: Pedro Almodóvar
2004The Bridge of San Luis ReyThe Abbess
Melissa P.Nonna ElviraDirector: Luca Guadagnino
BloodRayneFortune Teller
2006Agatha Christie's MarpleMrs. FaneTelevision series
Episode: Sleeping Murder
Les aventuriers des mers du SudMaggieTelevision film
2007The OrphanageAuroraDirector: Juan Antonio Bayona
Goya Awards Nomination: Best Supporting Actress
Teresa, el cuerpo de CristoPriora del convento
Miguel and WilliamLa dueña
Los TotenwackersSalgado
BoxesMamanDirector: Jane Birkin
2008InconceivableFrances Church-Chappel
Parlami d'AmoreAmelie
ParcLa mère de Marteau
Diario de una NinfómanaAbuela de Valére/Valeré's grandmother
BrontëAunt Elizabeth
2009The Island InsideVictoria
Imago MortisContessa Orsini
The Making of Plus OneGeri, the casting director
The WolfmanMalevaDirector: Joe Johnston
There Be DragonsAbileyzaDirector: Roland Joffé
The Mosquito NetMaría
The Trick in the SheetAlmaDirector: Alfonso Arau
2011¿Para qué sirve un oso?JosephineWinner: Málaga Spanish Film Festival: Best Supporting Actress
The MonkL'abbesseDirector: Dominik Moll
...And If We All Lived TogetherAnnie
Memoria de mis putas tristesRosa CabarcasDirector: Henning Carlsen
2012O ApóstoloDosindaVoice
The ImpossibleOld woman
The Hollow CrownAlice1 episode: Henry V
2013The ReturnCoco ChanelShort film
Director: Karl Lagerfeld
Another MeMrs. BrennanDirector: Isabel Coixet
2014AmapolaMeméDirector: Eugenio Zanetti
2014Sand Dollars
2015A Monster CallsFilming


  1. ^ Kennedy, Dana. "Geraldine Chaplin: Living Among Ghosts in the Eye of the Storm". Associated Press. 20 December 1992
  2. ^ Middlehurst, Lester. "Charlie's Girl, Happy to Trade on Daddy's Name; as Geraldine Goes Home, New Life Fills the Tramp's Swiss Retreat". Daily Mail, 17 September 1993. pp. 48
  3. ^ Walker, Jane. "Spain holding Chileans who 'admit aiding terrorists". The Guardian. 21 January 1992
  4. ^ Duva, Jesús (6 March 1992). "La policía muestra el agujero en que Revilla estuvo secuestrado". El País Archivo. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Oona Chaplin: The Chaplin kid" Evening Standard. 12 February 2010
  6. ^ Your instrument is your sensitivity – Geraldine Chaplin RT. 8 July 2011
  7. ^ "Women In the News". The New York Times. 25 November 1962. pp. 272
  8. ^ "Geraldine Chaplin to Make American debut in 'Tonia'". The New York Times. 21 November 1964. pp. 26
  9. ^ Reed, Rex "If My Name Was Annie Smith". The New York Times. 10 December 1967. pp. x7.
  10. ^ Zolotow, Sam. "'Changes coming in "The Little Foxes"". The New York Times. 2 November 1967
  11. ^ Barnes, Clive. "Theater: 'The Little Foxes' Revisited". The New York Times. 6 January 1968. pp. 24
  12. ^ Canby, Vince. "Cria! Film on Childhood". The New York Times. 19 May 1977. pp. 71
  13. ^ CINE-PREMIOS GOYA Geraldine Chaplin recibe Goya Mejor Actriz de Reparto. Spanish Newswire Services. 1 February 2003.
  14. ^ "La Academia de Cine concede la medalla de oro a Geraldine Chaplin". El País. 7 July 2006

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