Geraldine Chaplin Biography

(Actress and Daughter of Charlie Chaplin)

Birthday: July 31, 1944 (Leo)

Born In: Santa Monica, California, United States

Geraldine Chaplin is a renowned actress of American origin who has worked in many critically acclaimed English, French, and Spanish language films. Growing up in the shadow of her father, legendary actor and director Charlie Chaplin, she was able to carve out a niche for herself as a prolific actress. In contrast to her father's comic films, she has appeared in a number of serious roles over the years. She won her first 'Golden Globe' nomination for her first major role in the David Lean drama, 'Doctor Zhivago'. She then started a long-running collaboration with her future husband, Spanish director Carlos Saura, and produced a series of successful films, such as 'Ana and the Wolves', 'Cría cuervos', 'Elisa, vida mía', and 'Mamá cumple cien años'. She has received two more 'Golden Globe' nominations—for Robert Altman's 'Nashville' and the biopic, 'Chaplin', in which she portrayed her own grandmother Hannah Chaplin. Her role in Alan Rudolph's film 'Welcome to L.A.' earned her a BAFTA nomination and she won a 'Goya Award' for 'En la ciudad sin límites'. Most recently, she has received a number of awards for her role in 'Dólares de Arena'.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Geraldine Leigh Chaplin

Age: 79 Years, 79 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Patricio Castilla (m. 2006)

father: Charlie Chaplin

siblings: Annette Emily Chaplin, Charles Chaplin Jr., Christopher Chaplin, Eugene Chaplin, Jane Chaplin, Josephine Chaplin, Michael Chaplin, Norman Spencer Chaplin, Sydney Chaplin, Victoria Chaplin

children: Oona Chaplin, Shane Chaplin Saura

Actresses American Women

Ancestry: Irish American, British American

U.S. State: California

City: Santa Monica, California

Childhood & Early Life
Geraldine Leigh Chaplin was born on July 31, 1944, in Santa Monica, California, to Charlie Chaplin and his fourth wife, Oona O'Neill. She is the fourth child of her father, and the first of her mother, and has seven younger siblings.
From her father's side, she is the granddaughter of English singers Charles Chaplin, Sr. and Hannah Chaplin. From her mother's side, she is the granddaughter of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Eugene O'Neill and British writer Agnes Boulton.
She grew up in Hollywood till she was eight years old, thereafter her father decided to leave the country in order to avoid persecution by the US government for his political beliefs. The family went on a vacation to Britain and Europe, and later settled in a mansion overlooking Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
She has fond memories of growing up with her seven brothers and sisters in their Chaplin household, which, according to her, has been a place for children to live happily. They played, laughed and sang together all day long, and their parents didn't stop them while they made so much noise.
At the age of ten, her father, who was fanatic about discipline, sent her to a convent school in Switzerland, where she learnt to speak French and Spanish fluently. In 1961, she decided to skip college in favor of her passion for dancing and began a two-year ballet course at the Royal Ballet School in England.
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Geraldine Chaplin started her career as a professional dancer, performing in Paris for about a year. She first appeared in a ballet called 'Cinderella', in which she had two short parts of a minute each.
Despite being good at dancing, she herself was unsatisfied and decided that she cannot excel at the art as she did not train from an early age. She struggled for work opportunities for a while, and then was offered a fashion modeling job by a photographer friend.
During this time she was discovered by renowned English film director and producer David Lean, who cast her in the role of Tonya, the wife of the protagonist, in his 1965 epic drama 'Doctor Zhivago'. While she admitted that she might have got the role because of her name, she showed her acting prowess and earned a 'Golden Globe Award' nomination in the category of 'Most Promising Female Newcomer'.
She made her Broadway debut two years later in 1967, in a production of 'The Little Foxes' by Lillian Hellman. Once again she was admired for her powerful performance, receiving praise from 'New York Times' writer and critic Clive Barnes.
In 1967, she also worked with Spanish director Carlos Saura in the psychological thriller 'Peppermint Frappé'. The film was one of Saura's first commercially successful ventures, and became the first of a number of memorable collaborations between the two.
She appeared in a number of Carlos Saura films in the following years, including 'Stress-es tres-tres' (1968), 'La madriguera' (1969), and 'El jardín de las delicias' (1970). She had a major role in the American historical film 'The Hawaiians' (1970), which also starred Charlton Heston and Tina Chen.
She acted in the French comedy film, 'Perched on a Tree' (1971), played the female lead in the spy thriller 'Innocent Bystanders' (1972), and appeared in the Spanish drama 'A House Without Boundaries' (1972). She won the 'Best Actress' award at the 1972 'Sitges Film Festival' for her performance in 1972 Danish-American dystopian science fiction film 'Z.P.G.'
She was part of the 1973 film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' 'The Three Musketeers', portraying Anne of Austria, and played the role also in the 1975 sequel, 'The Four Musketeers'.
In 1976, she earned her second 'Golden Globe Award' nomination, for 'Best Supporting Actress', for her portrayal of the obnoxious BBC reporter Opal in 'Nashville', directed by Robert Altman.
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With Carlos Saura, she worked in the movies 'Ana and the Wolves' (1973), 'Cría cuervos' (1976), 'Elisa, vida mía' (1977) and 'Mamá cumple cien años' (1979). She often co-wrote the scripts for the films and earned a 'Special Jury Prize Award' at the 1976 'Cannes Film Festival' for her performance in 'Cría cuervos'.
Robert Altman later became one of the major American directors to frequently cast her in his films. She portrayed American sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, in 'Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson' in 1976, and also appeared in 'Roseland' (1977) and 'A Wedding' (1978).
She won a BAFTA nomination for her role in the 1976 film, 'Welcome to L.A.', which was produced by Altman and directed by Alan Rudolph. She played the lead in another Altman production, 'Remember My Name', in 1978, for which she won the 'Best Actress' awards at 'Miami International Film Festival' and 'Paris Film Festival'.
At the start of the next decade, she acted in many French language films such as 'Les Uns et les Autres' (1981), 'Life Is a Bed of Roses' (1983), and 'Love on the Ground' (1984).
She later returned to Hollywood, starring in 'The Moderns' (1988) and 'I Want to Go Home' (1989), and also reprised her role as Queen Anne in 'The Return of the Musketeers' (1989).
In 1990, she appeared in the independent German comedy film 'Buster's Bedroom', directed by Rebecca Horn. She portrayed her own grandmother Hannah Chaplin in the 1992 biographical film on her father's life, 'Chaplin', for which she received her third 'Golden Globe' nomination for 'Best Supporting Actress'.
Legendary director, Martin Scorsese, cast her in his 1993 romantic period film, 'The Age of Innocence'. The next year, she played the lead in the Irish drama film 'Words Upon the Window Pane'.
In 1996, she was cast in the film adaptation of the novel 'Jane Eyre', directed by Franco Zeffirelli, and also appeared in the television miniseries, 'Gulliver's Travels'. Drawing upon her experience in convent school, she portrayed Mother Teresa in the 1997 film, 'Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor'.
She starred in a number of Spanish films in the 2000s, including the Spanish-Argentine thriller 'En la ciudad sin límites' ('In the City Without Limits', 2002), for which she won a 'Goya Award'. She received another 'Goya Award' nomination for her role in José Antonio Bayona's 'The Orphanage' in 2007.
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She was part of the ensemble cast in 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey', the 2004 film adaptation of Thornton Wilder's novel of the same name. She acted in the German-American fantasy action horror film 'BloodRayne' in 2005, and appeared in an episode of 'Agatha Christie's Marple' the following year.
In 2009, she acted alongside her daughter Oona in the film 'Imago Mortis', in which she played the lead character. She appeared in a number of films in 2010, including 'The Wolfman', the remake of the 1941 film of the same name, the Italian romantic comedy, 'The Trick in the Sheet' and 'The Mosquito Net'. The last one won a 'Crystal Globe Award' at the 'Karlovy Vary International Film Festival'.
In 2009, she acted alongside her daughter Oona in the film 'Imago Mortis', in which she played the lead character. She appeared in a number of films in 2010, including 'The Wolfman', the remake of the 1941 film of the same name, the Italian romantic comedy, 'The Trick in the Sheet' and 'The Mosquito Net'. The last one won a 'Crystal Globe Award' at the 'Karlovy Vary International Film Festival'.
She once again shared screen with her daughter Oona in the 2011 Spanish eco-comedy film '¿Para qué sirve un oso?' for which she won the 'Best Supporting Actress' award at the 'Málaga Spanish Film Festival'. She won the 'Best Actress Award' at the 'Havana Film Festival' for her role in the 2014 film 'Sand Dollars'.
She started working again with director J. A. Bayona, following a long gap, in the 2012 film, 'The Impossible'. While it was a short role, she worked with him again in the 2016 dark fantasy drama 'A Monster Calls', and is slated to appear in 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom', the director's latest venture.
Major Works
Geraldine Chaplin impressed critics with her first major role as Tonya in David Lean's 'Doctor Zhivago'. Some of her later significant roles include Opal in 'Nashville', Hannah Chaplin in 'Chaplin', and Mother Teresa in 'Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor'.
The 2014 Dominican drama film 'Dólares de Arena' (Sand Dollars) has been one of her major performances in recent times, earning her awards and accolades internationally. The film was screened at the 2014 'Toronto International Film Festival' and was the Dominican entry for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' at the 88th 'Academy Awards'.
Awards & Achievements
Geraldine Chaplin has been nominated for the 'Golden Globe Award' three times, starting with the 'Most Promising Newcomer' award in 1965 for 'Doctor Zhivago'. It was followed by two 'Best Supporting Actress' awards: one for 'Nashville' in 1976 and another for 'Chaplin' in 1993.
She has received numerous awards and nominations for her work in English, Spanish and French language films, including a 'Goya Award', a 'Silver Hugo' award, and awards at 'Nashville Film Festival' and 'Havana Film Festival'. She also received a BAFTA nomination for 'Welcome to L.A.' in the category 'Best Supporting Actress'.
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Personal Life & Legacy
Geraldine Chaplin, who shared a successful professional collaboration with Spanish director Carlos Saura, started dating him in 1967. After 14 years of togetherness, the couple separated following the birth of their only child, when he left her and married their 17-year-old babysitter.
She gave birth to her son with Saura, Shane Saura Chaplin, in 1976. In 1978, her infant baby was threatened following an extortion plot by kidnappers, who stole the body of Charles Chaplin while his grave was opened after the death of her mother to bury them together.
She then began another long-term relationship with Chilean cinematographer Patricio Castilla, with whom she had a daughter named Oona Chaplin in 1986. The two later got married in 2006. Her daughter grew up to be an actress like her.
Following the birth of their daughter, Castilla gave up cinematography in order to support Geraldine's acting career. He and Oona often accompanied the actress in her shootings abroad, travelling around the world.
She later settled with her family in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, near Lake Geneva, where she spent her childhood in her father's mansion. She also maintains a house in Miami, Florida.
Geraldine Chaplin, who faced tremendous pressure of expectation for being the daughter of Charles Chaplin, stated in an interview that she did not consider changing her surname because she is proud of it. Moreover, by the time she was twenty, everyone already knew who she was, so changing surname was pointless.
She thinks that her facial features easily give away her identity: she has strong resemblance to her mother’s face from forehead to nose, and to her father’s face from nose to chin. She also has three beauty spots forming a triangle: one above her mouth, one below her right eye and another below her left eye.
Her film debut was in her father's 1952 film, 'Limelight', in which she played a short part, appearing as a street urchin.
In 1966, she appeared in a dance sequence with her father, in another of his films, 'A Countess from Hong Kong'.

Geraldine Chaplin Movies

1. Le voyage en douce (1980)

  (Drama, Comedy)

2. Cria Cuervos (1976)


3. Limelight (1952)

  (Music, Romance, Drama)

4. Doctor Zhivago (1965)

  (War, Drama, Romance)

5. Nashville (1975)

  (Comedy, Drama, Music)

6. Talk to Her (2002)

  (Romance, Mystery, Drama)

7. Mama Turns 100 (1979)

  (Drama, Fantasy, Comedy)

8. Anna and the Wolves (1973)


9. Elisa, My Life (1977)


10. Les uns et les autres (1981)

  (Music, Drama)

See the events in life of Geraldine Chaplin in Chronological Order

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