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Sydney Chaplin

( b. Mar 31, 1926 Los Angeles, California, USA - d. Mar 03, 2009 Rancho Mirage, California, USA ) Male
Relations: Brother of Charles Chaplin Jr.
Half-brother of Geraldine Chaplin
Son of Charles Chaplin
Son of Lita Grey

Sydney Chaplin was a son of movie comedian Charlie Chaplin who went on to his own acting career in film and on Broadway, including a Tony Award-winning performance in the long-running musical Bells Are Ringing.

While Sydney Chaplin said he admired his father, he was admittedly nothing like him in ambition -- and never pretended otherwise. He appeared in a few movies, often playing American Indians. "I sat around in the commissary in pigtails and said 'Ugh!' on camera," he said dismissively.

He also appeared in supporting roles in two of his father's sound pictures. In "Limelight" (1952), he played a composer who steals away dancer Claire Bloom from the aged music hall performer played by the elder Chaplin. He later had a secondary role in "A Countess from Hong Kong" (1967). He acted series of cheap French and Italian productions and the campy horror film "Satan's Cheerleaders" (1977).

He showed early promise as a stage performer, initially at the prestigious Circle theater in Los Angeles. His Broadway debut, in Bells Are Ringing (1956), earned him the Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical. The show ran nearly three years, but his role was played by Dean Martin onscreen.

Tall and handsome, Sydney Chaplin was an easy fit for musical comedy. He starred in shows including Subways Are for Sleeping (1961) and in Funny Girl (1964), about the life of entertainer Fanny Brice. He was nominated for a Tony in Funny Girl for his portryal of gambler Nick Arnstein, Brice's troubled lover. Funny Girl made a star of Barbra Streisand and played three years on Broadway, but Chaplin quit the cast after a dispute with Streisand. Omar Sharif played the Arnstein role onscreen.

Sydney Earle Chaplin was born in Los Angeles to Charlie Chaplin and his second wife, actress Lita Grey. Sydney Chaplin spent his childhood in a series of boarding schools and was eventually kicked out of Black Fox Military Academy in Los Angeles, a school specializing in educating the sons of the famous.

After seeing Army combat service in Europe during the last year of World War II, he returned to Los Angeles and entered theater.

When Funny Girl ended his stage career, he continued making movies in Europe and then started several restaurants. He also enjoyed golfing in amateur tournaments. Although he stayed out of the public eye for decades, he did a round of interviews when a collection of his father's films was released on DVD in 2003.

He told one reporter, "Someone once asked me what I considered to be good retirement age, and I said '15.'"


ProductionsDate of Productions
Funny Girl
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Sydney Chaplin
      Nick Arnstein (Mar 10, 1964 - Jun 19, 1965)
Mar 26, 1964 - Jul 01, 1967
In the Counting House
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Sydney Chaplin [Woody Hartman]
Dec 13, 1962 - Dec 15, 1962
Subways Are for Sleeping
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Sydney Chaplin [Tom Bailey]
Dec 27, 1961 - Jun 23, 1962
Goodbye, Charlie
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Starring: Sydney Chaplin [George Tracy]
Dec 16, 1959 - Mar 19, 1960
Bells Are Ringing
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Also Starring: Sydney Chaplin [Jeff Moss]
Nov 29, 1956 - Mar 07, 1959
1964 Tony Award® Best Actor in a Musical
Funny Girl [nominee]
Starring: Sydney Chaplin
1957 Theatre World Award
winner Bells Are Ringing [recipient]
Also Starring: Sydney Chaplin
1957 Tony Award® Best Featured Actor in a Musical
winner Bells Are Ringing [winner]
Also Starring: Sydney Chaplin
Find out where Sydney Chaplin and are credited together