MI5 File Casts Doubts On Charlie Chaplin's Walworth Roots

Lindsey
By Lindsey Last edited 77 months ago
MI5 File Casts Doubts On Charlie Chaplin's Walworth Roots


An MI5 file that casts doubts on Charlie Chaplin's Lambeth boy credentials has been released to the National Archives today.

British intelligence services probed Chaplin's background during the 1950s when the US authorities suspected the actor of communist sympathies. The file reveals MI5's conclusion that he was "no more than a 'progressive', or radical" but also that there is no proof that he was born in London. No record of his birth was found at Somerset House, even under the presumed alias, 'Israel Thornstein'.

Tragically for Walworth, as the Guardian reports, their local boy done good might even be — by birthplace — a Brummie.

Last Updated 17 February 2012