Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Chaplin-Goddard Marriage: Was It Legal?

Today is the 120th birthday of comedian Charlie Chaplin. Famous for his tumultuous early marriages, his third "marriage" to actress Paulette Goddard has been the source of much scrutiny and doubt. Some say the issue even cost Goddard the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind.

The pair met in 1932, when Goddard was still a chorus girl, and became fast friends and lovers, Paulette even moving into Chaplin's Beverly Hills home. He bought her contract from producer Hal Roach and cast her in his classic Modern Times, which took two years to develop and film. After the release of Modern Times in 1936 the couple went on a tour of the Orient where they supposedly married secretly aboard ship. However, no official paperwork was ever provided to substantiate the claim which had the potential to further harm Paulette Goddard's career. They went on to co-star in Chaplin's next film, The Great Dictator, but the relationship began to fizzle. When the two decided to part ways in 1942, Goddard obtained a quickie divorce in Mexico and allegedly received a handsome settlement.

Goddard went on to become a major star at Paramount and Chaplin (after a nasty paternity suit) married his final wife, Oona O'Neill in 1943.


  1. I knew that Charlie Chaplin ang beautiful Paulette Goddard had been married and then divorced, but I didn't know how did it happen. Thank you for the information!

  2. The whole site is great! But this article particularly interested me, I'm impressed.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. 120th Birthday, crazy!.

    I'm sure they must've been married. Otherwise, how would she have got money from a divorce settlement?

  4. Hey- I just found your blog and I'm enjoying reading all the old posts.

    I'm familiar with this story, but I don't really see how it matters whether they were formally married or not. They presented themselves as husband and wife- whether they actually signed a piece of paper is immaterial except to the law.

  5. Terrific blog you have here and as for Chaplin's romantic interests- I don't judge him for it.

    I will be following this blog. Keep up the work!

    Be sure to follow back:



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