Santa Monica, California, 31 July 1944; daughter of the actor Charlie
Attended Swiss schools; Royal Ballet School, London, 1961.
Lived with the director Carlos Saura, son: Shane Saura Chaplin
1952—screen debut as street urchin in father Charlie's
; 1963—professional engagement as dancer in chorus of
in London; 1964—first major screen role in French film
Par un beau matin d'été
; 1966–67—appeared in some episodes of Spanish TV series
La familia Colón
; 1967—on Broadway under Mike Nichols's direction in
The Little Foxes
, first film with Carlos Saura; 1969—collaborated on script of
with Saura and Rafael Azcona; 1975—in
, first of several films for Robert Altman; 1978—in TV mini-series
My Cousin Rachel
William Morris Agency, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019,
Limelight (Chaplin) (as street urchin)
Dernier soir (Pourtale); Par un beau matin d'été (Deray)
Doctor Zhivago (Lean) (as Tonia)
Andremo in città (Nelo Risi)
A Countess from Hong Kong (Chaplin) (as girl at dance); J'ai tué Raspoutine ( I Killed Rasputin ) (Hossein); Stranger in the House ( Cop-Out ) (Rouve) (as Angela Sawyer); Peppermint frappé (Saura) (as Elena)
Stress es tres tres (Saura)
La madriguera ( The Honeycomb ) (Saura) (as Teresa, + co-sc)
El jardin de las delicias (Saura); The Hawaiians ( Master of the Islands ) (Gries) (as Purity Hoxworth)
Sur un arbre perché (Korber); Carlos (Geissendörfer)
Innocent Bystanders (Collinson); La casa sin fronteras (Olea); Z.P.G. ( Zero Population Growth ) (Campus) (as Carole McNeil)
Aña y los lobos ( Aña and the Wolves ) (Saura) (as Aña); The Three Musketeers ( The Queen's Diamonds ) (Lester) (as Anne of Austria); Y el projimo? (del Pozo); Verflucht dies Amerika ( La banda de Jaider ) (Vogeler) (as Kate Elder)
Le mariage à la mode (Mardore); Sommerfuglene ( Summer of Silence ) (Boger); The Four Musketeers ( The Revenge of Milady ) (Lester) (as Queen Anne of Austria)
Nashville (Altman) (as Opal); The Gentlemen Tramp (Patterson—doc)
Cria Cuervos ( The Secret of Anna ; Raise Ravens ; Cria! ) (Saura) (as Ana as an adult/her mother Maria); Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (Altman) (as Annie Oakley); Noroît ( Scènes de la vie parallèle: 3 Noroît ; Une Vengeance ) (Rivette); Welcome to L.A. (Rudolph) (as Karen Hood); Scrim (Bijl)
Elisa, vida mía ( Elisa, My Life ) (Saura) (as Elisa); "The Hustle" ep. of Roseland (Ivory) (as Marilyn); In Memoriam
Los ajos vandados (Saura); A Wedding (Altman) (as Rita Billingsley); Remember My Name (Rudolph) (as Emily); L'Adoption ( The Adoption ) (Grunebaum) (as wife); The Masked Bride ; Mais où et donc ornicar? (van Effenterre) (as Isabelle)
Tout est à nous ; Mama cumple cien años ( Mama Turns 100 ) (Saura) (as Ana)
La Viuda de Montiel (Littin); The Mirror Crack'd (Hamilton) (as Ella Zielinsky)
Les Uns et les autres ( Bolero ; Within Memory ) (Lelouch) (as Suzan/Sara Glenn); Voyage en douce (Deville) (as Lucie)
L'Amour par terre ( Love on the Ground ) (Rivette) (as Charlotte); La Vie est un roman ( Life Is a Bed of Roses ) (Resnais) (as Nora)
The Corsican Brothers (Sharp—for TV); Gentile Alouette (Castilla) (as Angela Duverger)
White Mischief (Radford) (as Nina Soames); The Moderns (Rudolph) (as Nathalie de Ville)
The Return of the Musketeers (Lester) (as Queen Anne of Austria); Je veux rentrer à la maison ( I Want to Go Home ) (Resnais) (as Terry Armstrong)
The Children (Tony Palmer) (as Joyce Wheater); Buster's Bedroom (Horn) (as Diana Daniels); Duel of Hearts (Hough—for TV) (as Mrs. Miller)
Chaplin (Attenborough) (as Hannah Chaplin); Zwischensaison ( Hors Saison ; Off Season ) (Schmid) (as anarchist)
The Age of Innocence (Scorsese) (as Mrs. Welland); A Foreign Field (Sturridge—for TV) (as Beverley)
Words upon the Window Pane (McGuckian) (as Miss MacKenna)
Para recibir el canto de los pajaros ( The Bird's Singing ) (Sanjines) (as Catherine); Home for the Holidays (Jodie Foster) (as Aunt Glady)
Jane Eyre (Zeffirelli) (as Miss Scatcherd); Gulliver's Travels (Sturridge—for TV) (as Empress Munodi)
Mother Theresa: In the Name of God's Poor (Connor) (as Mother Theresa); The Odyssey (Konchalovsky for TV) (as Eurycleia)
Cousin Bette (McAnuff) (as Adeline Hulot); Finisterre, donde termina el mundo (Villaverde) (as Mother)
To Walk with Lions (Schultz) (as Victoria Andrecelli); Mary, Mother of Jesus (Conner) (as Elizabeth); ¿Y tu qué harias por amor? ( Just Run! ) (Saura Medrano) (as Madre); Beresina oder Die letzten Tage der Schweiz ( The Last Days of Switzerland ) (Schmid) (as Beresina)
"In the Beginning" (Connor—for TV) (as Yocheved)
Interview with Jonathan Rosenbaum, in Film Comment (New York), September/October 1975.
"Geraldine Chaplin: el recuerdo de su padre," interview with M. Pereira, in Cine Cubano (Havana), no. 99, 1981; see also no. 106, 1983.
"Entretien avec Geraldine Chaplin," interview with J. Lefebvre, in Jeune Cinema , April/May 1993.
Ecran (Paris), October 1978.
Current Biography 1979 , New York, 1979.
Michiels, D., "Geraldine Chaplin," in Film en Televisie (Brussels), July-August 1981.
Télérama (Paris), 20 October 1984.
Francke, Linda Bird, "Life with Charlie," in Interview (New York), September 1989.
Guerin, N., "Geraldine Chaplin et la Camera d'Or," in Cinema 91 , July/August 1991.
Pøádná, Stanislava, "Ètyøikát dva Kapitola IV: Saura Chaplinová," in Film a Doba (Prague), Winter 1994.
Féminin singulier: Geraldine Chaplin , directed by Jean Kerchbron in
* * *
As the oldest daughter of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, Geraldine Chaplin's career in films would doubtless have attracted a considerable degree of attention regardless of her own merits as an actress. In the years since her portrayal of Tonia in Doctor Zhivago , however, Chaplin has established herself as a talented—if somewhat limited—performer with an intriguing on-screen appeal. Her dark, waiflike beauty, reminiscent of her mother, Oona O'Neill Chaplin, and her graceful, enigmatic qualities have made her a favorite of directors Robert Altman, Alan Rudolph, and Carlos Saura, while her facility for languages has enabled her to move with ease between American and European films.
It is perhaps ironic that, as the child of one of the world's greatest comedians, Chaplin has worked primarily in the realm of serious drama. Even her performance as the affected journalist in Altman's Nashville falls into the area of satire rather than straightforward comedy, and her particular strength as an actress has been the combination of dramatic intensity and a certain ethereal quality that she brings to her characters. Much of her best work has resulted from her collaboration with Saura, her longtime companion and one of Spain's leading filmmakers. Under his direction in such films as Cria , Aña y los lobos , and Elisa, vida mía , Chaplin gives sensitively drawn performances of depth and feeling.
Chaplin's vulnerable physical appearance also can work to her advantage when contrasted with a strong inner character. In Alan Rudolph's disturbing Remember My Name , she plays a revenge-obsessed woman whose seeming delicacy belies her ruthless, street-smart nature. It is one of her finest performances, and a startling departure from her usual screen roles.
Chaplin has had the good fortune throughout her career to work with directors who have utilized her unique talents and provided her with roles which complement her striking personal style. With strong films to display her abilities, she has created a professional identity apart from her early one as "Charlie Chaplin's daughter." Yet at the same time, in Chaplin , Richard Attenborough's celluloid biography of the Little Tramp, she was called upon to portray her own intensely, tragically disturbed grandmother. No actress in the world would have been a more logical and appropriate choice for the role.
—Janet E. Lorenz, updated by Rob Edelman