Charlie Chaplin’s son, Sydney, dies at 82

March 7th, 2009 - 5:02 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, March 7 (DPA) Sydney Earl Chaplin, the son of screen legend Charlie Chaplin, has died at the age of 82 at his home in California, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
A Tony Award-winning actor, Sydney was Chaplin’s oldest surviving child. He died of complications following a stroke, the report quoted his longtime friend Jerry Bodie as saying.

Sydney was born March 30, 1926, in a Beverly Hills mansion and named after his father’s older half-brother.

He was the second son of Charlie Chaplin and his second wife, Lita Grey. That marriage ended in a sensational, headline-grabbing divorce when Sydney was just a year old.

In several interviews, Sydney said that only when he was a veteran of World War II did he really come to know his father.

“He was a strange man. He had great difficulty expressing his feelings to me, which was odd because he expressed emotion on screen so marvelously,” Sydney told People magazine in 1989.

After the war, Sydney decided to try his hand at acting and in 1946 co-founded the Circle Theatre in Los Angeles.

His first Broadway hit came in 1956 with the show, Bells Are Ringing, for which he won a Tony. Next came Funny Girl opposite Barbra Streisand.

Sydney once said that his favourite Charlie Chaplin film was City Lights, which he thought was “the greatest single motion picture ever made”.

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