Charlie Chaplin Net Worth: Career, Death & Legacy

Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin (Source: Wallpaper Memory)

The man who made the world laugh without uttering a single word, one and only Charlie Chaplin, had a staggering net worth of $100 million at the time of his death.

Charlie Chaplin, originally Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr., was an English comic actor, composer, and filmmaker.

His short stature, toothbrush mustache just like that of Hitler’s, and weird walking style suited greatly to Charlie and made him an icon in the world of cinema.

He rose to prominence in the silent film era way back when not even our grandfathers were conceived.

Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Tramp, released in 1915, made Charlie a global icon. He is considered the industry’s most important figure.

He spent over 75 years of his career in the entertainment industry, starting from childhood in the Victorian era.

Chaplin was a true perfectionist who wrote, starred, edited, produced, and composed the music for most of his films.

Charlie Chaplin | Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about Charlie Chaplin:

Birth Name Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr.
Professional Name Charlie Chaplin
Nick Name The Little Tramp, Charlie, Charlot
Birth Date 16 April 1889
Death Date 25 December 1977
Birth Place East Street, Walworth, South London, United Kingdom
Place of Death Manoir de Ban, Switzerland
Height 5 feet 4 inches/1.63 m/163 cm
Weight 75 kg/165 lbs.
Religion Not Known
Gender Male
Nationality British
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color Black
Distinctive Feature Toothbrush Moustache, Short Height
Profession Actor, Film Director, Comedian, Author, Producer, Screenwriter, and Music Composer
Father’s Name Charles Chaplin Sr.
Mother’s Name Hannah Chaplin (née Hill)
Siblings Sydney Chaplin, Wheeler Dryden
Horoscope Aries
Ethnicity Romanichal Heritage
Education Cuckoo School
Sexual Orientation Straight
Spouses Mildred Harris (m. 1918-1920)

Lita Grey (m. 1924-1927)

Paulette Goddard (m. 1936-1942)

Oona O’Neil (m. 1943-1977)

Children 11 Children (Vісtоrіа Сhарlіn, Місhаеl Сhарlіn, Gеrаldіnе Сhарlіn, Сhrіѕtорhеr Сhарlіn, Јоѕерhіnе Сhарlіn, Ѕуdnеу Сhарlіn, Сhаrlеѕ Сhарlіn Јr., Јаnе Сhарlіn, Аnnеttе Еmіlу Сhарlіn, Еugеnе Сhарlіn, Nоrmаn Ѕреnсеr Сhарlіn)
Best Known For The Kid (1921), Limelight, The Great Dictator,  King in New York, A Woman in Paris, The Fireman
First Film The Kid (1921)
Net Worth $100 Million
Merch Magazine, Signed Photo, Signed Portrait
Last Update June 2022

Charlie Chaplin | Net Worth & Divorce Settlement

One of the honored and most important figures in the history of the film industry Charlie Chaplin had a net worth of a staggering $100 million at the time when he made his demise.

However, if we were to adjust inflation, that’s like $400 million in today’s dollars.

Charlie Chaplin was one of the richest personalities in the entertainment industry back then, and even if he were alive, he would have carried the title.

He made hundreds of millions of dollars from a variety of professions, including acting, writing, producing, directing, and composing, to name a few.

His time with production company Keystone earned him $175 per week, about $4,400 today.

Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin (Source: Biography (Bio.))

Even with a rough calculation, that’s like $230,000 a year today, a respectable figure.

Nonetheless, his pay only went uphill from that point.

Chaplin signed a new deal with Essanay Production Company in 1915, which raised his pay to $1,250 per week, about $30,000 today, and $1.5 million per year and again after adjusting for inflation.

After staying with the company for a year or so, Chaplin signed yet another deal with Mutual, a production company.

This contract paid Chaplin a staggering $10,000 per week.

Ten grand back then is about $250,000 today.

With that, he was earning a whopping $13 million per year.

After that, First National paid him a million to appear in eight films in 1918, which is the same as $16 million total.

Divorce Settlement

During his divorce battle with Lita Chaplin in 1927, a court froze his possessions.

At the time, Chaplin’s estate was valued at around $16 million and around $220 million today.

Nonetheless, Chaplin paid $1 million to Lita as part of the divorce settlement.

Net Worth of Charlie Chaplin in Different Currencies

Let’s look into Monica Lewinsky’s net worth in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 91.94 Million
Pound Sterling £ 76.81 Million
Australian Dollar A$ 134.31 Million
Canadian Dollar C$ 125.66 Million
Swiss Franc Fr. 93.53 Million
Indian Rupee ₹ 7,591,750,000
Bitcoin ฿ 2,341.86

Charlie Chaplin | Houses & Cars

Houses

Charlie Chaplin owned a number of houses in different parts of the world.

He lived in Beverly Hills for several decades. However, after the immigration issues, he and his wife moved to Switzerland.

Chaplin and his fourth wife, Oona O’Neil, settled in Switzerland on a 37-acre estate.

Champa de Ban Estate Manor, or The Manoir de Ban, is a house located at Corsier-sur-Vevey near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Chaplin lived on the estate for 25 long years until his death in 1977.

Cars

The funniest man in the history, Mr. Chaplin owned a handful of luxury automobiles in his days.

He used to drive a classy 1969 Bentley S3. Reportedly, the car still has the word Gold Old Charlie engraved on the woodwork.

Reportedly, he had purchased this car for 65,000 francs.

Charlie Chaplin's Bentley S3
Charlie Chaplin’s Bentley S3 (Source: 95Octane)

Nonetheless, his first car was a 1929 Pierce Arrow Convertible which can be compared to today’s Rolls-Royce.

When it was launched in the 1900s, it had a price of $8,000, which is about $1.04 million today.

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Charlie Chaplin | Finances, Immigration Issues & Death

Finances & Immigration Issues

In 1952 Chaplin received a message from US authorities that informed him that he could not return to the States unless he appeared before immigration authorities.

The authorities claimed that he was a communist sympathizer.

However, Chaplin decided not to return to the States.

It was difficult for him because he had been living in the country for several decades, and also, a vast majority of his assets and possessions were in the States.

Reportedly, Chaplin had $1 million cash buried in his Beverly Hills home backyard.

So to get the money, he instructed his wife Oona to return to the United States.

His wife would pretense of caring for her sick mother, but her sole purpose was to retrieve the buried fortune.

One million dollars back then equates to about $9 million today!

Oona converted a million dollars into thousand dollar bills and sewed it into the lining of a coat that she wore on the return trip.

Savvy!!

Charlie was already aware of the future immigration issues, for which he had made Oona a co-signer on all their bank accounts.

With that, Oona was able to legally extricate most of their assets back to Switzerland.

Death

Charlie’s health had declined by October 1977. His condition worsened, and he needed constant care.

On December 25, 1977, Charlie Chaplin died at his house, suffering from a stroke while in sleep.

At the time, he was 88 years old.

As per his wish, a small and private Anglican ceremony was held on 27th December.

He was entombed in the Corsier-sur-Vevey cemetery, Corseaux, Switzerland.

Charlie and Oona Chaplin's Grave
Charlie and Oona Chaplin’s Grave (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Chaplin left over $100 million to his widow Oona.

However, Chaplin’s coffin was stolen from its grave by Gantcho Ganev and Roman Wardas on 1st March 1978 and was held for ransom to extort money from Oona Chaplin.

Police caught the hooligans in May, and Chaplin’s coffin was found in the village of Noville buried in a field.

It was then re-interred in the cemetery in a concrete vault.

Charlie Chaplin’s net worth at the time of his death was $100 million.

Charlie Chaplin | Movies, Music and Legacy & Books

Movies

Charlie Chaplin gained worldwide fame through his screen persona, the Tramp.

At the age of 19, he was signed to the Fred Karno Company, which became his ticket to America.

After he co-founded his own distribution company United Artists, it gave him full control over his films.

He then went on to release feature-length films such as 1921 The Kid, 1923 A Woman of Paris, 1925 The Gold Rush, and 1928 The Circus.

Jackie Coogan in The Kid
Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in The Kid (Source: The Film Sufi)

He was so hooked on silent films that he initially refused to move to sound films.

Some of his other silent films include 1931 City Lights and 1936 Modern Times.

His first sound film, however, was 1940 The Great Dictator, which satirized Adolf Hitler.

In his later career, he dumped the Tramp persona.

In films like 1947 Monsieur Verdoux, 1952 Limelight, 1957 A King in New York, and 1967 A Countless from Hong Kong, he was not seen in his typical Chaplin look.

Music

The multi-talented personality Charlie Chaplin is also known for the soundtracks in his films.

He developed a passion for music when he was just a kid. He taught himself cello, violin, and piano.

With the arrival of sound technology, he started using synchronized orchestral soundtracks.

He first composed the soundtrack for 1931 City Lights.

After that, he composed the scores for all his films.

It was from the late 1950s to his death that Chaplin scored all his silent features.

Though he was not a trained musician and could not read the sheets, he took help from professional composers to create scores.

His composition produced three legendary songs, including “Smile,” “Terry’s Theme,” and “This Is My Song.”

Legacy & Books

Charlie Chaplin is one of the most important personalities in the history of cinema.

Times magazine has ranked him on its list of 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.

His persona as the Tramp has become a part of cultural history.

To this day, the items connected to the character fetch tons of money.

Part of Tramp’s costume, including a hat and a bamboo cane, was auctioned in LA in 2006, which generated $140,000.

Chaplin was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 1975 New Year Honours.

Similarly, he was appointed a Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour by the government of France in 1971.

Statue in London
Charlie Chaplin’s Statue in London (Source: London Remembers)

Aside from that, Lincoln Center Film Society has been presented with The Chaplin Award since Chaplin himself received Lifetime Achievement Award in 1972.

In 1972 Chaplin was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Furthermore, six of his films have been selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in National Film Registry.

Chaplin also authored a couple of books.

In 1964 his biographical book titled My Biography was published.

Similarly, some of his other books include 1922 My Wonderful Visit, Charlie Chaplin, and Charlie Chaplin’s own story.

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Charlie Chaplin | Career

Though there are no official records of his birth, several sources claim Charlie was born on April 16, 1889, somewhere in South London.

Charlie’s parents were both music hall entertainers.

His father was Charles Chaplin Sr., and his mother was Hannah Chaplin.

Charlie was just a toddler when his parents became estranged.

Chaplin had a difficult childhood as the family was awfully poor. His mother suffered from several mental health problems and was committed to a mental asylum.

By the age of seven, Chaplin and his brother worked at a workhouse.

Unknown Facts About Charlie Chaplin

  • He was the first actor to appear in Time magazine.
  • Chaplin became third in the Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest.
  • Interestingly, Chaplin never became a citizen of the United States.

FAQs

Did Charlie Chaplin know Albert Einstein?

Yes. As a matter of fact, during Chaplin’s movie City Lights’ premier in LA on 2nd February 1931, Einstein was a guest of honor.

What were Charlie Chaplin’s last words?

“May the Lord have mercy on your soul.” His last words after a priest read him his rites.

Was Charlie Chaplin faithful to Oona?

Yes, Charlie was extremely loyal to Oona. They hit it off immediately and became entangled.

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