Charlie Chaplin's Granddaughter Is An Actress, And You've Definitely Seen Her Before


Charlie Chaplin's Granddaughter Is An Actress, And You've Definitely Seen Her Before

She never had the chance to meet her iconic grandfather, Charlie Chaplin, or her Nobel Prize-winning playwright great-grandfather, Eugene O'Neill, but Oona Castilla Chaplin without a doubt inherited some of their talent.

When Charlie and a much younger Oona O'Neill struck up a romance, Hollywood was scandalized.

Still the couple proved a lasting match, staying married for over 30 years.

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Together the pair had eight children, Geraldine, Michael, Josephine, Victoria, Eugene, Jane, Annette and Christopher.

With such a talented bloodline it's not strange that many of the children went on to have fabulous careers of their own.


Geraldine Chaplin has had a successful career as an actress, and would be instantly recognizable to most movie-watchers. She fell in love with a handsome Chilean cinematographer Patricio Castilla, and in 1986 they couple welcomed a baby girl: Oona.

Named after her grandmother, the young girl grew up with a not-so-typical childhood.

Oona spent most of her younger years traveling from country to country. The Madrid-born actress reached important milestones in different parts of the world including Spain, Switzerland, Cuba, Scotland and England, but she loved every minute of it.

"I travelled a lot... I'm the child of the future... I think that's the way it should be "“ being from millions of different places and travelling "“ it's the best education," the actress says about growing up on the road. "I don't buy things now, I buy plane tickets. The only thing I want is to make enough money to be able to travel with my children," she said.

But despite being raised in a family of entertainers, Oona did not consider acting until she was much older. In fact, she initially wanted to study politics and broadcasting in university, but in a turn of events, her application to the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts (RADA) was accepted and she opted to pursue acting instead.

"I said if they take me at Rada I'll do acting, but only if they take me at Rada... and they did. I was f***ed," Oona explained.

Attending RADA was probably the best decision she ever made. The 32-year-old has since landed roles in British, Spanish and American TV shows and movies.

Oona Chaplin denies resemblance to her grandfather but when it comes to acting chops, ability to dance and sense of humor, she definitely draws comparisons to the comic legend.

"He was an incredible dancer and I can move," she said about her grandfather. As for other resemblances? "Only in the moustache, which I occasionally have to sort out," she added.

Oona currently plays the lead character in the BBC drama The Crimson Field and also stars alongside Tom Hardy as Zilpha Geary in Taboo on FX. She appeared in an episode of the recent season of the hit Netflix show Black Mirror.

Her previous notable roles include John Watson's girlfriend on Sherlock, Talisa Maegyr on Game of Thrones and Ruth Levinson in The Longest Ride. She also made a brief appearance in Quantum of Solace, the 2008 James Bond film.

She told Independent UK that landing those roles was just the beginning because she wants to gain as much experience as possible using her skills and classical training instead of relying on her family name.

"At the moment I'm just not saying 'no' to anybody...anybody can have me so that I can gain experience and hopefully my career will define itself," she explained

"My mother doesn't have much of a social life with other A-list people. Which in a way I'm very grateful for, because if I do make something of my career I will be able to say it wasn't because I was a Chaplin. Or maybe it will still be because I'm a Chaplin "“ I will never know that."

When she isn't on set, Oona lives in a humble flat in Notting Hill, UK. She claims to be "permanently in love with someone although that person changes all the time," but even then she says she feels "very happy, which is the main thing. I'm a very happy person."

If there's one thing she wants to drill into people's minds, it is that being the granddaughter of one of the greatest entertainers the world has ever seen does not excuse you from hard work because "nepotism doesn't really get you anywhere any more."

Do you see the resemblance between Oona and Charlie Chaplin? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.