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Lita Grey Chaplin was an actress known mostly for her tumultuous marriage to screen legend Charlie Chaplin.
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In 1932, Charlie Chaplin took Lita to court to prevent their two sons from appearing in a film. She had signed a contract with a movie studio, but the court ruled in Charlie's favor. While her attempts to launch acting careers for her sons were thwarted, she continued to make theatrical and night club appearances on her own. (Both sons later found some work as professional actors.) She married three more times after her union with Chaplin,
all of which ended in divorce.
Lita later wrote about her experiences as the wife of a comedic genius in My Life with Chaplin (1966) with Morton Cooper. Two years later, she suffered a great personal loss when her oldest son Charles Jr. died from causes related to his alcoholism. According to Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema, Lita spent many of her later years working in a department store in Beverly Hills.
On December 29th, 1995, Lita Grey Chaplin died in Woodland Hills, California. She had spent her final years working on another biography with Jeffrey Vance, reportedly to set the record straight about some exaggerations found in her earlier work. The volume, Wife of the Life of the Party, was published in 1998. Today, she is largely remembered for her role in one of Hollywood's biggest scandals of the 1920s.
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