The eight progeny of Charlie and Oona Chaplin seldom get together outside the family estate at Vevey, Switzerland. So when all the children except Geraldine recently assembled in the garden of Paris’ Hotel George V, it was a triumph of logistics—and pride in Papa. The host, French film distributor Yves Rousset-Rouard, invited the clan to dinner to celebrate the opening of his Chariot, the Gentleman Tramp, a documentary on Charlie’s baggy-pants movie character.
The younger Chaplins were there also to mark Father’s 86th birthday (April 16). Publicity-shy Charlie wasn’t up to traveling to Paris, so he and Oona sent a telegram of thanks and regrets.
Of the children, Jane, 20, came from New York, where she has been working as a researcher for director Milos Forman (she wants a career in movies, but “above all, not as an actress”). Victoria, 26, who is an actress, Josephine, 28, who is divorced from Greek businessman Nicolas Sistovaris, the father of her 6-year-old, Charlie (she showed up with French tough-guy actor Maurice Ronet), and Michael, 31, the writer of the family, all live in Paris. Michael brought wife Patricia and three of their five children, Dolores, 5, Carmen, 3, and Kathleen, 1. Eugene, 24, a recording technician, and wife Sandra reside in Montreux, Switzerland. Annette, 17, and Christopher, 15, the youngest of Charlie’s children, are still with their mother and father in Vevey. The reason Geraldine, 32, couldn’t make it was right out of a Chaplin movie. Her son Shayne, 2, was ill, and Nanny McKenzie, who has been nursemaid to the Chaplin household for 32 years, was invited to the shindig. Nanny went, and Mother stayed home.