Charlie Chaplin - Charlie Chaplin's Birthplace A Mystery To Mi5
In 1952, the US government ordered an investigation into Charlie Chaplin 's birthplace, in an attempt to prove that he was a communist sympathizer. According to a report from Bbc News, Mi5 failed to find a birth certificate for the silent movie star and failed to prove that he had ever been a member of the Communist Party.
Chaplin was refused entry to the US, after leaving the country to attend a movie premiere in London. Although Mi5 decided that he did not pose a risk to national security, the fact that they could not find his birth certificate proved problematic and led them to question whether he had been born in London or not. According to the report, "After the row, Chaplin decided not to return to live in the US and instead made his home in Switzerland, where he died in 1977. He filmed his final two movies in London." However, the United States must have relaxed their stance regarding Chaplin's entry into the country, as he returned in 1972 to collect an honorary Oscar. Three years later, he was knighted in the UK.
For one month Charlie Chaplin's Mi5 files will be free to download from the National Archives website. He is thought to have been born in Walworth, South London, in April 1889 but no trace of his birth certificate could be found. It is also thought that he used another name, Israel Thornstein.