Even Great Britain's MI5 spy agency cannot find any record of Charlie Chaplin's birth. Although the entertainer is celebrated as one of London's most famous sons, newly declassified files reveal that Britain's MI5 domestic intelligence service found no records to back up Chaplin's claim that he was born in the city on April 16, 1889.
Uncertainty about Chaplin's origins linger to this day — a mystery Chaplin himself may have helped to nurture. The previously secret file, released Friday by Britain's National Archives, shows that MI5 investigated the silent film star in the 1950s at the request of U.S. authorities, who had long suspected him of communist sympathies. To the spies' surprise, there was no record of the performer's birth.
You can read more in an article by Jill Lawless in the Associated Press at http://goo.gl/tdD8s.
My thanks to Michael Murphy for telling me about this story.
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