TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Why was Charlie Chaplin not allowed to return to the U.S.?

Charlie Chaplin was born in England, and sometime around 1913 moved the United States.

However, during the 1950’s, he was accused of being a communist and of engaging in “un-American activities.” FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover tried to terminate his U.S. residency.   

Around 1952, Chaplin returned home to the England briefly for the premiere of the movie Limelight. Hoover succeeded in revoking Chaplin’s citizenship, and Chaplin was not allowed to re-enter the United States. He moved to Switzerland, where he lived until death.   

However in 1972, he did return to the United States to receive an honorary Oscar.  

For those who do not know, Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I. Chaplin used mime, slapstick and other visual comedy routines. His most famous role was that of “The Tramp.” 

Charlie Chaplin