US officials asked MI5 to look into Charlie Chaplin‘s background after he left the US, having been subjected to a volley of accusations of communism in 1952. The British intelligence group found that he may have been born near Paris, not London, as he originally claimed.
Oh yeah, and American intelligence got the impression during this same period that he may have been a Russian Jew named Israel Thornstein, which is a way better stage name than Charlie Chaplin. This hasn’t been substantiated in any meaningful way since then.
Nor were the British able to verify claims made amid McCarthyism that Chaplin was a communist agent. In fact, they rejected them outright, saying he was at most a sympathizer. In fact, amid the mystery of Charlie Chaplin’s origin story, these many background checks have materialized very little, save for a letter suggesting that Chaplin may have been born in Smethwick,
And that’s all the time we’re going to spend talking about Charlie Chaplin’s birthplace for the foreseeable future.