Sunday, October 14, 2012

A question about Hetty Kelly

I received this question in my comment box but no return email address was provided, so I will answer it here. 

Hello! First, I want to congratulate you for making a blog as great as this, for all those people who loves Charlie as I do.
Thank you!
...and I have another question, recently, I read in an Android app about Charlie, about a girl named Hetty Kelly who supposedly is the first love of Charlie and who refused to marry him, according to that article Charlie was devastated when he learned of the death of this girl in the 20's (she died in 1918), is this true?

Yes. Charlie met Hetty Kelly, a dancer with a troupe called the Yankee Doodle Girls, while on tour with the Fred Karno Company in 1908 when he was nineteen and she was fifteen. He fell in love, but she was too young to reciprocate his feelings.  In his autobiography, written in 1964, Charlie remembered Hetty: “Although I had met her but five times, and scarcely any of our meetings had lasted longer than twenty minutes, that brief encounter affected me for a long time.” Hetty later married in 1915 and died in the flu epidemic in 1918. Charlie did not hear of her death until his return to England in 1921.  

Naturally, Charlie held a special place in his heart for his first love, but unlike some Chaplin scholars, however, I don't believe he spent the next 35 years searching for her replacement. 

   Hope it's not too much to ask and again thanks for this great blog!

Not at all. Please feel free to email me with questions anytime.  Thanks for your kind comments, I'm glad you enjoy the blog. 



  1. Thank you very much for answering!! I love the blog, and I have it in the google reader on my phone, so I don't miss anything :p thank you very much again!

    P.S: sorry for my bad english!

  2. Is Moira Kelly, the woman who played Hetty Kelly in Chaplin, related to Hetty Kelly?

  3. A few days ago, I used the e-mail address that you provided to send you a long message about Hetty Kelly and some other things. Did you get it? I named it, "Chaplinesque Questions." I used jbuxton72@gmailcom.

    1. Hi Dany, I did get your message. I'm sorry I haven't responded yet but I will get back with you.

    2. Okay. I just wanted to make sure that you got it. You can take your time. I know that I almost wrote an entire book in that message!