Sunday, November 11, 2012

Charlie’s WWI Draft Registration Card dated June 5th, 1917

The draft card lists his address as the Los Angeles Athletic Club, that he was employed by the Lone Star Co. as a "Moving Picture Comedian”, that he was of "slender" build, & that he had black hair and blue eyes. Except for the signature, I don't believe the rest of the handwriting is Chaplin's. 

Charlie was seen as a slacker during the war (songs were even written about it, including ”The Moon Shines Bright On Charlie Chaplin” which “scared the hell” out of him the first time he heard it), however, this card proves that Charlie did present himself for service, but was denied because he was too short and underweight. If he had indeed fought in the war, odds are he would not have survived.


  1. So,even though he wasn't an American citizen? Were other entertainers of the time judged as harshly as CC? Charlie always seemed to "step in it" and this is before his really dark days began. I always wondered if his hair was black or a dark brown. Thanks

    1. Those accusing Charlie of being a slacker felt that he should return to England to fight. The only other celebrity I can think of who was judged as harshly was boxer Jack Dempsey (who was also a friend of Charlie's). I believe he was even arrested for dodging the draft.