Excerpt from "Among the Porcupines" by Carol Matthau:
The major social move we made after coming out here to the West Coast to live was to give a party for Charlie Chaplin and Oona. It was 1972 and Charlie was coming back to the United States to be honored, first in New York and then by the Motion Picture Academy with a special Oscar. Gloria was going to give them a party in New York, and we were giving them a party here. Charlie was no longer in the very best of health, so Oona suggested that I make it a luncheon. I asked her for a guest list, so with the exception of a few really close friends of ours, the selection was theirs.
The party went very well, with people who had not seen one another for such a long time getting together again. Charlie and Walter were walking around the garden, and Charlie looked out to a brilliantly bright blue sea with what seemed to be thousands of tiny sailboats floating gracefully.
Charlie gazed out at the sea for a long time and then said to Walter, “Now that really must have cost you fortune.”
Charlie was that way. He saw life in terms of movie sets or scenes or ideas for movies. He loved seeing Lewis Milestone and Groucho Marx and Danny Kaye and Oscar Levant and Frances Goldwyn.
It was the last time Charlie was to be in California.
A couple of still frames:
|Charlie & Oona|
|Charlie & son, Sydney|