Monday, October 21, 2013

"My own dearest Edna"

"Modie" (left) & "Boodie" c.1915 ("Modie" and "Boodie" were
Charlie and Edna's pet names for each other)

In a letter dated March 1st, 1915, Charlie writes to “My Own Dearest Edna” & tells her that she is “the cause of my being the happiest person in the world." He is replying to a note which she had written to him: “My heart throbbed this morning when I received your sweet letter. It could be nobody else in the world that could have given me so much joy. Your language, your sweet thoughts and the style of your love note only tends to make me crazy over you. I can picture your darling self sitting down and looking up wondering what to say, that little pert mouth and those bewitching eyes so thoughtful. If I only had the power to express my sentiments I would be afraid you’d get vain….” (Chaplin: His Life & Art, David Robinson, 1985)

4 comments:

  1. without edna, the tramp would have never developed in the same way. she's responsible that he discovered his heart. it's just such a shame that she never received the proper attention and respect for her input into the evolution of the little fellow. even now it is changing ever so slowly.

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    1. I kind of feel that Edna was a bit of a tragic figure, I agree that she has slipped through the cracks, somewhat. She deserves more credit for her contributions to film and she played off Charlie so well. She is one of the reasons I enjoy his earlier films the most of all, they had such great chemistry. I'm not sure if this is true, but I thought that Edna started drinking heavily after her relationship with Charlie ended when he married Mildred Harris, Edna was blindsided. She just seemed to go downhill after that, professionally and personally.

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    2. Edna did become an alcoholic. I'm not exactly sure when she started drinking or if it was due to Charlie's marriage to Mildred. I think Rollie Totheroh claimed that it was. Charlie abhorred alcoholics, so I'm sure her drinking annoyed him. Josef Von Sternberg claimed that he struggled to direct Edna in A Woman Of The Sea because of her drinking. But according to her biographer, Linda Wada, she was very happy in her later years, after she left Hollywood. She married a man named Jack Squire in the late 1930s and Wada believes he was the true love of her life.
      I think the internet and accessibility of Chaplin's films have given Edna a whole new fan-base. Most fans consider her their favorite Chaplin leading lady. Those early films would not have been the same without her. A few years ago, there was a petition going around for her to get a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, which she deserves. Although I don't know how meaningful that is anymore, considering some of the talentless people who have them. These days it seems those stars are bought, not earned.

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