In February 1964, Spanish journalist, Marino Gomez-Santos and photographer Pepe Campúa drove to Chaplin's estate in Vevey to deliver a letter to him from Edgar Neville and perhaps try to get an interview. When they arrived, the front gate to the estate was open so they stepped inside and began walking up the path towards the house. Almost immediately Chaplin appeared from behind some trees. He was dressed in a cream-colored cashmere coat, a white shirt with no tie, a hat, and sunglasses. Chaplin told them that if they had a message, they could leave it with his secretary at the house. He stepped back three or four paces as if not wanting to break a barrier. He then asked them what they wanted. Gomez-Santos responded that they were Spaniards. "Journalists?" asked Chaplin. "Of course," he replied. "Call my secretary tomorrow. Now I want to finish my walk because my head hurts." Sensing that Chaplin was trying to get rid of them, the journalist acted quickly. He told Chaplin that Edgar Neville and Tono (the Spanish humorist) had told him much about him. "Ah, yes! Neville & Tone!" said Chaplin. "Is Neville still so fat? I saw him some years ago when we were in London. I hardly recognized him. When he came to Hollywood, he was young and athletic."1, 2 Chaplin smiled but only for an instant. He then rubbed his forehead, as if annoyed by the nostalgia of it all, sunk his hands deep into his pockets and took off to finish his walk. And that was that.
The full story (in Spanish) and more photographs can be found here:
|Chaplin and Marino Gomez-Santos. Note that Chaplin is holding the letter from|
|Chaplin runs away after his encounter with the journalists.|
1Neville arrived in Hollywood in 1930 where he became a screenwriter for MGM. He became friends with Chaplin, often playing tennis at his house on the weekends.
2One might be compelled to point out to Chaplin that he was not as svelte in 1964 as he was in 1930 either.