1952 October 28

Attorney General: Charlie Chaplin Must “Prove His Worth” to Return to U.S.


The great silent film star Charlie Chaplin had his visa revoked on September 17, 1952, when he was in England to promote his new film Limelight. Chaplin was born in England and never became an American citizen, with the result that he worked in the U.S. on a visa. He came under attack both for allegations of immorality and for his left-wing political views. On this day, Attorney General James McGranery declared that Chaplin could be granted a visa “if he can prove his worth and right to enter the United States.”

Chaplin did not return to the U.S. for 20 years, finally returning to receive an honorary Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony on April 10, 1972. The audience gave Chaplin a 12-minute standing ovation when he was given the Oscar.

Read: Kenneth Lynn, Charlie Chaplin and His Times (1997)

Read Chaplin’s FBI file: http://vault.fbi.gov/charlie-chaplin

Watch Charlie Chaplin in The Kid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAUFUv1k9Zw

Watch a tribute to Chaplin’s Limelight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3b86ck5HRc

Learn more at the official Charlie Chaplin web site: http://www.charliechaplin.com/

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