Saturday, February 18, 2012

Declassified documents show FBI, MI5 spied on Chaplin

17 February 2012

According to declassified documents quoted in The Guardian, the FBI had a 2,000-page file on Charlie Chaplin and reached out across the pond for help spying on him. In 1952, J. Edgar Hoover contacted the UK's MI5 security agency because he was concerned that Chaplin was a Communist sympathizer; meanwhile, the Brits wondered if the actor was actually - quelle horreur! - French.

The MI5 eventually concluded that Chaplin was "not a security risk" but, oddly enough, couldn't find proof of his birth in England or France. Regardless, Chaplin was banned from re-entering the U.S in 1953.