Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Friday, August 03, 2007

Oona becomes Debutante No. 1

Lots of interest in Oona Chaplin lately, so here is a bit from the file about Oona becoming "Debutante No. 1," before she became Mrs. Chaplin.

Debutante No. 1 - April 12, 1942 - New York
"A 16-year-old girl who says she is not 'lace-curtain Irish' but definitely the other kind was voted "Debutante No. 1" of the 1942 season today. The very cute "Shanty Irisher" is Oona O'Neill, daughter of Eugene O'Neill, famed playwright.

"My first name is not a typographical error," she said. "It's an old Irish name and James Stephens, the Irish writer, suggested it to father. Of course, I'm not lace-curtain. I'm Shanty Irish and proud of it. How do I feel about being a glamor girl? - I'm pretty darn excited."

The setting was in of all places, a bistro named the Stork Club where cafe society dropped in ballots for their choice of the "sub-debutante"... who combines... beauty, leader-shop, intelligence and popularity."

Oona has jet-black hair, stands 5 feet/4 inches in high heels, weighs 125 pounds, doesn't smoke or drink, dates only on week-ends and was accompanied by three young men of pre-Class 1-A age.

"Oh, they're nobody," she said, admitting she had never been in love.

Her father is convalescing in Danville, California, and she's a bit timid about letting him hear the latest news. She's read everything he ever wrote but she's written only one thing, a poem entitled "Springs," which a magazine returned to her with a rejection slip in 48 hours.

She took her college entrance exams yesterday: if she makes the grade she wants to go to Vassar. Meantime she'll pursue her latest hobby - painting."

On June 16, 1942, Oona became Mrs. Chaplin.


anonymous 3 said...

I am supposedly named for Charlie Chaplin's illegimate daughter. Does anyone know if he had a daughter? My name is Carol Ann.

Edna's Place said...

Chaplin had eight children (boys and girls) with Oona (all well known and still alive), and two sons with Lita Grey (Also, well-known, both have died). Except for his child with Mildred Harris, who died after birth, there was only one other child mentioned. Joan Barry claimed Charlie was the father of her unborn child. She agreed to a blood test after the birth. The blood test proved Miss Barry's baby was not Chaplin's, but blood test were new, and courts weren't all allowing them yet in the 1940s. Chaplin, as I remember, had to pay for the baby upbringing, even though the blood test proved he was NOT the father. Who the father was, Miss Barry only knew. Miss Barry's baby was named Carol Ann. Carol Ann, if alive, would be in her 70s right now. As I read your comment, you were name for that child?