From the UK Telegraph we get this bit of fluff:
MI5 investigated whether Charlie Chaplin was actually a Frenchman called Israel Thornstein, previously secret files on the Hollywood film star have revealed.They never looked in Hawaii, did they?
Intelligence officers could find no trace of the actor's birth in Britain despite Chaplin always claiming he was born in London in 1889.
The mystery surrounding his origins emerged when the US authorities asked MI5 to look into the comic actor's background after he left America in 1952 under a cloud of suspicion over his communist links.
But British officers could find no birth certificate and the earliest official record was a passport issued in 1920.
They investigated suggestions he was born in Fontainebleau, near Paris, or nearby Melun, while the Americans claimed his real name was Israel Thornstein and raised the idea he may have been a Russian Jew.Born in Kenya? Do I hear Kenya? Anyone for Kenya? Is Paris near Kenya?
Despite extensive searches, MI5 could find no evidence of any of the claims leaving his true origins a mystery to this day.
Chaplin had a strong socialist leaning and was accused of donating money to communist front organizations. Thank the Lord that, being as popular was he was but foreign born, Charlie was not eligible to run for President.
Wait a minute.
Scotland Yard's Special Branch added to the intrigue by passing on a tip from a source who claimed the actor was born near Fontainebleau, just south of Paris.I wonder if MI5 has dossiers on other "celebrities?"
The police memo said: "There may or may not be some truth in this, but in view of the fact that no documentary proof has been obtained that Chaplin was born in the United Kingdom, it may well be that he was in fact born in France."
One possible answer to the mystery emerged last year when Chaplin’s family found a letter in a locked drawer suggesting he had been [...] born on a gipsy camp in Smethwick, near Birmingham.