Oona Chaplin (née O'Neill)

Oona Chaplin (née O'Neill), by Francis Goodman, September 1954 - NPG x195075 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Oona Chaplin (née O'Neill)

by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, September 1954
Bequeathed by the estate of Francis Goodman, 1989
Photographs Collection
NPG x195075

Sitterback to top

  • Oona Chaplin (née O'Neill) (1925-1991), Wife of Charlie Chaplin; daughter of Eugene O'Neill and Agnes Boulton. Sitter in 15 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Francis Goodman (1913-1989), Photographer. Artist of 1306 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Goodman photographed Oona and her children at their estate, the Manoir de Ban in Vevey, Switzerland in September 1954. Oona wrote to Goodman afterwards to thank him for the photographs: '... they are lovely. And I thought the page in the Tatler couldn't have been nicer. Josi and Victoria were thrilled'. 134 negatives survive from this sitting. Published in The Tatler and Bystander (3 November 1954).

Related worksback to top

  • NPG x195182: Oona Chaplin (née O'Neill) (includes the portrait)

Placesback to top

  • Place made and portrayed: Switzerland (drawing room, sitters' home, Le Manoir de Ban estate, Lake Geneva, near Corsier-sur-Vevey)

Events of 1954back to top

Current affairs

Roger Bannister runs the four-minute mile. Bannister was the first man to achieve the 'miracle mile', a feat that was thought by some to be impossible, beating his rival, the Australian John Landy, to the record. Bannister went on to a career as a distinguished neurologist.
Food rationing ends in Britain.

Art and science

J.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature and drew on his scholarly interests in history, language and mythology to create the fictional land of Middle Earth where the books are set.
Williams Golding publishes, Lord of the Flies.

International

The South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) is established in Bangkok. This international defence organisation was established as part of the 'containment' policy of limiting the influence of communism. SEATO was, however, found to be ineffective as the member organisations failed to agree on combined action; it was disbanded in 1977.

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