Paulette Goddard

Is your surname Chaplin?

Research the Chaplin family

Paulette Goddard's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Pauline Marion Chaplin (Levy)

Also Known As: "Paulette Goddard"
Birthplace: Whitestone Landing, Queens, New York, USA
Death: Died in Ticino, Switzerland
Cause of death: heart failure
Place of Burial: Ronco sopra Ascona, Locarno, Ticino, Switzerland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joseph Russell Levy and Alta Mae Goddard
Ex-wife of Charlie Chaplin; Burgess Meredith; Edgar James and Erich Maria Remarque

Occupation: Actress
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all 17

Immediate Family

About Paulette Goddard

A Hollywood leading lady from her breakthrough in 1936 and a major star of Paramount Studio in the 1940s, Paulette Goddard went from bit parts to stardom after her marvelous performance in Modern Times. Goddard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in So Proudly We Hail! (1943).

Early information about her life is sketchy: Her birth name may have been Marion Pauline Levee, Pauline Marion Goddard Levee, or Levy, and recent scholarship indicates she was born in 1910, though sources range from 1904 to 1914. She was a Ziegfeld Girl and was married for a few years before landing in Hollywood in 1931. She met silent film superstar Chaplin in 1932 and they became a pair and eventually married. She went from bit parts to stardom after her marvelous performance in Modern Times. Goddard and Chaplin split in 1942, and she married actor Burgess Meredith in 1944. (They divorced in 1949.) Goddard was a glamorous and versatile leading lady for Paramount Pictures; her films included The Women (1939, with Joan Crawford), The Great Dictator (1940, with Chaplin), So Proudly We Hail (1943, and her only Oscar nomination), Kitty (1945) and The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946, with then-husband Meredith). She made several B movies in the 1950s, then married Remarque and retired to Europe.

The circumstances of her actual wedding to Chaplin are also clouded in mystery. Some sources say they were secretly married (at sea or in China) sometime between 1933 and 1936... Although she was never a student at the school, Goddard left her estate -- valued at $20 million -- to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

She had no children during her four marriages but she was stepmother to Charles Chaplin, Jr. and Sydney Chaplin, sons of Charlie Chaplin.

Actress. A child model, she made her show business debut at the age of thirteen in the Ziegfeld Follies. She quickly became very famous for her work in the show, and by the age of fifteen had already gotten married for the first time. However, the marriage didn't last long, and in 1931 she headed for Hollywood. At first she appeared only in minor roles, but found herself getting noticed nevertheless because of her good looks. One of her most important minor roles from this period of her career came in the 1932 Eddie Cantor film 'The Kid from Spain.' In that same year of 1932, she met Charlie Chaplin, who was twenty-one years her senior. She appeared in his 1936 classic 'Modern Times' as the Gamine, which proved to be her breakthrough role. She also appeared as his leading lady in his 1940 film 'The Great Dictator.' The two were said to have gotten married in 1936, and were known around Hollywood as Mr. and Mrs. Chaplin, but were never able to produce a marriage certificate. This cost Paulette the role of Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone with the Wind,' a role which she had been the leading contender for. They ended up separating in 1942. She was signed to a contract with Paramount on the basis of her role as Miriam Aarons in the 1939 film 'The Women.' Throughout most of the Forties she was at her peak of fame, appearing in such films as 'Reap the Wild Wind' (1942), 'The Lady Has Plans' (1942), 'Kitty' (1945), 'Second Chorus' (1940), 'Pot o' Gold' (1941), and 'Unconquered' (1947). Her work in the 1943 film 'So Proudly We Hail!' got her nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, though she didn't win. In 1944 she got married again, to Burgess Meredith. This marriage lasted until 1950. During the Fifties she was in only six films, the last of which came in 1954. For the remainder of the Fifties and the early Sixties she found sporadic acting work on television. In the late Fifties she moved to Europe and married Erich Maria Remarque, the novelist who wrote 'All Quiet on the Western Front.' They were married until his death in 1970. She wasn't to return to the screen again until 1964. Her final acting role was in 'The Snoop Sisters,' a 1972 made-for-tv movie. After that she permanently retired from the acting business and was living in Switzerland when she died of heart failure at the age of seventy-nine. Goddard left more than twenty million dollars to New York University upon her death. The school named one of its residence halls after her. In addition, New York University's Tisch School of the Arts renamed its main staircase after her. and created a number of scholarships in her in her honor. (bio by: Carrie-Anne)