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Chaplin Personal, 1952-1973

Yves Debraine

This is a path similar to that of David Douglas Duncan, who happened to enter Picasso’s villa, la Californie, by chance, and became the biographer of his later years. Young Swiss Yves Debraine was at the right place – in front of the hotel Beau-Rivage in Lausanne – at the right moment -2 December 1952 – when Charlie Chaplin, who had become a persona non grata in the USA after marrying the very young Oona O’Neill, came to seek refuge in Europe. Debraine, who had already worked for Life magazine, recommended a restaurant and hit it off with the new arrivals. It was the beginning of an unexpected career that lasted twenty years. As the “official photographer”, he immortalized all outings to the circus, the autograph sessions, and produced Holiday and New Year’s cards until 1973, for the family that grew constantly, having had eight children between 1944 and 1962. These photographs have rarely been shown, except at the Fondation Gianadda in 1998. Here, classified by theme, they are the subject of an exhibition from 20 February to 5 April, at the Chaplin’s World at Corsier-sur-Vevey, at the Bran manor where the iconic couple settled.

Chaplin Personal, 1952-1973, by Yves Debraine, Les Editions Noir sur Blanc, 2019, 144 p., €29.

Chaplin Personal, 1952-1973 - Yves Debraine

Review published in the newsletter #543 - from 14 February 2019 to 20 February 2019

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