In the coming years, Sydney would help his brother land other big deals in the movie contract world. Sydney helped Charlie get the First National contract, that give Chaplin ownership of his films and allowed Charlie to build his own studio.
Sydney would even co-star with Charlie in a few of the First National films. He played in 'A Dog's Life, 'Pay Day', 'The Pilgrim' and most famous of these 'Shoulder Arms'.
Sydney, according to Charlie's own book, 'My Autobiography', later help started United Artists, the famed film company founded mainly by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks. This company still exists today.
During 1919, Sydney got involved with the airline business. In a partnership, he help started Chaplin Airlines. This short lived adventure had a small fleet of planes that provided air service to Catalina Island.
It was also in 1919, Sydney became Edna Purviance's agent, but this was short lived too, and dissolved in a matter of months. Contract in the Edna Purviance Collection at BFI.
After Chaplin finished his First National contract, Sydney went exploring and made a few of his own films again. 'Charlie's Aunt' became quite well known in the 20's. 'The Better 'Ole', made in the 1926, can still be seen on Turner Classic Movies.
As far as Sydney Chaplins personal life, he married twice and had no children. His first wife, Minnie, passed away in the South of France in April of 1935, after many happy years of marriage. His second wife, Gypsy (Henriette), died later of a broken heart after Sydney Chaplin died on April 16, 1965. April 16, was Charlie Chaplin's birthday. Sydney and Gypsy lived in Nice, France, at the time of Sydney's death. The couple lived in Nice for many years. They were buried at Clarens-Montreux Cemetery not far from Vevey.
Before Sydney's death, Sydney visited Charlie and his family often in Switzerland. Sydney loved children and they were always delighted to see him. He still could get Charlie or his family with a good gag or joke. Sydney was certainly the less serious of the two brothers, when it came to his art, that is. But Sydney did spend quiet time at Charlie's home as well, reflecting on the struggles it took to achieve their success.
Sydney and Charlie were very close, even though at times they seemed to be quite separate. Sydney spent a great deal of time worrying about his little brother, whether it was on the streets of London or the streets of L.A. He was always in the background, but to Charlie, Sydney was always very close. When reading Charlie's book, he credited his brother for most of his financial success. Charlie had the talent, as Sydney always knew, but it was Sydney who helped make that talent pay off.
Charlie (far left) and Sydney (far right)
at the site of future studio - fall of 1917
Chaplin's Film Studio
Sydney Chaplin seated on left side - Catalinagoose
Sydney in 'The Fortune Hunter' - Lisa Stein Collection