The following excerpts relating to Marie Doro are from Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography, published in 1964. Marie was born in 1882 and Charlie in 1889, so on their first meeting in London in 1905 she was seven years his senior and the effect which the accomplished actress of twentythree had on the raw youth of sixteen can be understood. Possibly this was Charlie’s only platonic relationship.
"And the next morning, waiting on the stage for rehearsals, and seeing Marie Doro for the first time, dressed in the loveliest white summer dress. The sudden shock of seeing someone so beautiful at that hour! She had been riding in a hansom cab and had discovered an ink spot on her dress, and wanted to know if the property man had anything that would take it out, and to his answer of doubt she made the prettiest expression of irritation; ‘Oh, isn’t that too beastly!’
She was so devatatingly beautiful that I resented her. I resented her delicate, pouting lips, her regular white teeth, her adorable chin, her raven hair and dark brown eyes. I resented her pretence of irritation and the charm she exuded through it. Through all this querying between herself and the property man she was ignorant of my presence, although I stood quite near, staring, transfixed by her beauty. I had just turned sixteen, and the propinquity of this sudden radiance evoked my determination not to be obssessed by it. But, oh God, she was beautiful! It was love at first sight”.