Charlie died early in the morning on Christmas, at Manoir De Ban, which overlooks the town of Vevey, Switzerland.
He had been in declining health for awhile, though he never lost the urge to make one more movie. He was buried near the Manoir.
End of story? No. Three months later, in March of 1978, his body was unearthed and stolen. A ransom note demanded payment. The body-snatchers bungled the job, left a lot of clues.It sounds like one of his early shorts. The body was discovered in a farmer's field, the police caught the robbers, they stood trial, and Chaplin was buried in a more secure manner. This was in a cemetery in Vevey, in a concrete tomb, to eventually be joined by Oona in 1991. Oona's final years were quite sad as she withdrew from the public.
According to current plans, the Manoir is scheduled to open as a museum in Spring, 2016, an event long anticipated.
I visited their gravesite several years ago. It's in a small cemetery, surrounded by low walls, and open to the public. It was a hot day in July, I was alone there, and sat on the bench of front of their headstones for several minutes. I thanked him.
So, on Christmas day, amidst the presents and laughter and decorations and gathering of friends and family, perhaps you can pause for just a few seconds to say, "Thanks, Charlie. You brightened up my life, and the world."