Charlie Chaplin was at the Streatham Empire in 1908 where he had a love affair with one of the showgirls- Hetty. In 1916 he wrote a love song about her “There’s Always One You Can’t Forget”
They were both performing for impresario Fred Karno at the Empire. She was with a song and dance troupe, Bert Coutts’ Yankee-Doodle Girls, and Chaplin was playing a drunk in ‘Mumming Birds’. He was 19 and she was 15. He remembered her as “a slim gazelle, with a shapely oval face, a bewitching full mouth, and beautiful teeth”. She came to be the female ideal in Chaplin’s mind and he recreated her in some of the female leads in his movies.
Chaplin wrote in his autobiography, written in 1964: “Although I had met her but five times, and scarcely any of our meetings had lasted longer than twenty minutes, that brief encounter affected me for a long time.”
(British Music Hall Society and Adam Gee)