After much hype, Andrew Dominik’s Blonde has landed on Netflix, starring Ana de Armas in the titular role – and it's by no means an easy watch.


The film is based on the true story of Marilyn Monroe’s life but confusingly, like the novel by Joyce Carol Oates upon which it is based, Blonde mixes fact and fiction, inventing details surrounding some of Monroe’s connections with real-life figures.

In particular, the drama reimagines Monroe's relationships with Charlie Chaplin's son, Charlie Chaplin, Jr, and Edward G Robinson's son, Eddie Robinson Jr, and suggests she was in a polyamorous triad with the pair, which is not actually based in fact.

It's a move that has drawn plenty of criticism from fans and critics alike, with many questioning whether the film has abused and exploited Monroe all over again.

So, read on for the true story behind Netflix's Blonde.

Who is Charlie Chaplin Jr in Blonde?

Xavier Samuel as Cass Chaplin in Blonde
Xavier Samuel as Cass Chaplin in Blonde. Matt Kennedy/Netflix

Charlie Chaplin Jr, or Cass Chaplin, was the oldest son of Hollywood actor Charlie Chaplin.

He grew up to pursue an acting career just like his famous father.

He married twice, first to Martha Brown and then to Susan Magness, with whom he shared a daughter, Susan Maree, who was born in 1959.

Cass died in 1968 in Hollywood, California, at the age of 43.

Who is Eddie Robinson Jr in Blonde?

Eddie with his hand outstretched to the camera
Evan Williams as Eddie G Robinson in Blonde. Netflix

Eddie was another actor and the son of famous actor Edward G Robinson.

He enjoyed a successful acting career, starring alongside Monroe in Some Like It Hot.

He married three times, to Nan Elizabeth Morris, Ruth Elaine Menold Conte and Frances Chisholm.

Eddie died on February 26, 1974, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 41.

Did Marilyn Monroe really date Charlie Chaplin Jr and Edward G Robinson Jr?

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde. Netflix

It appears that although aspects of Blonde's three-way romance have their basis in reality, no such relationship between Monroe, Chaplin and Robinson actually existed.

Chaplin and Monroe are believed to have had a relationship, something which is referenced in Anthony Summers's biography Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, with Summers detailing how Cass invited the star to meet his family over lunch in 1947. The relationship is again suggested in Cass's own book My Father, Charlie Chaplin.

Meanwhile, Summers's book also claims that Monroe met Eddie through Cass and the pair subsequently had a relationship, although this was after her relationship with Cass had already reached its end.

But Summers writes that "any passion in the Robinson affair was soon spent, and turned to friendship", suggesting that it was not a long relationship.

It appears that the trio did continue to stay close friends for some time after these supposed affairs, but there is no evidence to suggest that the three-way relationship that is depicted in the film is in any way based on real facts.

Blonde was released in select cinemas on Friday 23rd September and is available to stream on Netflix from Wednesday 28th September. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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