Eugene DeVerdi and Chaplin: A Fascinating Partnership

Joelle Grosso (March 07, 2017)
The story of an Italian youngster who serendipitously ended up becoming Charlie Chaplin’s official movie double unfolds in a riveting new book entitled “Abruzzo Stars & Stripes.”

Abruzzo Stars & Stripes, the latest release by Abruzzese publishing house Ricerche&Redazioni tells the extraordinary tale of Vincenzo Pelliccione, otherwise known as Eugene DeVerdi, an Italian man who left his home in Abruzzo to live the American dream in the United States, at just 20 years old. 

A Twist of Fate

Pelliccione was working as a painter and poet for several years after emigrating from Italy when he decided to make another big move, this time to Hollywood on the glamorous West Coast. It is here where Pelliccione experienced a chance encounter with Charlie Chaplin that would change the course of his life forever. At the time, Chaplin was at the height of his career as a comedic actor after rising to fame during the era of silent film. The two happened to meet in a restaurant when the superstar himself was simply stunned at the incredible resemblance.

“I, a poor Abruzzese emigrant in search of fortune, became Chaplin,” Pelliccione once said. This dream came true in almost an instant because after that lucky restaurant exchange, Chaplin immediately took Pelliccione under his wing. From earning two dollars a day, spending one on food and the other on English lessons, Pelliccione now found himself living in the shadow of a Hollywood legend.

Rise to the Top

From that point, Pelliccione began replacing Chaplin in the tests for hit movies like The Circus, The Great DictatorCity Lights, and Modern Times. He also participated in the live tours that took place in Florida and California. After working as the actor’s double for ten years, Chaplin abruptly decided to continue on without Pelliccione by his side. Pelliccione wasn’t done with the film industry though and chose to embark on a new journey as a lights and special effects technician for many memorable films including Ben-Hur and Cleopatra. He even returned to Italy to work at Cinecittà, the largest film studio in Europe.

Even though Chaplin and Pelliccione eventually ended their partnership, their story is nothing but intriguing. It seems as if their paths were destined to intertwine and the fact that the two passed away just six months apart makes their bond that much more mysterious. For those who want to read more about the fascinating life of Vincenzo Pelliccione, purchase Abruzzo Stars & Stripes today!





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on Enzo Carnebianca (not verified) wrote

I have collaborate whit Vincenzo Pelliccione aka Eugene DeVedi

I'm ENZO CARNEBIANCA,Italian sculptor. From few months I live in Miami (Alien of Extraordinary Ability Visa) I am the nephew of Vincent Pelliccione - aka Eugene DeVerdi (see, for ten years I have collaborate whit him. I am pleased to see that my uncle's myth is coming back into the limelight. He has been a great innovator and inventor of machines for the cinema and also for public utility. He first devised diving equipments for the film “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea ” as well as a great bright statue of a nurse with a telephone behind her shoulders called "Save a life" which he created in 1935 in Hollywood in case of road accidents. He brought this invention in Italy in the '70 as rapid intervention device and, after his death, it became an SOS device placed on all Italian highways. I would like to bring to your attention the interesting article about Vincent Pelliccione published by Nicola Catenaro last March 7th 2017 on the italian newspaper Corriere della Sera so that You could know better the life of this incredible man.