The Sunset

One of Sydney Chaplin’s greatest fears as told in perspective of Lucille Ricksen.

Yet another rejected and very early draft of my novel, Human Wreckage.


We would talk about everything and anything. One of the topics being Syd’s terrifying fear of dying.
That was something that never bothered me. I certainly didn’t want to die young, but I was never scared of death. At times, it seemed wonderful. Just a long, heavy deep sleep. Many times during my career I dreamt of the sleep of the dead.
His fear of dying kept him from living. As he got older, he would settle in his chair and watch the light fade from his garden. Maybe he knew that’s how we experience death. Or at least how I experienced death.
A light coming from one side and slowly closing you out of the earth. Death is no sudden black. Maybe Sydney was onto something–death comes just like the sunset. Slowly, colors will fade and your vision will turn white then to black. The sky never changes colors in a mere second. It will gradually change. You simply don’t realize what is happening, until after it has happened.
Just like falling asleep. You don’t remember the exact second you are dreaming, but you are. Death, for me, was a beautiful moment in history. Despite the circumstances, it was beautiful.
Once the sun finally settled, Syd would sit and cry alone in his chair. Most people who are fortunate enough to even watch the sun fall feel calm and peaceful. He found it morbid. The sun going down only proved to him that time truly does go by and that he has lost yet another day of living. The older he got and the more days he lost, the more depressed he became.

He hated anything that had to do with death. I like to think that’s the reason why he never paid me visits while I was dying. Imagine my disappointment when he never showed at my bedside.

The Falling

My apologies for not posting in so long–it’s been a busy past few months.

Here is a passage I wrote for my upcoming book, “Human Wreckage” about my life as Lucille Ricksen. I will not be using this chapter–I wrote this about a year ago and have since changed the way I’ll be writing my book thus making this chapter useless. Thought I’d share it since it is very personal to me & I feel it’s beneficial to those who are searching for the truth of some things.

This has not been edited much and is a very rough cut of my writing–there will be errors but should still be an interesting read.

This is all in the point of view of Lucille Ricksen.

Hope you enjoy.


The Falling

“I’ve never known anyone so full of joy”
Lois would sob as news of my death became public. Other co stars would say,
“She was a sweet natured girl who gave happiness to everyone she met”
Newspapers published that I had died from a broken heart–a victim of the worlds cruelty. In reality, I was a victim of Hollywood.
I was laid to rest the day before Sydney’s [Sydney Chaplin] birthday, March 15th.
Jack and Mary Pickford, the Chaplin brothers, Lois and others decorated my coffin with beautiful flowers. Many celebrities attended; it seemed only like a Hollywood gathering. A big party. Definitely not an event where they laid a little girl to rest.
There were also some anonymous grievers surrounding the venue of the tightley woven famous crowd. Those who wanted to send their wishes and respect.
Like I had wished in the last weeks of my life, I was cremated. My mothers ashes were mixed among mine and we were interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. I was one of the earliest stars to be locked in the stone shelf.
Many stars will join me in the years to come.

Grief wrapped its arms around Paul Bern so heavily that he decided to leave Hollywood for two weeks – the first vacation he had ever taken from work. He chose to travel to Arizona.

Unfortunately, I was not the only leading lady Paul had to watch pass from destruction, I was only the first. In 1926, he helped struggling beauty, Barbara La Marr, who was suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. Just like he had with me, he paid for her nurses and any other bills that she had. And like me, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis along with nephritis.
He gave Barbara one last script, one last chance to say goodbye to the screen. The Girl From Montmartre is the name, which she completed but never lived to see. Barbara passed away January 30th, 1926 at the age of 29, just before the film was due for release.
In 1930, Paul supported his good friend Mabel Normand, when she was dying of tuberculosis. Just like he had with Barbara and I, he sat with Mabel, held her hand and gently spoke kind words with her.
He had a special power to calm before the eyes of death. He held life and death in his hands. Though he certainly would not intentionally cause death among us ladies; it was as if with his touch, we knew we could make it to the other side – the light, safely. The afterlife. We arrived in perfect harmony with spirits, to the afterlife, because of him.
The same delicate hands of his that guided us held a gun up to his own head and shot away the life left inside of him. He had just married his first wife, the glamourous blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow, only two months before. He was 42 years old.
I still and will continue to miss him. Every girl he graced with his presence remains deeply touched. Despite what some may speak of him, he was an angel to the falling ladies of Hollywood.