Chaplin's mother died in 1928 in Glendale, California, seven years after she was brought to the U.S. by her sons. Unknown to Charlie and Sydney until years later, they had a half-brother through their mother. The boy, Wheeler Dryden (1892-1957), was raised abroad by his father but later connected with the rest of the family and went to work for Chaplin at his Hollywood studio. In 1928, Chaplin built the Montecito Inn in Montecito near Santa Barbara as an escape from showbiz with his closest friends.The South African duo Locnville, Andrew and Brian Chaplin, are related to Chaplin (their grandfather was Chaplin's first cousin).
Chaplin's robust health began to slowly fail in the late 1960s, after the completion of his final film A Countess from Hong Kong, and more rapidly after he received his Academy Award in 1972. By 1977, he had difficulty communicating, and was using a wheelchair. Chaplin died in his sleep in Vevey, Switzerland on 25 December 1977.
Chaplin was interred in Corsier-Sur-Vevey Cemetery, Switzerland.On 1 March 1978, his corpse was stolen by a small group of Swiss mechanics in an attempt to extort money from his family. The plot failed; the robbers were captured, and the corpse was recovered eleven weeks later near Lake Geneva. His body was reburied under 6 feet (1.8 m) of concrete to prevent further attempts.
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