Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr., KBE (16 April – 25 December ), better known as Charlie Chaplin, was an Academy Award-winning English comedy actor. Chaplin became one of the most famous actors as well as a notable director, composer and musician in the early to mid Hollywood cinema era. He is considered to have been one of the finest mimes and clowns ever caught on film and has greatly influenced performers in this field.
He acted in, directed, scripted, produced, and eventually scored his own films. Chaplin was also one of the most creative and influential personalities in the silent-film era. His working life in entertainment spanned over 65 years, from the Victorian stage and music hall in the United Kingdom as a child performer, almost until his death at the age of eighty-eight. Chaplin's high-profile public and private life encompassed highs and lows with both adulation and controversy.
His principal character was 'The Tramp' (known as 'Charlot' in France and the French-speaking world, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Romania, and Turkey, and as 'Carlitos' in Brazil). 'The Tramp' is a vagrant with the refined manners and dignity of a gentleman. The character wears a tight coat, oversized trousers and shoes, and a derby; carries a bamboo cane; and has a signature toothbrush moustache.
Charles Chaplin, c. 1920
Charlie Chaplin was born on 16 April ,
in East Street, Walworth,
A larynx condition ended the singing career of Chaplin's mother. Hannah's first crisis came in 1894 when she was performing at The Canteen, a theatre in Aldershot. The theatre was mainly frequented by rioters and soldiers, and it was one of the worst places to perform. Hannah was badly injured by the objects the audience mercilessly threw at her, and she was booed off the stage. Backstage, she cried and argued with her manager. In the meantime, the five-year old Chaplin went on stage alone and started singing a very well-known tune at that time, 'Jack Jones'.
When Hannah Chaplin was again admitted to the Cane Hill Asylum, Chaplin
was left in the workhouse at Lambeth in
mother died in 1928 in
Chaplin first toured
Chaplin's earliest films were made for Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios, where he developed his tramp character and very quickly learned the art and craft of film making. The tramp was first presented to the public in Chaplin's second film Kid Auto Races at Venice (released Feb. 7, 1914) though Mabel's Strange Predicament, his third film, (released Feb. 9,1914) was produced a few days before. It was for this film that Chaplin first conceived of the tramp. The character would immediately gain huge popularity among theater audiences. As Chaplin recalled in his autobiography:
'I had no idea what makeup to put on. I did not like my get-up as the press reporter [in Making a Living]. However on the way to the wardrobe I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large. I was undecided whether to look old or young, but remembering Sennett had expected me to be a much older man, I added a small moustache, which I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression.
I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked on stage he was fully born.' (Chaplin, My Autobiography: 154).
Chaplin's early Keystones use the standard Mack Sennett formula of extreme physical comedy and exaggerated gestures. Chaplin's pantomime was subtler, more suitable to romantic and domestic farces than to the usual Keystone chases and mob scenes. The visual gags were pure Keystone, however; the tramp character would aggressively assault his enemies with kicks and bricks. Moviegoers loved this cheerfully earthy new comedian, even though critics warned that his antics bordered on vulgarity. Chaplin was soon entrusted with directing and editing his own films. He made 34 shorts for Sennett during his first year in pictures, as well as the landmark comedy feature Tillie's Punctured Romance.
In 1915, Chaplin signed a much more favourable contract with Essanay Studios, and further developed his cinematic skills, adding new levels of depth and pathos to the Keystone-style slapstick. Most of the Essanay films were more ambitious, running twice as long as the average Keystone comedy. Chaplin also developed his own stock company, including ingenue Edna Purviance and comic villains Leo White and Bud Jamison.
In 1916, the Mutual Film
Corporation paid Chaplin US$670,000 to produce a dozen two-reel
comedies. He was given near complete artistic control, and produced twelve
films over an eighteen-month period that rank among the most influential comedy
films in cinema. Practically every Mutual comedy is a classic: Easy Street,
One AM, The Pawnshop, and The Adventurer are perhaps the
best known. Edna Purviance remained the leading lady, and Chaplin added Eric Campbell, Henry Bergman, and Albert Austin
to his stock company; Campbell, a Gilbert and Sullivan
veteran, provided superb villainy, and second bananas Bergman and Austin would
remain with Chaplin for decades. Chaplin regarded the Mutual period as the
happiest of his career, although he also had concerns that the films during
that time were becoming formulaic owing to the stringent production schedule
his contract required. Upon the
Most of the Chaplin films in circulation date from his Keystone, Essanay, and Mutual periods. After Chaplin assumed control of his productions in 1918 (and kept exhibitors and audiences waiting for them), entrepreneurs serviced the demand for Chaplin by bringing back his older comedies. The films were recut, retitled, and reissued again and again, first for theatres, then for the home-movie market, and in recent years, for home video. Even Essanay was guilty of this practice, fashioning 'new' Chaplin comedies from old film clips and out-takes. The twelve Mutual comedies were revamped as sound movies in 1933, when producer Amadee J. Van Beuren added new orchestral scores and sound effects. A listing of the dozens of Chaplin films and alternate versions can be found in the Ted Okuda-David Maska book Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp. Efforts to produce definitive versions of Chaplin's pre-1918 short films have been underway in recent years; all twelve Mutual films were restored in 1975 by archivist David Shepard and Blackhawk Films, and new restorations with even more footage were released on DVD in 2006.
Charlie Chaplin Studios, 1922
the conclusion of the Mutual contract in 1917, Chaplin signed a contract with First National to produce eight two-reel films.
First National financed and distributed these pictures (1918-23) but otherwise
gave him complete creative control over production which he could perform at a
more relaxed pace that allowed him to focus on quality. Chaplin built his own
In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the United Artists film distribution company with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith, all of whom were seeking to escape the growing power consolidation of film distributors and financiers in the developing Hollywood studio system. This move, along with complete control of his film production through his studio, assured Chaplin's independence as a film-maker. He served on the board of UA until the early 1950s.
All Chaplin's United Artists pictures were of feature length, beginning with the atypical drama in which Chaplin had only a brief cameo role, A Woman of Paris (1923). This was followed by the classic comedies The Gold Rush (1925) and The Circus (1928).
After the arrival of sound films, he made City Lights (1931), as well as Modern Times (1936) before he committed to sound. These were essentially silent films scored with his own music and sound effects. City Lights contained arguably his most perfect balance of comedy and sentimentality. Of the final scene, critic James Agee wrote in Life magazine in 1949 that it was the 'greatest single piece of acting ever committed to celluloid'.
His dialogue films made in
While Modern Times (1936) is a non-talkie, it does contain talk —- usually coming from inanimate objects such as a radio or a TV monitor. This was done to help 1930s audiences, who were out of the habit of watching silent films, adjust to not hearing dialogue. Modern Times was the first film where Chaplin's voice is heard (in the nonsense song at the end, being both written and performed by Chaplin). However, for most viewers it is still considered a silent film -- and the end of an era.
Although 'talkies' became the dominant mode of movie making soon after they were introduced in 1927, Chaplin resisted making such a film all through the 1930s. He considered cinema was essentially a pantomimic art. He said: 'Action is more generally understood than words. Like Chinese symbolism, it will mean different things according to its scenic connotation. Listen to a description of some unfamiliar object -- an African wart hog, for example; then look at a picture of the animal and see how surprised you are (Time Magazine, February 9, 1931).'
a tribute to Chaplin's versatility that he also has one film credit for choreography for the 1952 film Limelight,
and another as a singer for the title music of The Circus (1928). The
best known of several songs he composed are 'Smile', composed for the film 'Modern
Times' and given lyrics to help promote a 1950s revival of the film,
famously covered by Nat King Cole.
'This Is My Song' from Chaplin's last film, 'A Countess From
Hong Kong,' was a number one hit in several different languages in the
1960s (most notably the version by Petula Clark and discovery of an unreleased
version in the 1990s recorded in 1967 by Judith Durham of The Seekers), and Chaplin's theme from Limelight
was a hit in the 1950s under the title 'Eternally.' Chaplin's score
to Limelight was nominated for an Academy Award in 1972 due to a decades-long
delay in the film premiering in
His first dialogue picture, The Great Dictator (1940), was an act of defiance against German dictator Adolf Hitler and Nazism, filmed and released in the United States one year before it abandoned its policy of isolationism to enter World War II. Chaplin played the role of a Nazi-like dictator 'Adenoid Hynkel', Dictator of Tomainia, clearly modeled on Hitler. The film also showcased comedian Jack Oakie as 'Benzino Napaloni', dictator of Bacteria. The Napaloni character was clearly a jab at Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and Fascism.
Paulette Goddard filmed with Chaplin again, depicting a woman in the ghetto. The film was seen as an act of courage in the political environment of the time, both for its ridicule of Nazism and for the portrayal of overt Jewish characters and the depiction of their persecution. Chaplin played both the role of Adenoid Hynkel and also that of a look-alike Jewish barber cruelly persecuted by the Nazis. The barber physically resembles Chaplin's Tramp character, but is not considered to be the Tramp. At the conclusion, the two characters Chaplin portrayed swapped positions through a complex plot, and he dropped out of his comic character to address the audience directly in a speech.
Charlie Chaplin together with the American socialist Max Eastman in
Chaplin's political sympathies
always lay with the left. His
politics seem tame by modern standards, but in the 1940s his views (in
conjunction with his influence, fame, and status in the
Apart from the controversial 1942 speeches, Chaplin declined to support
the war effort as he had done for the First World War which led to public anger,
although his two sons saw service in the Army in
Although Chaplin had his major successes in the United States and was a resident from 1914 to 1952, he always retained his British nationality. During the era of McCarthyism, Chaplin was accused of 'un-American activities' as a suspected communist sympathizer and J. Edgar Hoover, who had instructed the FBI to keep extensive secret files on him, tried to end his United States residency. FBI pressure on Chaplin grew after his 1942 campaign for a second European front in the war and reached a critical level in the late 1940s, when Congressional figures threatened to call him as a witness in hearings. This was never done, probably from fear of Chaplin's ability to lampoon the investigators. This was probably a wise decision, as Chaplin later stated that, if called, he wanted to appear dressed in his Tramp costume.
1952, Chaplin left the
Chaplin then made his home in Vevey,
Switzerland. He briefly and triumphantly
returned to the
Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in The Kid (1921)
Chaplin won one Oscar in a competitive category, and was given two honorary Academy Awards.
1972, he won an Oscar for the Best
Music in an Original Dramatic Score for the 1952 film Limelight,
which co-starred Claire Bloom. The
film also features an appearance with Buster Keaton, which was the only time the two
great comedians ever appeared together. Due to Chaplin's political
difficulties, the film did not play a one-week theatrical engagement in
Chaplin was also nominated for Best Comedy Director for The Circus in 1929, for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Music for The Great Dictator in 1940, and again for Best Original Screenplay for Monsieur Verdoux in 1948. During his active years as a filmmaker, Chaplin expressed disdain for the Academy Awards; his son Charles Jr wrote that Chaplin invoked the ire of the Academy in the 1930s by jokingly using his 1929 Oscar as a doorstop. This may help explain why City Lights and Modern Times, considered by several polls to be two of the greatest of all motion pictures, were not nominated for a single Academy Award.
When the first Oscars were awarded on May 16, , the voting audit procedures that now exist had not yet been put into place, and the categories were still very fluid. Chaplin had originally been nominated for both Best Actor and Best Comedy Directing for his movie The Circus, but his name was withdrawn and the Academy decided to give him a special award 'for versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus' instead. The other film to receive a special award that year was The Jazz Singer.
Chaplin's second honorary award came forty-four years later in 1972, and was for 'the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century'. He came out of his exile to accept his award, and received the longest standing ovation in Academy Award history, lasting a full five minutes.
Statue of Chaplin in Leicester Square, London.
Chaplin's two final films were made in London: A King in New York (1957) in which he had starred, written, directed and produced; and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), starring Sophia Loren and Marlon Brando, in which Chaplin had made his final on-screen appearance in a brief cameo role as a seasick steward, and in which he had directed, produced, and written.
In his autobiography My
Autobiography, published in 1974, Chaplin indicated that he had written a
screenplay for his youngest daughter, Victoria; entitled The Freak, the film would have cast her as
an angel. According to Chaplin, a script was completed and pre-production
rehearsals had begun on the film (the book includes a photograph of
In the 1970s, Chaplin wrote original music compositions and scores for his silent pictures and re-released them. He composed the scores of all his First National shorts, and of The Kid and The Circus.
One of Chaplin's last completed works, the score for his 1923 film A Woman of Paris, was finished in 1976
Hetty Kelly was
Chaplin's 'true' first love, a dancer with whom he 'instantly' fell
in love with when she was fifteen and almost married when she was nineteen. At
the time Kelly was performing before him in a
Chaplin and his first major leading lady, Edna Purviance, were involved in a close romantic relationship during the production of his Essanay and Mutual films in 1916–1917. The romance seems to have ended by 1918, and Chaplin's marriage to Mildred Harris in late 1918 ended any possibility of reconciliation. Purviance would continue as leading lady in Chaplin's films until 1923, and would remain on Chaplin's payroll until her death in 1958. She and Chaplin spoke warmly of one another for the rest of their lives.
Mildred Harris ca 1918 - 1920.
On October 23, , Chaplin, age twenty-nine, married the popular child-actress, Mildred Harris, age sixteen. They had one son, Norman Spencer Chaplin (also known as 'The Little Mouse'), born July 7th, 1919, who died three days later. The couple divorced on April 4, 1921. Chaplin admitted that he 'was not in love, now that [he] was married [he] wanted to be and wanted the marriage to be a success.' During the divorce, Chaplin claimed Harris had an affair with noted actress of the time Alla Nazimova, rumoured to be fond of seducing young actresses. Harris in turn claimed Chaplin was a sexual addict.
Chaplin was involved in a very public relationship and engagement to the
Polish actress Pola Negri in 1922–23,
after she arrived in
In 1924, during the time he was involved with the underage Lita Grey,
Chaplin was rumored to have had a fling with actress Marion Davies, companion of William Randolph
Hearst. Davies and Chaplin were both present on Hearst's yacht the
weekend preceding the mysterious death of Thomas Harper Ince.
Charlie allegedly tried to persuade
Chaplin first met Lita Grey during the filming of The Kid. Three years later, at age thirty-five, he became involved with the then 16-year-old Grey during preparations for The Gold Rush in which she was to star as the female lead. They married on November 26, after she became pregnant (a development that resulted in her being removed from the cast of the film). They had two sons, the actors Charles Chaplin Jr. (1925–1968) and Sydney Earle Chaplin (1926–). The marriage was a disaster, with the couple hopelessly mismatched. The couple divorced on August 25, 1927. Their extraordinarily bitter divorce in 1928 had Chaplin paying Grey a then-record-breaking US$825,000 settlement, on top of almost one million dollars in legal costs. The stress of the sensational divorce, compounded by a federal tax dispute, allegedly turned his hair white. The Chaplin biographer Joyce Milton asserted in Tramp: The Life of Charlie Chaplin that the Grey-Chaplin marriage was the inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov's 1950s novel Lolita.
Lita Grey's replacement on The Gold Rush was Georgia Hale. In the documentary series, Unknown Chaplin, Hale, in a 1980s interview states that she had idolized Chaplin since childhood and that the then-19-year-old actress and Chaplin began an affair that continued for several years, which she details in her memoir, Charlie Chaplin: Intimate Close-Ups. During production of Chaplin's film City Lights in 1929-30, Hale was called in to replace Virginia Cherrill as the flower girl. Seven minutes of test footage survives from this recasting, and is included on the 2003 DVD release of the film, but economics forced Chaplin to rehire Cherrill. In discussing the situation in Unknown Chaplin, Hale states that her relationship with Chaplin was as strong as ever during filming.
specialty dancer in Florenz Ziegfeld's
Follies, Louise Brooks met
Chaplin when he came to
May Reeves was originally hired to be Chaplin's secretary on his 1931-1932 extended trip to Europe, dealing mostly with reading his personal correspondence. She worked only one morning, and then was introduced to Chaplin, who was instantly infatuated by her. May became his constant companion and lover on the trip, much to the disgust of Chaplin's brother, Syd. After Reeves also became involved with Syd, Chaplin ended the relationship and she left his entourage. Reeves chronicled her short time with Chaplin in her book, 'The Intimate Charlie Chaplin'.
Paulette Goddard in Second Chorus (1940)
Chaplin and actress Paulette Goddard were involved in a romantic and
professional relationship between 1932 and 1940, with Goddard living with
Chaplin in his
Chaplin 'discovered' Goddard and gave her
starring roles in Modern Times and The Great Dictator. Refusal to
clarify their marital status is often claimed to have eliminated Goddard from
final consideration for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.
After the relationship ended in 1940, Chaplin and Goddard made public
statements that they had been secretly married in 1936; but these claims were
likely a mutual effort to prevent any lasting damage to Goddard's career. In
any case, their relationship ended amicably in 1942, with Goddard being granted
a settlement. Goddard went on to a major career in films at
Chaplin had a brief affair with Joan Barry (1920-1996) in 1942, whom he
was considering for a starring role in a proposed film, but the relationship
ended when she began harassing him and displaying signs of severe mental
illness (not unlike his mother). Chaplin's brief involvement with Barry proved
to be a nightmare for him. After having a child, she filed a paternity suit
against him in 1943. Although blood tests proved Chaplin was not the father of
Barry's child, Barry's attorney, Joseph Scott, convinced the court that the tests
were inadmissible as evidence, and Chaplin was ordered to support the child.
The injustice of the ruling later led to a change in
During Chaplin's legal trouble over the Barry affair, he met Oona O'Neill, daughter of Eugene O'Neill, and married her on June 16, . He was fifty-four; she had just turned seventeen. The elder O'Neill refused all contact with Oona after the marriage, up until his death in 1953. O'Neill and Chaplin each seemed to provide elements missing in the others' lives -- she longed for the love of a father figure, and Chaplin craved her loyalty and support as his public popularity declined. The marriage was a long and happy one, with eight children. They had three sons: Christopher, Eugene and Michael Chaplin and five daughters: Geraldine, Josephine, Jane, Victoria and Annette-Emilie Chaplin. Oona survived Chaplin by fourteen years, but her final years were unhappy, with grief over Chaplin's death eventually leading to alcoholism. She died from pancreatic cancer in 1991.
He was named in the New Year's Honours
List in 1975 and, on March 4, was knighted at
age eighty-five as a Knight Commander
of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen
Elizabeth II. The honour was first proposed in 1931, and again in
1956, when it was vetoed by the then Conservative government for fears of
damage to relations with the
robust health began to slowly fail in the late 1960s, after the completion of
his final film A Countess from Hong
Kong. In his final years he grew increasingly frail. He died in
his sleep on Christmas Day, 1977,
in Vevey, Switzerland, aged 88. He was interred in
During World War I Chaplin was criticised in the British press for not joining the Army. He had in fact presented himself for service, but was denied for being too small and underweight. Chaplin raised substantial funds for the war effort during War bond drives, by making, at his own expense, The Bond, a comedic propaganda film used in 1918. The lingering controversy reportedly is thought to have prevented Chaplin from receiving a knighthood in the 1930s.
For Chaplin's entire career, some level of controversy existed over claims of Jewish ancestry. Nazi propaganda in the 1930s prominently portrayed him as Jewish (named Karl Tonstein) relying on articles published in the US press before, and FBI investigations of Chaplin in the late 1940s also focused on Chaplin's ethnic origins. Paranoia about Jewish domination of the film industry was probably the root cause underlying this controversy. There is no documentary evidence of Jewish ancestry for Chaplin himself. For his entire public life, he fiercely refused to challenge or refute claims that he was Jewish, saying that to do so would always 'play directly into the hands of anti-semites'. Although baptised in the Church of England, Chaplin was thought to be an agnostic for most of his life.
Chaplin has also figured in the mysterious events surrounding the death
of producer Thomas Ince aboard the
yacht of William Randolph
Hearst in 1924, one of
Chaplin's lifelong attraction to younger women
remains another enduring source of interest to some. His biographers have
attributed this to a teenage infatuation with Hetty Kelly, whom he met in
Charlie Chaplin, considered to
be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in Walworth,
Chaplin began his official acting career at the age of eight, touring with The Eight Lancashire Lads. At 18 he began touring with Fred Karno's vaudeville troupe, joining them on the troupe's 1910
Chaplin's life and career was full of scandal and controversy. His first big scandal was during World War I, during which time his loyalty to
Another scandal occurred when Chaplin briefly dated 22-year-old Joan Barry. However, Chaplin's relationship with Barry came to an end in 1942, after a series of harassing actions from her. In May of 1943 Barry returned to inform Chaplin that she was pregnant, and filed a paternity suit, claiming that the unborn child was his. During the 1944 trial blood tests proved that Chaplin was not the father, but at the time blood tests were inadmissible evidence and he was ordered to pay $75 a week until the child turned 21. Chaplin was also scrutinized for his support in aiding the Russian struggle against the invading Nazis during World War II, and the
Chaplin was married four times and had a total of 11 children. In 1918 he wed Mildred Harris, they had a son together, Norman Spencer Chaplin, who only lived three days. Chaplin and Mildred were divorced in 1920. He married Lita Grey in 1924, who had two sons, Charles Chaplin Jr. and Sydney Chaplin. They were divorced in 1927. In 1936, Chaplin married Paulette Goddard and his final marriage was to Oona O'Neill (Oona Chaplin), daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill in 1943. Oona gave birth to eight children: Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Chaplin, Josephine Chaplin, Victoria Chaplin, Eugene, Jane, Annette-Emilie and Christopher Chaplin.
In contrast to many of his boisterous characters, Chaplin was a quiet man who kept to himself a lot. He also had an 'un-millionaire' way of living. Even after he had accumulated millions, he continued to live in shabby accommodations.
In 1921 Chaplin was decorated by the French government for his outstanding work as a filmmaker, and was elevated to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor in 1952. In 1972 he was honored with an Academy Award for his 'incalculable effect in making motion pictures the art form of the century.' In 1975
In 1978, Chaplin's corpse was stolen from its grave and was not recovered for three months; he was re-buried in a vault surrounded by cement. Charlie Chaplin was considered one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of American cinema, whose movies were and still are popular throughout the world, and have even gained notoriety as time progresses. His films show, through the Little Tramp's positive outlook on life in a world full of chaos, that the human spirit has and always will remain the same.
Charlie Chaplin was one of the greatest and widely loved silent movie stars. From 'Easy Street' (1917) to 'Modern Times' (1936), he made many of the funniest and most popular films of his time. He was best known for his character, the naive and lovable -- Little Tramp. The Little Tramp, a well meaning man in a raggedy suit with cane, always found himself wobbling into awkward situations and miraculously wobbling away. More than any other figure, it is this kind-hearted character that we associate with the time before the talkies.
Chaplin's slapstick acrobatics made him famous, but the subtleties of his acting made him great. While Harold Lloyd played the daredevil, hanging from clocks, and Buster Keaton maneuvered through surreal and complex situations, Chaplin concerned himself with improvisation. For Chaplin, the best way to locate the humor or pathos of a situation was to create an environment and walk around it until something natural happened. The concern of early theater and film was to simply keep the audience's attention through overdramatic acting that exaggerated emotions, but Chaplin saw in film an opportunity to control the environment enough to allow subtlety to come through.
Chaplin was known as one of the most
demanding men in
Chaplin typically improvised his story in front of the camera with only a basic framework of a script. He shot and printed hundreds of takes when making a movie, each one a little experimental variation. While this method was unorthodox, because of the expense and inefficiency, it provided lively and spontaneous footage. Taking what he learned from the footage, Chaplin would often completely reorganize a scene. It was not uncommon for him to decide half-way through a film that an actor wasn't working and start over with someone new. Many actors found the constant takes and uncertainty grueling, but always went along because they knew they were working for a master.
Though Chaplin is of the silent movie era, we see his achievements carried through in the films of today. With the advent of the feature-length talkies, the need for more subtle acting became apparent. To maintain the audience's attention throughout a six-reel film, an actor needed to move beyond constant slapstick. Chaplin had demanded this depth long before anyone else. His rigor and concern for the processes of acting and directing made his films great and led the way to a new, more sophisticated, cinema.
Charlie Chaplin, who brought laughter to
millions worldwide as the silent 'Little Tramp' clown, had the
type of deprived childhood that one would expect to find in a Dickens novel.
Sidney left home first, working first on a sailing ship, and later on the stage, opening the door for Charlie to follow in his footsteps later. Young Charlie Chaplin felt more alone than ever without the presence of his brother, his closest friend and confidant. However, there was a bright spot as well in Charlie Chaplin's 9th year -- he toured with a stage company, the 8 Lancashire Lads, with a kindhearted couple who led the troupe, and gave Charlie Chaplin his first taste of stage life. He also met a young Stan Laurel as part of the troupe.
At the age of 12, Charlie Chaplin's father died quite young.
age of 14, Charlie Chaplin's mother is readmitted to the asylum, while
Chaplin continued in his acting career, as his brother
of film making in early
November of that year, Charlie Chaplin left Keystone, having signed an
exclusive contract for the newly formed Essanay Film Company.
In February of 1915, Charlie Chaplin began work for Essanay, with greater control over his films than ever before -- but not enough to avoid 'creative differences' with his bosses at Essanay. However, another milestone occurs at the same time -- he meets Edna Purviance, who was to be his leading lady for many of his films, as well as an off-again, on-again romance. At Essanay, Charlie Chaplin created many of the classic short films he's best remembered for, including His New Job, A Jitney Elopement, The Tramp, A Night in the Show, and The Immigrant. In February of 1916, Charlie Chaplin again jumped to another film company, Mutual, where he continues to create some of his finest shorts, including The Floorwalker, The Vagabond, The Pawnshop, Behind the Screen, and The Rink. In both his personal and professional life, his inner circle began to expand. He first hired Henry Bergman (the 'heavy villain' in so many of Charlie Chaplin's films), as well as hiring Tom Harrington as his personal secretary, a position which he kept for many decades, becoming Charlie Chaplin's right-hand man in many respects. It was also at Mutual that he hired Eric Campbell, the 'gentle giant' that was his on-screen nemesis and personal friend, who co-starred in 11 of his 12 Mutual films..
Charlie Chaplin, Dog's Life Giclee Print
Desiring even more creative control, Charlie Chaplin began building his own studio in the fall of 1917, and signed with yet another studio, First National. For the first time, Charlie Chaplin had complete control over every step of his films. Sadly, Eric Campbell died in a car accident, causing Charlie Chaplin's style of comedy to change, being centered more around Charlie Chaplin himself. For First National, Charlie Chaplin continued to create classic shorts: A Dog's Life, Shoulder Arms, and The Bond. In 1918, he also marries for the first (but not the last) time, to Mildred Harris.
Chaplin began in his personal life a recurring, destructive pattern --
he chases (and frequently marries) a young woman, loses interest in her (being
consumed by his creative energies), goes through a messy breakup (or divorce),
typically impacting his professional life, and then repeats the pattern. In
November of that year, his first true love, Hetty Kelly, dies -- although
Charlie Chaplin didn't find this out until he visited
1919 was a year of both great
gains and losses for Charlie Chaplin. One of his most popular short films, Sunnyside, is released -- demonstrating a degree
of both pathos and comedy mixed together to a high degree. Charlie Chaplin had
been slowly moving the Little Tramp towards this more balanced characterization
for some time -- and now Charlie the tramp is maturing. Sadly, Charlie the
human being suffered a terrible loss, as his & Mildred's infant child is
born, horribly deformed, and dies after only 3 days. Charlie Chaplin sought
solace in his work, alienating his wife even more. In that same year, he formed
United Artists with his closest friend Douglas Fairbanks and
Charlie Chaplin Photo
The Kid was Charlie Chaplin's first full-length movie. It, more than anything else to that date, made Charlie Chaplin a living legend. It took over a year to produce, and was an incredible success for Charlie Chaplin, both financially and artistically.
the next year, Charlie Chaplin continued working on The Kid, as his perfectionism takes more and
more time in creating his film masterpieces. Sadly, he and Mildred Harris
divorce at this time, in one of the most bitter
That was reversed by his next film, one of the classics of the silent era -- The Gold Rush. It is the story of the Little Tramp going north to the Alaskan gold rush, and by more luck than skill both getting the girl and becoming rich. It is touching, poignant, and hilarious, containing some of Charlie Chaplin's most famous routines. However, early in the filming of the movie, Charlie Chaplin's leading lady, Lita Grey, had to be replaced by Georgia Hale -- since Charlie Chaplin had married Lita Grey, and she had become pregnant. She was only 16 at the time.
Charlie Chaplin worried incessantly about his young wife's pregnancy -- had felt that the death of his first son was, in some way, his fault. Thankfully, in 1925 this child was born healthy -- Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. Charlie Chaplin had qualms about naming the child after himself, fearing that the boy would live in his father's shadow, but he gave way to Lita. That same year, The Gold Rush (read review) was released to critical acclaim and great financial success. Some believe it is Charlie Chaplin's finest film. Ironically, there was a third birth that year that would become integral to Charlie Chaplin years later -- Oona O'Neil was born.
The next year, Charlie Chaplin began work on his next film, The Circus (read review). As John McCabe noted in his excellent biography of Charlie Chaplin, The Circus was not the equal of The Gold Rush, but was a good film in its' own right -- and, given the circumstances under which it was filmed, it was a miracle that it was even palatable.
Despite the birth of a second son, Sidney, in 1926, Charlie & Lita's marriage broke apart -- bitterly, and publicly. Charges went back and forth, with newspapers gleefully displaying the details of the Chaplins' marital woes. Charlie Chaplin always refused to discuss his marriage with Lita; Lita, however, wrote a one-sided account, Wife of the Life of the Party. The divorce ended in 1927 with a record-breaking divorce settlement of $825,000. The stress was enough to permanently turn Charlie Chaplin's hair prematurely white. During all of this, Charlie Chaplin continued to film The Circus (read review), one of his lesser-known, but best, films.
In 1928, Charlie Chaplin released The Circus to popular acclaim, and also received a special Oscar for his work on the film as director, actor, producer. Sadly, this positive year was also crushingly negative, as Charlie's beloved mother died. Charlie Chaplin's life continued to be centered around his work, even in his grief, as he began work on his next film towards the end of that year: City Lights (read review).
City Lights, released in 1931, was Charlie Chaplin's first non-silent film. But it still was not a 'talking' picture. Charlie Chaplin included the musical soundtrack, and used sound effects, but nobody spoke in the picture yet. This was a major gamble for Charlie Chaplin, since sound pictures had now become the standard. But it was a gamble that paid off handsomely. The movie was both a financial and critical success, and many believe it to be one of Charlie Chaplin's finest films, if not his best.
Modern Times Poster
After City Lights, Charlie Chaplin did something totally out of character; he took a vacation. Actually, Charlie Chaplin took vacations quite frequently, both to refresh himself and to find new ideas for his films. But this was his first extended vacation, away from creating a new movie for nearly two years. He talks at length about this time in his autobiography (My Autobiography), including globe-trotting and how he was nearly assassinated in Japan; but perhaps his most pivotal moment was in 1932, when he met Paulette Goddard, who would costar in his next film -- Modern Times -- which would be the Tramp's final film.
After the release of Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard were married in secret, while on vacation in the Orient. Upon his return, Charlie Chaplin began his most audacious comedy yet - The Great Dictator, making fun of Adolph Hitler himself. Hitler, in many ways, was a natural subject for Charlie Chaplin to satirize. Hitler, it is said, adopted his mustache in imitation of Charlie Chaplin. Both were smaller men, of slight build. And Chaplin saw the ideas that Hitler was championing as horrible, evil; and Charlie Chaplin was determined to show the world what he saw.
Chaplin le Dictateur Giclee Print
The Great Dictator was Charlie Chaplin's first truly talking picture, and when it was finally released in 1940, it was a worldwide sensation. Many people mistakenly think that the character of the Jewish Barber in the film is the Tramp, but Charlie Chaplin was adamant that they are different characters. Although the barber uses many of the Tramp's mannerisms, he is also clearly an individual in his own right. And the barber is far more long-winded, as the famous 'Look Up, Hannah' speech at the end of the movie reminds us.
same year that Charlie Chaplin began working on The Great Dictator, the House Un-American
Committee begins investigating Charlie Chaplin. At first glance, there seems
to be no reason for this -- until the second glance. Earlier Charlie Chaplin
had done his patriotic part in raising money for the war effort, alongside his
long time friends Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford -- raising large amounts
of money for the war. Charlie Chaplin was a lifelong pacifist, but he was also
a realist who saw that the aggression of the Axis powers had to be stopped. In
many ways, Charlie Chaplin was politically naive -- such as speaking at fund
raisers for the Communist USSR, whom Charlie Chaplin simply saw as our allies
in the fight. And by suggesting that
1942 was a very busy year for Charlie Chaplin, at least in his personal life. Paulette Goddard, co-star of Modern Times and The Great Dictator, divorced Charlie Chaplin, and went on to be a star in her own right. In that same year, Charlie Chaplin met another young lady, whom he falls deeply, and permanently, in love with -- Oona O'Neil. Oona, although young, is mature beyond her years -- perhaps from having grown up in the household of her father, Eugene O'Neil, the famous playwright. Eugene O'Neil was opposed to having his daughter date Charlie Chaplin; given Charlie Chaplin's track record to date, one can hardly blame him. In addition, Charlie Chaplin met another young lady that year, whose relationship to Charlie Chaplin would almost seem to confirm the playwright's suspicions -- Joan Barry.
By all accounts, Joan Barry was a troubled young woman, who had some talent for acting. She had met Charlie Chaplin, who had given her a screen test for a role, but did not hire her for any of his movies. Although they dated on and off, nothing serious came of it. But in Joan Barry's mind, it was very serious -- serious enough that she breaks into Charlie Chaplin's home later that year, armed with a gun. Charlie Chaplin eventually talked her out of any violence, got her to leave quietly, and then called the police, resulting in a restraining order that should have served to keep her out of Charlie Chaplin's life.
However, two things happened that next year that prevented that from happening. First was Joan Barry's pregnancy; she named Charlie Chaplin as the father. Second, Charlie Chaplin married Oona O'Neil -- and, in a very real sense, they lived happily ever after. The couple truly loved each other, were devoted to each other, and grew closer as time went on.
the more immediate term, Charlie Chaplin denied being the father of Joan
Barry's child, and a blood test proved his innocence. However, the blood test
was inadmissable in the
1946, the first of Oona and Charlie Chaplin's children, Michael, is born. Over
the years, he will have 7 more siblings (
Monsieur Verdoux is a very dark comedy, in which the title character, a fired bank clerk, makes his living by marrying rich older women and then killing them for their money. Charlie Chaplin used it to make a statement about the paradox of killing millions in war is virtuous for the winning side, but killing individuals is a crime. Although it has moments both humorous and engaging, it was not the fare that the public was expecting from Charlie Chaplin, and it did not do well domestically, although it did well overseas, and Charlie Chaplin made a tidy profit from it. He also used Edna Purviance on screen for the last time, essentially as an extra.
In 1951, Charlie Chaplin made one of his finest films, and one of his least well known - Limelight. Limelight is the story of a formerly great dance hall tramp clown, Calvero (portrayed by Chaplin) on a downward spiral, contrasting with a young dancer on her way to fame - into the spotlight. A funny, poignant film, it also teamed two of the great clowns of the silent era, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, for the first and only time.
Limelight did not do well at American movie
houses, largely due to the false rumors that Charlie Chaplin was a communist,
as well as an organized protest by various unions resulting in theaters
refusing to show the film. As a result, it was not seen widely in the
Limelight, Charlie Chaplin took another vacation
Chaplin was not, however, a man without a country. He was still a citizen of
1954, Oona renounced her
His next film, A King In New York, was a biting indictment of
modern society. In it, he played the role of King Shadov, an European monarch
in exile, who comes to
In the same year that A King In New York premiered, Charlie Chaplin's half-brother Wheeler Dryden died. Wheeler had been introduced to Charlie Chaplin many years before by Edna Purviance -- Charlie had been unaware of him. Wheeler was a competent, though not gifted, actor, and idolized his famous brother. He began to work for Charlie Chaplin in various roles and positions, and years later served as Charlie's assistant director on The Great Dictator and Monsieur Verdoux. Jerome Robinsons' photo journal, Charlie and Me, contains some interesting anecdotes about Charlie's lesser-known sibling.
Chaplin's professional pace seemed to be slowing down, to an outside observer.
After all, he was now 69 years old. However, Charlie Chaplin was not finished
working. He had been re-editing some of his earlier movies, and composing new
music for some of them. Charlie Chaplin was musical by nature as well as
profession, and he wrote some of the most enduring melodies of the century --
not least among them the song 'Smile'. However, before he could release his
reedited movies, now narrated by Charlie Chaplin himself, death claimed another
old friend -- Edna Purviance died in 1958. And, to add insult
to injury, Charlie Chaplin's name was removed from
In 1959, The Chaplin Revue
was released, to worldwide acclaim. Charlie Chaplin continued his work in
1965, death again intruded on Charlie Chaplin's family life, as his older
Charlie Chaplin did not stop working. After dealing with his grief as best he
could, in 1966 Charlie began work on his next, and final, movie, A Countess in Hong
Kong. It was a number of firsts for Charlie Chaplin -- he did
not star in the film, and only had a small, Hitchcock-esque walk-on scene as a
porter. Instead, he directed two of
Order this Charlie Chaplin poster and help support clown-ministry
In 1968, Charlie Chaplin was now 79 years old. It is not surprising that more and more of his friends and coworkers died -- for example, his longtime cameraman and assistant Rollie Totheroh died the previous year. However, Charlie Chaplin's oldest son, Charles Chaplin Jr., died. Again, Charlie Chaplin worked through his grief, and threw himself into his work. He was preparing a new film, 'The Freak', about a young girl who sprouts wings, as a vehicle for his daughter -- but it never went past the planning stages.
Charlie Chaplin did something he never thought he would do -- he returned to
In 1974, Charlie Chaplin published another book, 'My Life in Pictures.' The next year, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and became Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin.
In 1977, Charlie Chaplin passed away, on Christmas Day. He left behind grieving family and friends, and millions of fans worldwide.
'To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!'
'I remain just one thing, and one thing only -- and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.'
'Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain'
His New Job
Night Out, A
In The Park
A Jitney Elopement
By the Sea
A Night in the Show
Burlesque on Carmen (released by Essanay in 1916 as Charlie Chaplin´s Burlesque on Carmen)
Behind the Screen
First National Exhibitor's Circuit
A Dog´s Life
A Day´s Pleasure
The Idle Class
A Woman of Paris
The Gold Rush
Charlie Chaplin . . . Allez Cuisine!!!
It has long been recognized that “food” in one form or another was a very important part of Charlie Chaplin’s life and art. Scenes as widely recognized and remembered as the boiled shoe Thanksgiving dinner in The Gold Rush, to the pancake breakfast and “hearty” stew dinner of The Kid and the strawberries and “Henglish” mustard of The Great Dictator are just a few examples. How many people know, however, that Charlie Chaplin was also in the habit of publishing his recipes?
Throughout his public life, Charlie Chaplin was called upon by one organization or another to donate a favorite recipe for publication in a cookbook to be sold to raise money for charitable purposes. The very first of these was Celebrated Actor-Folks’ Cookeries. It was published in 1916 by Mabel Rowland, Inc., with the proceeds being donated to the Red Cross and the Actor’s Fund. Recipes from the book have been donated by the likes of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford (not a couple at this point), Chester Conklin, Mabel Normand, Roscoe Arbuckle, Mack Sennett and more. Charlie not only donated a recipe for an apple roll, but a picture, an autograph, and a comment as well.
The next cookbook doesn’t appear to benefit anyone but the author, one C. Mac Sheridan. Entitled The Stag Cookbook, it was published in 1922. Sheridan dedicates the book to: “That great host of bachelors and benedicts alike who have at one time or another tried to ‘cook something’; and who, in the attempt, have weakened under a fire of feminine raillery and sarcasm, only to spoil what, under more favorable circumstances, would have proved a chef-d’oeuvre.” The social status of the participants here is quite different from the last book. Listed in the contents are such notables as Warren G. Harding, the American president, Booth Tarkington, John Philip Sousa, Will Hays (yes, of the Hays Commission), and William Jennings Bryan. Doug Fairbanks and Harold Lloyd are among the notable “stags” as is Charlie—and he picked quite an “Henglish” favorite: steak and kidney pie. And here it is:
Get 2 pounds lean steak, 1 beef kidney, and 1 small onion. Cut the steak and kidney into two inch pieces. Flour them. Add pepper and salt to taste. Line a deep pie dish with rich pie crust after having buttered dish. Put inverted egg cup in center. Fill with meat and finely chopped onion. Add water almost to top of dish. Roll pastry half inch thick and cover all. Make several small holes in pastry to permit steam to escape. Bake three hours in moderate oven. EAT. Charlie Chaplin at the Jeu de Paume
It seemed more than a little ironic that the front door of the Jeu de Paume, the venue of Sam Stourdz's 'Chaplin et les Images' (Chaplin in Pictures) exhibit looks out on Place de la Concorde, just a few short steps from the façade of the Hotel Crillon where Charlie Chaplin looked down from his position on the first floor balcony at the hoards of adoring Parisians creating a traffic quagmire there in March 1931. Paris and Parisians have been and continue to be kind to Charlie, to hold him in their hearts as well as their minds. This summer in Paris, Chaplin films were on television every Sunday night, Monsieur Verdoux and The Great Dictator were being shown on the big screen at select MK2 theaters around town and, if you were paying attention, you might have seen him both pictured and quoted in a special exhibit at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie celebrating the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of relativity and in an exhibit at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France commemorating Jean-Paul Sartre's 100th birthday, cited as being one of the motivations for Sartre's visit to America in the 1940s.
But the 'main
event' was and is 'Chaplin in Pictures' at the Jeu de Paume
until September 18th and then moving on to the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, the
Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, and hopefully elsewhere. Although the exhibit is
loosely arranged according to Charlie's creative chronology, it's best
experienced randomly. What struck me first was how multi-textual Charlie's
images are: they're two-dimensional, three-dimensional, photographic, filmic,
verbal and visual-to name a few. And while Stourdzé expertly traces the
development and evolution of the Chaplin image, his exhibit suggests that this
particular goal is almost beside the point. The Little Tramp is not an evolving
product that, like a snake, sheds his skin never to pick it up again. The Tramp
of Mabel's Busy Day is as important to an understanding of the Tramp in Modern
Times or of the character of Verdoux as he is to himself or to the Tramp of the
Keystone films alone. These Chaplin images overlap; they engage in dialogue
with each other; they infect each other. As you face the wall, for instance,
and begin to look at a traditionally framed photo-one you've only seen in books
before and so are a little more than excited to see the real thing-you notice
that even this image is not 'pure.' The glass covering the photo
reflects the film loop playing just behind you, so as you try to look at
Chaplin on the stage in Repairs, the Tramp from Kid Auto Races at
Christmas with Charlie Chaplin
How well I remember one Christmas Day sitting on that same seat (at Hanwell school), weeping copious tears. The day before I had committed some breach of rules. As we came into the dining-room for Christmas dinner we were to be given two oranges and a bag of sweets
I am speculating what I shall do with mine. I shall save the peel and the sweets I shall eat one a day. Each child is presented with his treasure as he enters the dining-room. At last it is my turn. But the man puts me aside.
'Oh, no—you'll go without for what you did yesterday.'
-- Charles Chaplin: 'A Comedian Sees the World' (1933-34)
If you know anything about Charlie Chaplin,
you may have heard this particular story. And if you know this particular
story, you know that many report that Christmas for him often seemed to be
colored by this particular childhood event. Or was it? Christmas with Charlie,
as it is passed down to us through the recollections of others, is nothing if
not full of contradictions. Even in the essay cited above, 'A Comedian
Sees the World', Charlie tells us about this sad Christmas memory, but
then hints in another passage of at least knowing
about, or recognizing, the same warm Christmas feelings and impulses we all do.
In a similar spirit,
Charlie Chaplin, Jr. gives a long and loving account of his experience in 1936
celebrating 'Christmas on the hill' — in the
Due to his position as a celebrity
and film artist, Charlie Chaplin was no stranger to public scrutiny and
critique. Early in his career, he was castigated for not serving in World War I
and then for a troubled marriage or two. And then there was the issue of
taxpaying that seemed to plague him throughout his life in
The story must begin, really,
with Charlie’s first trip back to
“Mary [Pickford] and
Charles Spencer Chaplin Sr.
Charlie wrote in his book that he
really never knew his father. Charles Sr. was a
Charlie's mother Hannah became a singer in the London Music Halls after marrying Charles Chaplin Sr. in 1885. She had one son Sydney at the time of the marriage.
She appeared under the stage name
'Lily Harley', and for a few short years, the couple made a comfortable living
singing at the London Music Halls. It was during this period that Charles
Spencer Chaplin, Jr. was born on
But the Chaplin marriage ended after Hannah was caught having an affair that resulted in birth of a son fathered by another Music Hall singer Leo Dryden.
Charlie Jr. was too young to know what was going on and would not fully know about his half brother Wheeler Dryden until many years later. Soon after, the Chaplin family's comfortable life came to an end.
Charlie's family - His mother Hannah, top; his father Charles Sr., right; Sydney, center left; and Wheeler Dryden and Charlie in 'Limelight', bottom.
Charlie's family - His mother Hannah, top; his father Charles Sr., right; Sydney, center left; and Wheeler Dryden and Charlie in 'Limelight', bottom.
During Charlie's and Sydney's childhood, Hannah suffered from mental illness and had to live under care for many years.
Charlie and Sydney lived in many different homes, schools and workhouses during this time, but the home they remember most was the one at 3 Pownall Terrace. Charlie would visit that location years later. His menories of it can be see in the room Charlie created as his home in 'The Kid'.
Hannah would suffer with mental
illness for the rest of her life. Charlie and Sydney loved their mother. They
clearly remembered her entertaining them as children and inspired them through
their tough childhood. They brought their mother to
Charlie Chaplin's Brothers
Sydney Earl Chaplin, (half-brother)
Wheeler Dryden ( half-brother)
Charlie had two half-brothers. Sydney Chaplin grew up with Charlie and was the one person who really knew Chaplin the best. Wheeler Dryden did not get to know his famous brothers until Charlie was well into his film career.
Wheeler tried to contact Charlie
but was unsuccessful. Dryden decided to write Edna Purviance instead. The thoughtful
and detailed letter is still in the Edna Purviance Collection at BFI Library in
The brothers apparently all met up again in the 1920's when Dryden worked in films with Sydney and Charlie Chaplin. Wheeler Dryden played the doctor in 'Limelight'. (pictured above.)
Wheeler had one son name Spencer
Dryden. Spencer became famous as the drummer for Jefferson Airplane and was
with the group throughout the bands best years. Spencer Dryden was inducted in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Spencer died from cancer
Sydney Chaplin was Charlie's business manager as well as played roles in the films 'Shoulder Arms', 'Pay Day', 'A Dog's Life' and 'The Pilgram'. Sydney and Charlie were very close and visited each other well into their later years.
Charlie Chaplin's Marriages and Children
Charlie Chaplin was married four times and had 11 children between 1919 and 1962. This is a list of the marriages, children and brief information of interest.
Chaplin's First Wife: Mildred Harris
They were married
Chaplin's Second Wife: Lita Grey
They were married
Charlie's Jr. played in 'Limelight'
as one of the clowns with his father. In 1960, he wrote the book about his father
titled 'My Father, Charlie Chaplin'. Charlie Jr. died on
Chaplin's Third Wife - Paulette Goddard
Chaplin and Goddard were married on
a trip while traveling near
Chaplin's Fourth Wife - Oona O'Neill
They were married
Chaplin's Children - Charlie and Oona's Family
Geraldine Leigh Chaplin, born
Geraldine was an actress known for many roles, but first recognized for her work in 'Dr. Zhivago'. She also played her own grandmother in the 1992 Richard Attenborough film of 'Chaplin'. Her first film appearance was in 'Limelight' with brother Michael and sister Josephine at the beginning of the film.
Michael John Chaplin, born
Appeared in 'Limelight' with his sisters in the beginning and played the boy 'Rupert Macabee' in 'King of New York'.
Josephine Hannah Chaplin,
Victoria Chaplin, born
Eugene Anthony Chaplin, born
Jane Cecil Chaplin, born
Annette Emily Chaplin, born
Christopher James Chaplin,
Charlie Chaplin Homes
Postcard, late 1910's - early 1920's - Edna Purviance Research Collection
Chaplin had many homes during
his childhood, but they were either rentals or rooms at workhouses. The one
place he remembers as his '
Postcard, late 1910's - early 1920's - Edna Purviance Research Collection
During his career, Chaplin
owned two homes, but none at the beginning of his film career in early 1914.
Instead for many years, Charlie rented a room at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
He and Sydney were not sure how long their careers would last and were always
ready to head back to
During Charlie's marriage to
Mildred Harris he rented a home on
After Chaplin's return from his
The land once was an open hillside where the locals rode their horses. The hill became the 'home of the stars' in the silent film days. Chaplin's home was finished in 1923 and was designed by Chaplin. It had 14 rooms, a swimming pool and the most interesting feature, a fully installed pipe organ. Later a tennis court was added which Chaplin enjoyed while having Sunday Tennis parties.
Chaplin lived in his
His second and final home was
Manoir de Ban, Corsier sur Vevy
Chaplin also owned the home he brought his mother to live in during her later years in the 1920's. This home was in the Los Angele area.
Chaplin’s film career as the Little Tramp adored by the whole world is the stuff of legend, but this frank autobiography shows another side
The greatest icon in the history of cinema, Charlie Chaplin lived one of the most dramatic rags to riches stories ever told.
Re-issue of Charlie Chaplin’s “A Comedian Sees the World” with annotations and hyper-textual enhancements by Lisa Stein 
“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl.”
Never before has so much original research been done to establish just where, when, and with whom, Chaplin spent his time on the stage, before going into films 
“Chaplin and Agee” charts the friendship between James Agee, author of “Let us now Praise Famous men” and the pulitzer prize – winning “A Death in the Family” and screenwriter for classic american films, including the “African Queen”, and Charles Chaplin 
Book to accompany the “Chaplin in pictures” Exhibition still on tour.[ ]
Charles Chaplin’s Little Tramp is the supreme icon of motion pictures—still recognized and loved throughout the world, more than 90 years since he first burst on the screen.
Noted film historian and silent comedy authority, Jeffrey Vance draws on exhaustive research and interviews with those who knew Chaplin to produce this definitive illustrated account 
A few years ago Michel Comte discovered that the Chaplin office held an extensive photo archive, consisting of thousands of glass negatives, negatives and photographic prints
In this book for the first time, the astonishing career of Charlie Chaplin is viewed through the posters used to advertise his movies.
L’oeuvre de Chaplin, Bazin la connaissait comme sa poche, on s’en rendra compte en lisant ce livre 
The original archive material, only available to a few film historians up to now, will be published and reproduced for the first time in a series of monographic volumes.
The book traces back the history of “Modern Times” from its planning stage to its distribution, through the analysis of more than a hundred pages from the Chaplin archive, here published for the very first time.
The book contains the DVD of the documentary “The Unknow Chaplin 
a careful history of the film’s production and reception, as well as a close examination of the film itself
Articles and archive documents on “The Great Dictator”
This book shows how in the “Great Dictator” Chaplin exposes his personal world to the pressure of world events 
This is the first book focusing on the relationship between Chaplin and American public that was perhaps the stormiest in the History of American Stardom.
Perspectives on the life and art of the great comedian  By Richer Schickel, the distingushed film critic.
Charles Spencer Chaplin was a stage performer before he was a filmmaker,
and it was in English music hall that he learned the rudiments of his art. The
last film he made in the
The Charlie Chaplin Encyclopedia is the source of all Chaplin information…
Cet ouvrage collectif des « cahiers du cinéma » se propose de remonter du mythe au créateur, du personnage de Charlot au cinéaste Chaplin 
Ces textes d’Albert Cohen, ont été publiés dans les années 20 dans la nouvelle Revue Française et dans la Revue Juive 
The Dictator and the Tramp is a collection of essays about Charles Chaplin (1889-1977)
“The tiresomely idiotic debate on Keaton versus Chaplinis, in my experience, overwhelmingly used by proponents of Buster to attempt to rubbish Charlie…”
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