186 Facts About Charlie Chaplin


Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film.


Charlie Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, the Tramp, and is considered one of the film industry's most important figures.


Charlie Chaplin's career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.


Charlie Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian.


Charlie Chaplin was scouted for the film industry and began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios.


Charlie Chaplin soon developed the Tramp persona and attracted a large fan base.


Charlie Chaplin directed his own films and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay, Mutual, and First National corporations.


In 1919, Charlie Chaplin co-founded distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films.


Charlie Chaplin initially refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights and Modern Times without dialogue.


Charlie Chaplin was accused of communist sympathies, and some members of the press and public were scandalised by his involvement in a paternity suit and marriages to much younger women.


An FBI investigation was opened, and Charlie Chaplin was forced to leave the US and settle in Switzerland.


Charlie Chaplin abandoned the Tramp in his later films, which include Monsieur Verdoux, Limelight, A King in New York, and A Countess from Hong Kong.


Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films.


Charlie Chaplin was a perfectionist, and his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture.


Charlie Chaplin's films are characterised by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp's struggles against adversity.


Charlie Chaplin received an Honorary Academy Award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century" in 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work.


Charlie Chaplin continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator often ranked on lists of the greatest films.


Charlie Chaplin's parents had married four years previously, at which time Charles Sr.


At the time of his birth, Charlie Chaplin's parents were both music hall entertainers.


Charlie Chaplin's childhood was fraught with poverty and hardship, making his eventual trajectory "the most dramatic of all the rags to riches stories ever told" according to his authorised biographer David Robinson.


The council housed him at the Central London District School for paupers, which Charlie Chaplin remembered as "a forlorn existence".


Charlie Chaplin was briefly reunited with his mother 18 months later, before Hannah was forced to readmit her family to the workhouse in July 1898.


Charlie Chaplin's father died two years later, at 38 years old, from cirrhosis of the liver.


Between his time in the poor schools and his mother succumbing to mental illness, Charlie Chaplin began to perform on stage.


Charlie Chaplin later recalled making his first amateur appearance at the age of five years, when he took over from Hannah one night in Aldershot.


Charlie Chaplin later wrote: "[she] imbued me with the feeling that I had some sort of talent".


Charlie Chaplin worked hard, and the act was popular with audiences, but he was not satisfied with dancing and wished to form a comedy act.


Charlie Chaplin supported himself with a range of jobs, while nursing his ambition to become an actor.


The manager sensed potential in Charlie Chaplin, who was promptly given his first role as a newsboy in Harry Arthur Saintsbury's Jim, a Romance of Cockayne.


Charlie Chaplin's performance was so well received that he was called to London to play the role alongside William Gillette, the original Holmes.


At 16 years old, Charlie Chaplin starred in the play's West End production at the Duke of York's Theatre from October to December 1905.


Charlie Chaplin completed one final tour of Sherlock Holmes in early 1906, before leaving the play after more than two-and-a-half years.


Charlie Chaplin soon found work with a new company and went on tour with his brother, who was pursuing an acting career, in a comedy sketch called Repairs.


In May 1906, Charlie Chaplin joined the juvenile act Casey's Circus, where he developed popular burlesque pieces and was the star of the show.


Charlie Chaplin struggled to find more work and a brief attempt at a solo act was a failure.


Meanwhile, Sydney Charlie Chaplin had joined Fred Karno's prestigious comedy company in 1906 and, by 1908, he was one of their key performers.


Charlie Chaplin began by playing a series of minor parts, eventually progressing to starring roles in 1909.


Charlie Chaplin's most successful role was a drunk called the "Inebriate Swell", which drew him significant recognition.


Six months into the second American tour, Charlie Chaplin was invited to join the New York Motion Picture Company.


Charlie Chaplin arrived in Los Angeles in early December, and began working for the Keystone studio on 5January 1914.


Charlie Chaplin's boss was Mack Sennett, who initially expressed concern that the 24-year-old looked too young.


Charlie Chaplin strongly disliked the picture, but one review picked him out as "a comedian of the first water".


Charlie Chaplin adopted the character as his screen persona and attempted to make suggestions for the films he appeared in.


Charlie Chaplin's films introduced a slower form of comedy than the typical Keystone farce, and he developed a large fan base.


When Charlie Chaplin's contract came up for renewal at the end of the year, he asked for $1,000 a week, an amount Sennett refused as he thought it was too large.


The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company of Chicago sent Charlie Chaplin an offer of $1,250 a week with a signing bonus of $10,000.


Charlie Chaplin joined the studio in late December 1914, where he began forming a stock company of regular players, actors he worked with again and again, including Ben Turpin, Leo White, Bud Jamison, Paddy McGuire, Fred Goodwins, and Billy Armstrong.


Charlie Chaplin soon recruited a leading lady, Edna Purviance, whom Chaplin met in a cafe and hired on account of her beauty.


Charlie Chaplin went on to appear in 35 films with Chaplin over eight years; the pair formed a romantic relationship that lasted until 1917.


Charlie Chaplin asserted a high level of control over his pictures and started to put more time and care into each film.


Charlie Chaplin began to alter his screen persona, which had attracted some criticism at Keystone for its "mean, crude, and brutish" nature.


The use of pathos was developed further with The Bank, in which Charlie Chaplin created a sad ending.


At Essanay, writes film scholar Simon Louvish, Charlie Chaplin "found the themes and the settings that would define the Tramp's world".


Charlie Chaplin received several offers, including Universal, Fox, and Vitagraph, the best of which came from the Mutual Film Corporation at $10,000 a week.


Charlie Chaplin made only four more films for Mutual over the first ten months of 1917: Easy Street, The Cure, The Immigrant, and The Adventurer.


Later in life, Charlie Chaplin referred to his Mutual years as the happiest period of his career.


However, Charlie Chaplin felt that those films became increasingly formulaic over the period of the contract, and he was increasingly dissatisfied with the working conditions encouraging that.


Charlie Chaplin was attacked in the British media for not fighting in the First World War.


Charlie Chaplin defended himself, claiming that he would fight for Britain if called and had registered for the American draft, but he was not summoned by either country.


Harper's Weekly reported that the name of Charlie Chaplin was "a part of the common language of almost every country", and that the Tramp image was "universally familiar".


In 1917, professional Charlie Chaplin imitators were so widespread that he took legal action, and it was reported that nine out of ten men who attended costume parties, did so dressed as the Tramp.


In January 1918, Charlie Chaplin was visited by leading British singer and comedian Harry Lauder, and the two acted in a short film together.


Mutual was patient with Charlie Chaplin's decreased rate of output, and the contract ended amicably.


Charlie Chaplin chose to build his own studio, situated on five acres of land off Sunset Boulevard, with production facilities of the highest order.


Charlie Chaplin then embarked on the Third Liberty Bond campaign, touring the United States for one month to raise money for the Allies of the First World War.


Charlie Chaplin produced a short propaganda film at his own expense, donated to the government for fund-raising, called The Bond.


Charlie Chaplin was eager to start with the new company and offered to buy out his contract with First National.


Charlie Chaplin was unhappy with the union and, feeling that marriage stunted his creativity, struggled over the production of his film Sunnyside.


Norman Spencer Charlie Chaplin was born malformed and died three days later.


The marriage ended in April 1920, with Charlie Chaplin explaining in his autobiography that they were "irreconcilably mismated".


Charlie Chaplin spent five months on his next film, the two-reeler The Idle Class.


Ultimately work on the film resumed, and following its September 1921 release, Charlie Chaplin chose to return to England for the first time in almost a decade.


Charlie Chaplin wrote a book about his journey, titled My Wonderful Visit.


Charlie Chaplin then worked to fulfil his First National contract, releasing Pay Day in February 1922.


Charlie Chaplin intended it to be a star-making vehicle for Edna Purviance, and did not appear in the picture himself other than in a brief, uncredited cameo.


Charlie Chaplin wished the film to have a realistic feel and directed his cast to give restrained performances.


The public seemed to have little interest in a Charlie Chaplin film without Charlie Chaplin, and it was a box office disappointment.


Charlie Chaplin felt The Gold Rush was the best film he had made.


Charlie Chaplin stated at its release, "This is the picture that I want to be remembered by".


Charlie Chaplin therefore arranged a discreet marriage in Mexico on 25 November 1924.


On 6 July 1925, Charlie Chaplin became the first movie star to be featured on a Time magazine cover.


Charlie Chaplin was reported to be in a state of nervous breakdown, as the story became headline news and groups formed across America calling for his films to be banned.


Charlie Chaplin built a story around the idea of walking a tightrope while besieged by monkeys, and turned the Tramp into the accidental star of a circus.


At the 1st Academy Awards, Charlie Chaplin was given a special trophy "For versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus".


Charlie Chaplin was cynical about this new medium and the technical shortcomings it presented, believing that "talkies" lacked the artistry of silent films.


Charlie Chaplin was hesitant to change the formula that had brought him such success, and feared that giving the Tramp a voice would limit his international appeal.


Charlie Chaplin was nonetheless anxious about this decision and remained so throughout the film's production.


When filming began at the end of 1928, Charlie Chaplin had been working on the story for almost a year.


One advantage Charlie Chaplin found in sound technology was the opportunity to record a musical score for the film, which he composed himself.


Charlie Chaplin finished editing City Lights in December 1930, by which time silent films were an anachronism.


Charlie Chaplin is the only person that has that peculiar something called 'audience appeal' in sufficient quality to defy the popular penchant for movies that talk.


City Lights had been a success, but Charlie Chaplin was unsure if he could make another picture without dialogue.


Charlie Chaplin remained convinced that sound would not work in his films, but was "obsessed by a depressing fear of being old-fashioned".


Charlie Chaplin spent months travelling Western Europe, including extended stays in France and Switzerland, and spontaneously decided to visit Japan.


Charlie Chaplin's loneliness was relieved when he met 21-year-old actress Paulette Goddard in July 1932, and the pair began a relationship.


Charlie Chaplin was not ready to commit to a film and focused on writing a serial about his travels.


The trip had been a stimulating experience for Charlie Chaplin, including meetings with several prominent thinkers, and he became increasingly interested in world affairs.


Charlie Chaplin intended to use spoken dialogue but changed his mind during rehearsals.


Sometime later, Charlie Chaplin revealed that they married in Canton during this trip.


Charlie Chaplin eventually divorced Chaplin in Mexico in 1942, citing incompatibility and separation for more than a year.


Deeply disturbed by the surge of militaristic nationalism in 1930s world politics, Charlie Chaplin found that he could not keep these issues out of his work.


Charlie Chaplin spent two years developing the script and began filming in September 1939, six days after Britain declared war on Germany.


Charlie Chaplin had submitted to using spoken dialogue, partly out of acceptance that he had no other choice, but because he recognised it as a better method for delivering a political message.


Charlie Chaplin concluded the film with a five-minute speech in which he abandoned his barber character, looked directly into the camera, and pleaded against war and fascism.


Roosevelt subsequently invited Charlie Chaplin to read the film's final speech over the radio during his January 1941 inauguration, with the speech becoming a "hit" of the celebration.


Charlie Chaplin was often invited to other patriotic functions to read the speech to audiences during the years of the war.


Historian Otto Friedrich called this an "absurd prosecution" of an "ancient statute", yet if Charlie Chaplin was found guilty, he faced 23 years in jail.


Evidence from blood tests that indicated otherwise were not admissible, and the judge ordered Charlie Chaplin to pay child support until Carol Ann turned 21.


Media coverage of the suit was influenced by the FBI, which fed information to gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, and Charlie Chaplin was portrayed in an overwhelmingly critical light.


Charlie Chaplin claimed that the Barry trials had "crippled [his] creativeness", and it was some time before he began working again.


Charlie Chaplin decided that the concept would "make a wonderful comedy", and paid Welles $5,000 for the idea.


Charlie Chaplin again vocalised his political views in Monsieur Verdoux, criticising capitalism and arguing that the world encourages mass killing through wars and weapons of mass destruction.


Charlie Chaplin was friendly with several suspected communists, and attended functions given by Soviet diplomats in Los Angeles.


Charlie Chaplin received a subpoena to appear before HUAC but was not called to testify.


Charlie Chaplin should be deported and gotten rid of at once.


In 2003, declassified British archives belonging to the British Foreign Office revealed that George Orwell secretly accused Charlie Chaplin of being a secret communist and a friend of the USSR.


Charlie Chaplin's name was one of 35 Orwell gave to the Information Research Department, a secret British Cold War propaganda department which worked closely with the CIA, according to a 1949 document known as Orwell's list.


Charlie Chaplin was not the only actor in America Orwell accused of being a secret communist.


Charlie Chaplin described American civil-rights leader and actor Paul Robeson as being "anti-white".


Charlie Chaplin aimed for a more serious tone than any of his previous films, regularly using the word "melancholy" when explaining his plans to his co-star Claire Bloom.


Limelight featured a cameo appearance from Buster Keaton, whom Charlie Chaplin cast as his stage partner in a pantomime scene.


Charlie Chaplin decided to hold the world premiere of Limelight in London, since it was the setting of the film.


However, when Charlie Chaplin received a cablegram informing him of the news, he privately decided to cut his ties with the United States:.


Charlie Chaplin did not attempt to return to the United States after his re-entry permit was revoked, and instead sent his wife to settle his affairs.


Charlie Chaplin severed the last of his professional ties with the United States in 1955, when he sold the remainder of his stock in United Artists, which had been in financial difficulty since the early 1940s.


Charlie Chaplin remained a controversial figure throughout the 1950s, especially after he was awarded the International Peace Prize by the communist-led World Peace Council, and after his meetings with Zhou Enlai and Nikita Khrushchev.


Charlie Chaplin began developing his first European film, A King in New York, in 1954.


Charlie Chaplin founded a new production company, Attica, and used Shepperton Studios for the shooting.


Charlie Chaplin banned American journalists from its Paris premiere and decided not to release the film in the United States.


In November 1963, the Plaza Theater in New York started a year-long series of Charlie Chaplin's films, including Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight, which gained excellent reviews from American critics.


Shortly after the publication of his memoirs, Charlie Chaplin began work on A Countess from Hong Kong, a romantic comedy based on a script he had written for Paulette Goddard in the 1930s.


Charlie Chaplin signed a deal with Universal Pictures and appointed his assistant, Jerome Epstein, as the producer.


Charlie Chaplin was paid $600,000 director's fee as well as a percentage of the gross receipts.


Charlie Chaplin was deeply hurt by the negative reaction to the film, which turned out to be his last.


Charlie Chaplin had a series of minor strokes in the late 1960s, which marked the beginning of a slow decline in his health.


Charlie Chaplin was initially hesitant about accepting but decided to return to the US for the first time in 20 years.


Visibly emotional, Charlie Chaplin accepted his award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century".


Charlie Chaplin experienced several further strokes, which made it difficult for him to communicate, and he had to use a wheelchair.


Charlie Chaplin appeared in a documentary about his life, The Gentleman Tramp, directed by Richard Patterson.


On 1 March 1978, Charlie Chaplin's coffin was dug up and stolen from its grave by Roman Wardas and Gantcho Ganev.


Simon Louvish writes that the company was his "training ground", and it was here that Charlie Chaplin learned to vary the pace of his comedy.


Charlie Chaplin never spoke more than cursorily about his filmmaking methods, claiming such a thing would be tantamount to a magician spoiling his own illusion.


Until he began making spoken dialogue films with The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin never shot from a completed script.


Many of his early films began with only a vague premise, for example "Charlie Chaplin enters a health spa" or "Charlie Chaplin works in a pawn shop".


Charlie Chaplin then had sets constructed and worked with his stock company to improvise gags and "business" using them, almost always working the ideas out on film.


From A Woman of Paris onward Charlie Chaplin began the filming process with a prepared plot, but Robinson writes that every film up to Modern Times "went through many metamorphoses and permutations before the story took its final form".


Charlie Chaplin exercised complete control over his pictures, to the extent that he would act out the other roles for his cast, expecting them to imitate him exactly.


Charlie Chaplin personally edited all of his films, trawling through the large amounts of footage to create the exact picture he wanted.


Charlie Chaplin did receive help from his long-time cinematographer Roland Totheroh, brother Sydney Charlie Chaplin, and various assistant directors such as Harry Crocker and Charles Reisner.


Charlie Chaplin diverged from conventional slapstick by slowing the pace and exhausting each scene of its comic potential, with more focus on developing the viewer's relationship to the characters.


Charlie Chaplin sometimes drew on tragic events when creating his films, as in the case of The Gold Rush, which was inspired by the fate of the Donner Party.


Charlie Chaplin touched on controversial issues: immigration ; illegitimacy ; and drug use.


Charlie Chaplin often explored these topics ironically, making comedy out of suffering.


Later, as he developed a keen interest in economics and felt obliged to publicise his views, Charlie Chaplin began incorporating overtly political messages into his films.


Several of Charlie Chaplin's films incorporate autobiographical elements, and the psychologist Sigmund Freud believed that Charlie Chaplin "always plays only himself as he was in his dismal youth".


Charlie Chaplin developed a passion for music as a child and taught himself to play the piano, violin, and cello.


Charlie Chaplin considered the musical accompaniment of a film to be important, and from A Woman of Paris onwards he took an increasing interest in this area.


Charlie Chaplin thereafter composed the scores for all of his films, and from the late 1950s to his death, he scored all of his silent features and some of his short films.


For Limelight, Charlie Chaplin composed "Terry's Theme", which was popularised by Jimmy Young as "Eternally".


Charlie Chaplin received his only competitive Oscar for his composition work, as the Limelight theme won an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1973 following the film's re-release.


Charlie Chaplin is often credited as one of the medium's first artists.


Charlie Chaplin was the first to popularise feature-length comedy and to slow down the pace of action, adding pathos and subtlety to it.


In other fields, Charlie Chaplin helped inspire the cartoon characters Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse, and was an influence on the Dada art movement.


Charlie Chaplin was ranked at No 35 on Empire magazine's "Top 40 Greatest Directors of All-Time" list in 2005.


Books about Charlie Chaplin continue to be published regularly, and he is a popular subject for media scholars and film archivists.


Many of Charlie Chaplin's film have had a DVD and Blu-ray release.


Charlie Chaplin's legacy is managed on behalf of his children by the Charlie Chaplin office, located in Paris.


Elements for many of Charlie Chaplin's films are held by the Academy Film Archive as part of the Roy Export Charlie Chaplin Collection.


Previously, the Museum of the Moving Image in London held a permanent display on Charlie Chaplin, and hosted a dedicated exhibition to his life and career in 1988.


The city includes a road named after him in central London, "Charlie Chaplin Walk", which is the location of the BFI IMAX.


Charlie Chaplin has been honoured by the Irish town of Waterville, where he spent several summers with his family in the 1960s.


In other tributes, a minor planet, 3623 Charlie Chaplin is named after him.


Charlie Chaplin is the subject of a biographical film, Charlie Chaplin directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Robert Downey Jr.


Charlie Chaplin is a character in the historical drama film The Cat's Meow, played by Eddie Izzard, and in the made-for-television movie The Scarlett O'Hara War, played by Clive Revill.


Charlie Chaplin's life has been the subject of several stage productions.


Two musicals, Little Tramp and Charlie Chaplin, were produced in the early 1990s.


In 2006, Thomas Meehan and Christopher Curtis created another musical, Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin, which was first performed at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 2010.


In 2013, two plays about Charlie Chaplin premiered in Finland: Charlie Chaplin at the Svenska Teatern, and Kulkuri at the Tampere Workers' Theatre.


Charlie Chaplin is the protagonist of Robert Coover's short story "Charlie in the House of Rue", and of Glen David Gold's Sunnyside, a historical novel set in the First World War period.


Charlie Chaplin received many awards and honours, especially later in life.


Charlie Chaplin was awarded honorary Doctor of Letters degrees by the University of Oxford and the University of Durham in 1962.


Charlie Chaplin was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1972, having been previously excluded because of his political beliefs.


Charlie Chaplin received three Academy Awards: an Honorary Award for "versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing, and producing The Circus" in 1929, a second Honorary Award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century" in 1972, and a Best Score award in 1973 for Limelight.


Charlie Chaplin was further nominated in the Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture categories for The Great Dictator, and received another Best Original Screenplay nomination for Monsieur Verdoux.


In 1976, Charlie Chaplin was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.


Six of Charlie Chaplin's films have been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress: The Immigrant, The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator.