“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”
Original Name : Charles Spencer Chaplin
Height : 5′ 4″
Nationality : British
Born : 16th April 1889 in Walworth, London, England
Died : 25th December 1977 in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland
Spouse(s) : Mildred Harris(m. 1918-1920), Lita Grey(m. 1924-1927), Paulette Goddard(m. 1936-1942) and Oona O’Neill (m. 1943)
Children : 11
Who is Charlie Chaplin? He is an actor who was very popular during the silent era movie production. These movies were popular from 1880 to 1930. The films didn’t have sound. Cameras used at that time could not take pictures and record sound at the same time. This article highlights 7 facts you never knew about Charlie Chaplin.
1. Abject Poverty
Charlie grew up in extreme poverty. His father who was an also an alcoholic had left them and his mother was not able to cater to his needs. Charlie had to be brought up in institutions for the poor. One such institution was the Central London District School. At some point, he had to do menial jobs to make ends meet.
2. His First Act
Charlie was discovered at the age of 5. On one of his mother’s tours, she lost her voice while on stage. Charlie stepped in for her and performed very well. The audience loved him. His first act, however, was with the eight Lancashire Lads Clog-dancing troupes. Together they toured the music hall of Great Britain.
3. He was a film director
He directed “Caught in the Rain” film which was a huge success. He landed this opportunity after promising to pay $1500 to the Keystone studio boss if the film didn’t do well. Due to its success, Charlie was given almost all Keystone films to direct.
In 1952, Charlie Chaplin was exiled from the United States due to his outspoken political views. The government also termed him as being anti-American after he was seen kicking an immigration officer in a scene in the film, “The Immigrant”.
5. Absent In Both World Wars
Charlie did not participate in both the first and second world wars. He says he was never called to serve despite having registered for the American draft. To show his support he toured America for one month to raise funds for the allies of the First World War. He also produced an inspirational film and donated it to the Government.
6. Co-directed a Film with a Lady
In those days it was uncommon to find a lady film director. Charlie Chaplin produced a film with a Mabel Normand. The film was called; Strange Predicament in which Charlie played “The Trump”. It was Chaplin’s debut of the trump character. Together they also directed and starred in the film, Her Friend the Bandit.
7. A Perfectionist
Charlie wanted his productions to be of high quality. He, therefore, did everything himself. At one point he made actress Virginia Cherrill to repeat two words 342 times until she got it right. He ones tried to make a film in which he was the sole actor. He wrote the sound track to most of his films.
From a humble beginning, Charlie rose to be a star of the 20th century. He was multi-talented, an actor, producer, musician, director, screenwriter, and editor. His contributions have had an immense impact on the film industry to date.