Charlie Chaplin

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Sir Charlie Chaplin
Chaplin in his costume as "The Tramp"
Chaplin in 1919
Born Charles Spencer Chaplin
(1889-04-16)16 April 1889
London, England, United Kingdom
Died 25 December 1977(1977-12-25) (aged 88)
Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland
Cause of death Stroke
Nationality British
Occupation Actor, comedian, film director, film producer, screenwriter, editor, composer
Years active 1899–1976
Spouse(s) Mildred Harris (m. 1918–20)
Lita Grey (m. 1924–27)
Paulette Goddard (m. 1936–42)
Oona O'Neill (m. 1943–77)
Signature
Firma de Charles Chaplin.svg

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin (16 April, 1889 – 25 December, 1977) was a British actor, comedian, movie maker, screenwriter, editor, musician, and author. He was very famous in silent movies (where there was no talking or sound). He acted, directed, scripted, and produced most of them.

Charlie Chaplin was a performer for almost 70 years. He started working when he was 5, and worked until he was 80. The character that Charlie Chaplin played most was called "the Little Tramp". The "Tramp" was a man of good manners, who wore a coat, a pair of big trousers, shoes, mustache, and a black hat.

Chaplin growing up[change | change source]

Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in London, England, United Kingdom. Chaplin had a rough childhood, his mother, Hannah Hill Chaplin, a talented singer, actress, and piano player, spent most of her life in and out of mental hospitals; his father, Charles Spencer Chaplin Sr. was a fairly successful singer until he began drinking. After his parents separated, Charlie and his half-brother, Sidney, spent most of their childhood in orphanages, where they often went hungry and were beaten if they misbehaved. He first started acting at age five. He acted in a music hall in 1894, standing in for his mother.

When Charlie was a child, he was kept in bed for many weeks from a bad illness. At night, his mother would sit at the window and act out what was going on outside. His first important work came when he joined The Eight Lancashire Lads. In 1900, his brother Sydney helped him get the role of a comic cat in the pantomime Cinderella. In 1903 he was in a play called “Jim: A Romance of Cockayne”. Chaplin was in Casey's 'Court Circus' variety show. The next year, he became a clown in Fred Karno's 'Fun Factory' comedy company.

Assassination attempt[change | change source]

Chaplin was the target of an assassination attempt which took the life of Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi.

On May 15, 1932, Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was shot by eleven young naval officers (most were just turning twenty years of age) in the prime minister's residence.[1] The original assassination plan had included killing Chaplin who had arrived in Japan on May 14, 1932, at a reception for Chaplin, planned by Prime Minister Inukai. When the prime minister was killed, his son Inukai Takeru was watching a sumo wrestling match with Charlie Chaplin, which probably saved both their lives.[2]

Awards[change | change source]

Chaplin won two special Oscars. Chaplin had first been chosen for both "Best Actor" and "Best Comedy Directing". But then, instead, he was given a special award "for versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing". Chaplin's second special award came 44 years later, in 1972. When getting this award, Chaplin had the longest standing ovation (people standing up and clapping) in Academy Award history.[3] In 1976 he was given the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, a lifetime achievement award. Chaplin became the first actor to have appeared in the cover of Time in 1925.[4]

Chaplin once entered in a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like contest.[5][6] Chaplin lost the contest.[5][6]

Movies[change | change source]

Becoming a Knight[change | change source]

Charlie Chaplin without his disguise
Charlie Chaplin wearing his costume as "the Tramp".

On March 9, 1975, Charlie Chaplin was knighted in England by Queen Elizabeth II.

Death[change | change source]

Chaplin died on Christmas on December 25, 1977, in Switzerland. He died of a stroke in his sleep, at the age of 88. On March 1, 1978, his body was stolen by a small group of Swiss people. They were trying to get money from Chaplin’s family. This plan didn’t work. The perpetrators were caught, and Charlie’s body was found 11 weeks later near Lake Geneva. He was buried under concrete to prevent further incidents.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Toland, The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936–1945
  2. Erotic Grotesque Nonsense:The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times, p.1 - Miriam Silverberg, 2006 Univ of California Press.
  3. "Charlie Chaplin prepares for return to United States after two decades". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  4. "10 Interesting Facts about Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977)". TipTopTens.com. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Charlie and the Chaplin lookalike contest". Mayo News.ie. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Little Tramp". Gazette Times.com. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 

Other websites[change | change source]