The Evergreen Comedian-Charlie Chaplin
Charles Spencer Chaplin, popularly known as Charlie Chaplin, was born in the year 1889 in London. Both his parents being music hall entertainers, he was introduced into the world of film and music in childhood itself. His first stage appearance was at a tender age of five, for singing a song in the place of his mother.
In 1908, Chaplin joined the troupe of Fred Karno, who was a famous theatre personality at that time. Once, the troupe went to give a performance and Chaplin, being a part of the troupe, went along with them. There, he got work as a studio boy at Keystone. From then on, there was no looking backward; he went on to make his own movies.
His first film was ‘Making a Living’ which was released in the year 1914. Though it was not a big success, it gave a good foundation to his second film ‘Kid Auto Races at Venice’. In this film, he made his appearance with baggy pants, a tiny jacket, a bamboo cane, a bowler hat , and a tooth- brush moustache. This became his trade-mark costume in most of the subsequent movies which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in. In 1915, the film ‘The Tramp’ was released; this gained him the nick name of The Little Tramp and he bacame a well-known comedian.
In the following year, 1918, he opened his own film studio in Los Angeles and named it “Chaplin Studios”. The first full length movie covering six reels was ‘The Kid’, in which the tramp (Chaplin) raises an orphaned child. This was released in 1920. Chaplin received a National Award for his film -‘The Circus’- which was produced in 1928.
Chaplin played a dual role in the film ‘The Great Dictator’ which was released in 1940. This satirical film on Nazi Germany was nominated for five Oscars and also got him the best actor award. This is the one of the best known and his first talkie film, in which he leaves behind the Tramp character and portrays seriousness. In 1952 came ‘Limelight’, which is another popular talkie film and which won the Oscar award for the best music.
In spite of his huge success in the cinema industry, it is sad that his personal life was filled with scandals and controversies. Two such scandals happened when:
-His loyalty to England was questioned due to his frequent trips to America
-He briefly dated a lady by name of Joan Barry.
Charlie Chaplin authored a book entitled My autobiography and also a pictorial autobiography named My life in Pictures. Both were published in the year 1974.
His last appearance as an actor was in the film ‘A King in New York’ released in 1957. The last film on which Charlie Chaplin worked was in 1976 when he scored the music for the film ‘A Woman of Paris’, which had been released way back in 1923.
Chaplin is also known for his witty quotes. One of his famous quote is “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl”.
Charlie Chaplin breathed his last in his sleep. It was the year 1977 and the world had lost one of its famous comedians.
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