Charlie Chaplin

The Little Tramp Who Shaped the Film Industry

Basic Biography

Charles Chaplin was born in Walworth, London, England in 1889 to stage performers Hannah and Charles Chaplin. He and his brother, Syd, were raised in several orphanages while their mother was kept in insane asylums and their father moved to New York City to perform. Chaplin began his acting career at the age of eight with The Eight Lancashire Lads. At eighteen, he joined another troupe and toured to the US. Upon arrival to the United States, he became wildly famous in the film industry, particularly with his "Little Tramp" character in over 35 silent films. His career was filled with scandal. This ranged from accusations of communist allegiance to dating and marrying much younger women. He was also known for living poorly despite his wealth, residing in shabby accommodations. Awards for his work include knighthood, Queen's Honours List regarding entertainment, and recognition from the French government for outstanding work in the film industry. He died of natural causes in 1977 in Switzerland. A year after burial his body was removed and recovered three months later; he was reburied in a vault surrounded by cement. Even today, Chaplin is considered to be one of the greatest actors and filmmakers of the twentieth century.

Chaplin as a child
"The Little Tramp" was one of Chaplin's most significant roles.
Chaplin's role as Hitler in "The Great Dictator" sparked controversy.
Chaplin had a preference for younger women, such as Oona pictured above.
Chaplin is seen as the one of the greatest actors/filmmakers of his time.

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