All About Comic Era Icon on His Birthday: 134 Years of Charlie Chaplin

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Charlie Chaplin birthday

For a long time, Charlie Chaplin has been the definition and benchmark of humor in our lives. His outstanding works have made the world laugh, cry, and feel for almost a century and continue to enchant him. While his comedic timing and acting are well known and admired by all, he has shared millions of dollars in priceless advice throughout his life. Without saying a single word, the captivating actor-comedian has induced fits of laughter in numerous generations and will continue to do so in the future. Read this blog to know more about Charlie Chaplin, his achievements, and more.

BornApril 16, 1889, in Walworth, London, England, UK
DiedDecember 25, 1977, in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland  (stroke)
Birth NameCharles Spencer Chaplin
NicknamesCharlieCharlotThe Little Tramp
Height5′ 4″ (1.63 m)

Overview of Charlie Chaplin’s Life 

He’s more than just a comedic genius. Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, born on April 16, 1889, in London, United Kingdom, is one of the most important and iconic actors of all time, rising to prominence during cinema’s “silent age.” His father, Charles Chaplin Sr., was a vocalist and actor, and his mother, Hannah Chaplin, was a light opera singer-actress who went by the stage name Lily Harley. His father’s untimely death, as well as his mother’s failing career and illness, left Chaplin and his brother, Sydney Chaplin, to fend for themselves.

Chaplin married Mildred Harris for the first time in 1918. Following their divorce, he married actress Lita Grey in 1924. Chaplin married Paulette Goddard when he was 47 years old. Chaplin’s fourth marriage was with Oona O’Neill in 1943, when he was 54 years old. She was the mother of eight of Chaplin’s eleven children. He died in his sleep on December 25, 1977, at the age of 88, of a stroke, and was laid to rest in Vevey, Switzerland.

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Charlie Chaplin’s Early Career

Chaplin made his professional debut as a member of The Eight Lancashire Lads, a juvenile ensemble, and immediately rose to prominence as an extraordinary tap dancer. He received his first chance to act in a legitimate theatrical show when he was about 12 years old when he played a newsboy in a play directed by HA Saintsbury and then as a pageboy in a Sherlock Holmes production. 

After the completion of that contract, Chaplin launched a career as a vaudeville comic, which took him to the United States in 1910 as a member of the Fred Karno comedy troupe. He signed a one-year deal with the New York Motion Picture Company in 1913, which promised him $150 per week. 

He made his cinema debut in 1914 with Making a Living, which was followed by other pictures for Keystone Studios. He began directing and writing screenplays for the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company in 1915. The Champion, The Tramp, Work, A Lady, The Bank, Triple Trouble, and Police were among them. He worked at the Mutual Film Corporation from 1916 until 1917.

His Rise to Fame

Since September 1923, he has directed, performed in, produced, written, and provided music for several films that have been released under the United Artists label. His Academy Award-winning film The Gold Rush, which he directed, starred in, and produced, was released in 1925. In 1928, he made The Circus, which became one of his most successful silent films.

He made The Great Dictator in 1940, which became one of his most successful pictures. Limelight, his Academy Award-winning film, was released in 1952. His final picture was A Countess from Hong Kong (1967).

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Charlie Chaplin’s Final Years

Chaplin’s talents included writing, music, and sports. He wrote at least four books, including “My Journey Overseas,” “A Comic Sees the World,” “My Autobiography,” and “My Life in Pictures,” as well as all of his scripts. He was a skilled musician who, while being self-taught, could play several instruments with equal skill and facility (playing violin and cello left-handed).

He was also a composer, having written and published many songs, including “Sing a Song,” “With You Darling in Bombay,” and “There’s Always One You Can’t Forget,” as well as the soundtracks for all of his films. Charlie Chaplin was one of the few comedians who not only wrote, but also acted in, directed, and composed the music for all of his films (except for “A Countess from Hong Kong”).

He died on Christmas Day 1977, leaving behind eight children from his previous marriage to Oona O’Neill, as well as one son from his brief marriage to Lita Grey.

Charlie Chaplin facts

Charlie Chaplin’s Forte

  1. In a world of severe social injustice, a tramp with a toothbrush moustache, an undersized bowler hat, and a bamboo cane tried to survive while maintaining his dignity.
  2. Facial expressions that are extremely detailed
  3. His liberal political ideals are frequently reflected in his stories.
  4. Pathos runs deep beneath the comedy.
  5. On and off-screen, he preferred the companionship of considerably younger ladies, who were frequently innocent though troubled.
  6. Waddling while walking
  7. Charlie had beautiful blue eyes, despite media depictions of him having brown eyes.

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Awards and Achievements

He received many awards throughout his life. Some of them are listed below:

  • Honorary Academy Award for ‘versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing. (1929)
  • Honorary Academy Award for ‘the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century’. (1972)
  • A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1972) 
  • Academy Award in the category, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score for the film Limelight. (1973) 
  • Chaplin’s World, a museum dedicated to the filmmaker’s life and work, opened at his former home in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. (April 16, 2016)

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Some Interesting Facts About Charlie Chaplin

  1. Chaplin wrote the music for many of his films despite never having received formal music training. He won an Oscar in 1972 for the music of Limelight, which he helped create.
  1. Despite having lived in the United States for nearly 40 years, Chaplin never became an American citizen. He developed a reputation as a communist sympathizer following the release of the film Modern Times. The US authorities withdrew his re-entry permit in 1952. As a result, he relocated to Switzerland, where he lived for the remainder of his life. He returned to the United States in 1972 to accept his Oscar.
  1. Chaplin barely avoided death on his first day in Japan in 1931. Japanese Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was slain, allegedly by a group hoping to target the great actor and filmmaker at an event thrown by the prime minister in his honor. Chaplin was able to avoid the attack because he had gone out to watch a sumo wrestling competition.

Some Quotes by Charlie Chaplin

As we remember him on his 134th birthday, here are 12 Charlie Chaplin quotes that will brighten your day:

  1. Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.
  2. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
  3. To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!
  4. Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.
  5. My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.
  6. Life is a play that does not allow testing. So, sing, cry, dance, laugh and live intensely, before the curtain closes and the piece ends with no applause.
  7. You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.
  8. Think about yourself at least once in your life otherwise, you may miss the best comedy in this world.
  9. This is a ruthless world and one must be ruthless to cope with it.
  10. We think too much and feel too little.
  11. A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.
  12. I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.

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FAQs

Q1. What were Charlie Chaplin’s last words?

As the priest on his deathbed said, “May the Lord pity your soul,” Chaplin’s immediate response was, “Why not?” After all, He is the creator.” It was his final statement.

Q2. Why was Charlie Chaplin so important?

Chaplin made significant contributions to the evolving art of silent film as a director, cinematographer, and composer. In addition, as a co-founder of United Artists in 1919, Chaplin was a pioneer in the film industry.

Q3. What happened to Charlie Chaplin when he died?

Death. Chaplin passed away on Christmas Day, December 25, 1977, in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland. He died in his sleep of a stroke at the age of 88. A small group of Swiss persons kidnapped his body on March 1, 1978, but it was later found and cremated properly.

Q4. How did Charlie Chaplin make his money?

In 1914, he released his first film, Making a Life. Chaplin rose to prominence during the next few years. In 1915, Chaplin developed his persona Charlie the Tramp and signed a contract with the Essanay Corporation for $1,250 per week with a $10,000 bonus. That bonus is worth around $250,000 after inflation.

This was all about the comic-era icon: Charlie Chaplin. For more such interesting reads, follow Leverage Edu.

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