Charlie Chaplin

Actor, Film director

1889 – 1977


Who was Charlie Chaplin?

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was a British comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death at age 88, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.

Raised in London, Chaplin's childhood was defined by poverty and hardship. As his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19 he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, which took him to America. Chaplin was scouted for the film industry, and made his first appearance in Keystone Studios's Making a Living. He soon developed the Tramp persona and formed a large fan base. Chaplin directed his films from an early stage, and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay, Mutual, and First National corporations. By 1918, he was one of the best known figures in the world.

Famous Quotes:

  • I have no further use for America. I wouldn't go back there if Jesus Christ was President.
  • I don't believe that the public knows what it wants; this is the conclusion that I have drawn from my career.
  • The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting.
  • Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.
  • Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.
  • The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.
  • I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.
  • All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.
  • Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.
  • Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on a stage.

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Apr 16, 1889
Also known as
  • Charles Chaplin
  • Charles Spencer Chaplin
  • Chaplin
  • Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin
  • Sir Charles Chaplin
  • Charlie
  • Charlot
  • The Little Tramp
  • Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, KBE
  • Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE
  • Agnosticism
  • Romani people
  • Romanichal
  • England
  • United Kingdom
  • Cuckoo Schools
  • Essanay Studios
Lived in
  • Vevey District
  • Glendale
  • East Street
Dec 25, 1977

on July 23, 2013


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