Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977), was an English comic actor, film director and composer best-known for his work during the silent film era.
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Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in East Street, Walworth, London, England. His parents were both entertainers in Music Hall. They separated before he was 3. He learned how to sing from his parents. His mother went to Cane Hill Asylum so he had to live with his father who was an alcoholic and his step-brother. His father died of cirrhosis when he was 12. He joined a troupe of young male dancers. After his mother was put in the asylum again he joined the Workhouse. In 1903 he played Billy the newspaper boy in Sherlock Holmes. Chaplin first toured the U.S with the Fred Karno Troupe from 1910 to 1912.
1894 : Charlie debuted in music hall when he sang after his mother was sick.
1903 – 1906 : Charlie performs in Sherlock Holmes, as the newspaper boy Billy.
1906 – 1907 : Charlie stars in the Casey Circus.
1907 – 1910 : Charlie works with Karno Pantomime Troupe.
1910 – 1913 : First and second tour of USA/Canada with Karno Troupe.
May 1913 : Charlie accepts offer from Adam Kessel (who has interests in the Keystone Film Company) for $125/week.
29 Dec 1913 : Charlie signs contract with Keystone Films.
Nov 1914 : Signs with Essanay for $1250/week to make 14 films during 1915.
1915 : Essanay Films
27 Feb 1916 : Signs with Mutual Films Corporation for $10,000/week plus $150,000 bonus.
1916 – 1917 : Mutual Films.
17 Jun 1917 : Signs with First National Exhibitor’s Circuit for 1,075,00/year.
Charlie affected the 1920s a lot. He believed in making everyone smile and laugh during hard times. His movies were watched by soldiers during World War 1 & 2. He parodied Hitler in his movie The Great Dictator while the USA was still neutral.
“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!”
“I remain just one thing, and one thing only--and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.”
“Laughter is the tonic, relief, and surcease for pain.”