The English actor, composer, and director Charlie Chaplin gained prominence in the early 20th century. Charlie Chaplin’s fortune was estimated to be $100 million or more at the time of his death. That’s the equivalent of about $400 million in today’s money. The film business community generally agrees that he is among its most influential personalities.
Charlie Chaplin Early Life
There is no formal record of Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr.’s birth on April 16, 1889, therefore we can only assume that it took place in South London. His parents were Hannah and Charles Sr. Chaplin. They’d been married for four years at that point, and both of them were performing in music halls. When Charlie was a young child, in 1891, his parents grew alienated. They never officially divorced, but their relationship was never the same.
Chaplin had a difficult upbringing. His mother had multiple mental health problems and the family was quite destitute. His primary family included his mother and half-brother Sydney. His father did not contribute to the family’s financial situation, and his mother did not work.
When Chaplin was just seven years old, he and his brother were taken to a workhouse to earn their keep. His mother’s syphilis infection and subsequent malnourishment led to her madness in 1898, at which point she was institutionalized at the Cane Hill asylum. While this was going on, Charlie and Sydney were moved to live with their father. Because Charles Sr. was an alcoholic, this was also a difficult time. Multiple calls were made to child services to ensure the youngsters were safe. A liver disease took Charles’s life just two short years later.
For the remainder of her life, Chaplin’s mother suffered from her illness, though she was periodically allowed to leave the institution where she was cared for. Eventually, Chaplin began to perform on stage while living on his own. In order to pursue his passion for clog dancing, he formed a group called the Eight Lancashire Lads and began performing in English music halls. After completely giving up on school at age 14, he signed up with an agency.
Charlie Chaplin Career
Even as a young child, Chaplin was able to secure roles in stage productions. His early career was boosted by a critically acclaimed performance in a production of “Sherlock Holmes.” He took the play on the road for over three years, from 1902 until 1906.
Soon after, his older brother Sydney, who was also interested in acting, lobbied Fred Karno to sign him to a contract with Karno’s comedy company. Chaplin was allowed to join the troupe on their vaudeville tour across North America, where he received a lot of appreciation for his performances.
When the New York Motion Picture Company saw Chaplin perform on his North American tour, they offered him a job at their Keystone Studios production company. It was in December of 1913 that Chaplin made the move to Los Angeles, where he promptly got to work. When “Kid Auto Races at Venice” premiered in early 1914, it introduced the world to Chaplin’s “The Tramp.”
In addition to acting, Chaplin began directing pictures, with his first being the self-starring “Caught in the Rain.” From then on, he helmed the majority of his Keystone shorts in which he had a starring role. He gained a sizable fan base, so when it was time to extend his contract, he demanded a pay raise.
Chaplin left Keystone Studios in December of 1914 for a competing offer from the Essaney Film Manufacturing Company in Chicago when they refused to pay him his desired rate. With these, Chaplin emerged as a true cultural phenomenon of the early 20th century. At the tender age of 26, Charlie had already established himself as one of the world’s highest earners. Easy Street, The Cure, The Immigrant, and The Adventurer are among his most well-known works from this era.
The older and more financially secure Chaplin was, the more time and energy he was able to devote to developing compelling narratives in his films. Many people regard the 1918 book “A Dog’s Life” to be a masterpiece. He went on to direct several features, including “The Kid,” “The Circus,” and “A Woman in Paris.” Popularity for Chaplin declined with the release of “The Great Dictator” in 1940, but he remained so for the first part of the twentieth century. After a while, he returned to Europe, but later in his career, he had a rise to fame in America.
Charlie Chaplin Personal Life
There was controversy and scandal throughout Chaplin’s life. After Chaplin’s star began to fade in the 1940s, things got worse when Joan Barry, an aspiring actress he had an on-again, off-again relationship, claimed he was the father of her child. She sued them for paternity. Chaplin’s political leanings had long been suspected by the Hoover Administration, and the FBI took advantage of this to further spread negative publicity about the actor. The paternity suit indictment includes four counts. All but one of the charges against him were dismissed before trial because of a lack of evidence.
Chaplin married his fourth wife, Oona O’Neill, only weeks after the suit was filed, which caused another scandal because Chaplin was 54 and Oona O’Neill was only 18. The Chaplins had eight children with O’Neill, who was Chaplin’s fourth wife, and they stayed married until Chaplin’s death.
On December 25, 1977, at the age of 88, Chaplin passed away. When he passed away, he left O’Neill more than $100 million. In the Swiss town of Corsier-sur-Vevey, he rests in peace.
Charlie Chaplin Quotes
- Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it takes is courage, imagination… and a little dough.
- Life is a beautiful magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish.
- You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down
- Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.
- Life could be wonderful if people would leave you alone.
- We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations, or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know ‘That is life’!
- A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.
- Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.
- I suppose that’s one of the ironies of life doing the wrong thing at the right moment.
- What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning.
- Words are cheap. The biggest thing you can say is ‘elephant’.
- That’s the trouble with the world. We all despise ourselves.
- The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.
- Think about yourself at least once in your life otherwise, you may miss the best comedy in this world.
- Imagination means nothing without doing.
For More Updates Visit Our Website enviro360