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Sir Charles Chaplin

His Life and Times

Charlie Chaplin
James Agee wrote of Chaplin, the
finest pantomime, the deepest
emotion, and the richest and most
poignant poetry were in [his] work.
Andrew Sarris called Chaplin the
single most important artist
produced by the cinema, certainly its
most extraordinary performer, and
probably still its most universal icon.

Chaplins Mother
Charlie always
cited his own
mother as a great
inspiration.
Hannah was a
singer and
character
comedienne in the
British music halls.
Hannah Chaplin

Hannah Chaplin
Sadly her career was blighted on
and off by ill health, and it was
when her voice failed during one
particular performance that the
young Charlie Chaplin got his
first taste of performing - he
went on as an impromptu
replacement.

Hannah Chaplin
Her health continued to
decline and she found
herself making a poor
living as a seamstress
and was eventually put
into a mental hospital.
Her other children were
Sydney Chaplin, and
Wheeler Dryden - both
by different fathers.

Hannah Chaplin
Charlie and Syd
brought her over
to live with them in
the U.S for the last
seven years of her
life.
1865-1928

Charlies Father
The senior Charles
Chaplin married
Hannah in 1885
and took to the
stage
professionally a
year later.
He was well known
as a comic singer.
Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin, Sr.


His marriage to Hannah
did not last long, and
soon he was living with
his mistress.
Charlie had little
contact with his father,
except for a short
period when Hannah
was in a mental
hospital.

Charles Chaplin, Sr.


Alcoholism was a
common problem
amongst many
music hall stars of
the period, and it
was this that
eventually killed
Chaplin's father at
such a young age.
1863-1901

Chaplins Childhood
Charles Spencer
Chaplin was born on
April 16th, 1889, in
Walworth, London
His childhood,
included extreme
poverty, workhouses,
and seeing his
mother's mental
decline put her into
an institution.

Chaplin Before Success

Chaplins Career
He joined the Eight
Lancashire Lads,
and this eventually led
to Sherlock Holmes
and Casey's Court
Circus.

Chaplin in Karno Show

Eventually Charlie
joined his brother in
the Fred Karno
Company.

Chaplins Career
Karno was almost a
college of comedy for
them, and the period
had a huge impact on
Charlie especially.

Chaplin 1913

In 1910 Charlie toured


the U.S with the Karno
group and returned
for another tour in
1912.

Chaplins Career
It was on this tour
that he was
discovered by Mack
Sennett and his
Keystone Film
Company.

Chaplin and Sennett in 1948

His first film, in


1914, was aptly
titled Making A
Living.

Chaplins Career
His success was
such that he was
able to move from
one company to
another, each time
on to a better deal.

Chaplins Career
In 1915 , after thirtyfive films, he moved to
Essanay.
It was here he really
found his feet, not to
mention his longest
serving leading lady,
Edna Purviance.
The Champion, The
Tramp and The Bank.
Edna Purviance

Chaplins Career
In 1916 he moved to
Mutual, with even
greater control and
financial rewards.
At Mutual he made
the definitive Chaplin
short comedies, The
Rink, Easy Street,
The Cure and The
Immigrant.

Chaplins Career
First National was
next, and it was here
he constructed his
full length
masterpiece, The
Kid.
Shorter comedies of
note at this time
included Sunnyside
and The Idle Class.

The Big Four


Along with his
great friend,
Douglas Fairbanks,
as well as Mary
Pickford and D.W
Griffith, Chaplin
formed United
Artists in 1919.
"So, the lunatics have taken
over the asylum!"

Chaplins Career
He made his first film
for them in 1923, the
Edna Purviance
vehicle, A Woman of
Paris, perhaps the
least known of his
films, but it was
followed by the Chaplin
classics - The Gold
Rush, The Circus,
City Lights and
Modern Times.

Chaplins Career
It wasn't until 1940
that he made his first
talkie, The Great
Dictator, to be
followed by the more
refined Monsieur
Verdoux and
Limelight, a look
back to the music hall
world of his youth.

Chaplins Career
Limelight (1952) was
the last film he made in
America.
McCarthyite political
maneuverings
effectively ejected him
from the country and he
wasn't to return until
1972, when he received
a special Academy
Award.

Chaplins Career
In the meantime, though
heartily welcomed back to
Britain, he moved to
Switzerland with his wife,
Oona O' Neill, and their
children.
He made two more films,
A King In New York
(1957) and A Countess
From Hong Kong (1967).

Chaplins Final Days


He spent his final
years writing music
for his films and
enjoying his family
life.
He died, at 4 a.m
on Christmas Day
in 1977.
Les Quais de Vevey

Chaplins Half-Brother

Sydney Chaplin

Charlie and Sydney


were very close and
looked out for each
other from their young
days.
Though younger, it was
Charlie that got onto the
stage first, in a play,
Sherlock Holmes, but
it wasn't long before
Syd joined the tour.

Syd Chaplin
Fred Karno signed up
Sydney, who then
recommended Charlie,
giving him his biggest
break.
After Charlie left
Keystone, he suggested
Sydney as his
replacement, and he
made a few comedies
there.

Fred Karno

Syd Chaplin
Soon he was
handling the
majority of Charlie's
business affairs,
negotiating most of
his big contracts and
appearing in a few
films during the First
National era.
1885-1965

Charlies First Wife


Married in 1918
after Mildred
believed she was
pregnant - it was a
false alarm.
She did later give
birth to Charlie's
first child, who only
lived for three
days.

Mildred Harris

Mildred Harris
Their divorce, in
1920, was
acrimonious.
Mildred was an
actress who
appeared in a few
films such as The
Inferior Sex and
For Husbands Only.

Charlies Second Wife


She played an angel
in The Kid and a
maid in The Idle
Class.
She started out as
the leading lady for
The Gold Rush
before falling for
Charlie and then
falling pregnant.

Lita Grey

Lita Grey
She had two children by
him, Charles Jr. and
Sydney Earl.
This marriage (19241927) also came to a
bitter end in court.
Lita carried on in
Vaudeville successfully,
but had problems with
alcohol.
1908-1995

Charlies Third Wife


His third marriage
lasted from 1936
to 1942
She appeared in
two of Chaplins
films: Modern
Times and The
Great Dictator
Paulette Goddard

Paulette Goddard
Though Charlie and
Paulette divorced,
it was by all
accounts, on
amicable terms.
1911-1990

Charlies Last Wife


When Charlie married
Oona in June 1943,
he at last found true
happiness, and it
seems they had both
found their soul
mates, despite the
fact that Oona was
only 18, and Charlie
was 53.

Oona ONeill
They met when
Charlie considered her
for a part in an
unmade film, Shadow
and Substance
(during 1942) and
were inseperable from
then on.
Oona's father was the
famous playwright
Eugene O'Neill.

Chaplins Family
Together they had
eight children
(Geraldine,
Michael, Josephine,
Victoria, Eugene,
Jane, Annette and
Christopher).

Chaplin and Oona

Vevey, Switzerland

She supported him totally


throughout a particularly
harrowing court case in
the 40's and when he was
exiled from the U.S. in
1952, when she
renounced her American
citizenship for British,
though they made their
home in Switzerland.
She died on September
27, 1991.