Charlie Chaplin Biography

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Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) was a comedic British actor who became an icon of the Silent Film Era (1895-1929). A time when the only means of communications available on the screen was non-verbal communication.

Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London, 1889. The youngest son of Hannah and Charles Chaplin SIR.
He had a very difficult childhood as his father provided no support for his family, abandoning them when Charlie was only two years of age leaving his mother having to provide for her children.
Hannah suffered from mental illness and had to be admitted to a mental health institution so Charlie and his older brother were sent to the workhouse and were educated by a range of charitable schools.
Despite of the health issues, Charlie’s mother
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That is when he started his career in entertainment as a comedian joining the Karno pantomime troupe which eventually took him to America. He toured with them for six years. When they returned to the United States he was offered a motion film contract which he accepted and joined the Keystones film company”.
His first film was called “Making a living”, in 1913, a week later “the little tramp”, the character he is most famous for was introduced to the world.
“The tramp character was accidentally invented by Charlie on day when he was playing a minor role in a film, his boss decided the movie was not funny enough, so he told Charlie to find a way to make it funnier.
Charlie had an insight, “I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large”. Later he added the little moustache, according to himself just to look older than he actually did”.
In the years that came Charlie was in huge demand and signed contract with two other companies before he decided to become an independent
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he was also questioned for refusing to become an American citizen and was under suspect of being a communist because of his support to the Russian against the invading Nazis during WWII.

In 1952, when he travelled to London with his family to the premiere of his film “Limelight”, he was not allowed to re-entry the U.S.A. accused of having questionable moral and political views. It was announced that he could not return to the country “unless he could prove moral worth”.
That is when he decided to move to Switzerland, where he lived for the rest of his life.
In 1966 he made his last film “A Countess from Hong Kong” which was his first and only colour film.
In 1972 he visited America and was awarded a special Academy Award.
In 1975 he was knighted by the Queen Elisabeth.

Charlie peacefully died of natural causes at the age of eighty eight surrounded by his wife Oona and seven of his children.

Even after his death Charlie continued being subject of controversy. His body was stolen from his grave and was not found until three months later. The responsible were arrested.

Despite all the controversy Charlie Chaplin was considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry and through his acting he was able to show a positive side of a chaotic
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