10 Interesting Facts About Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin was a comedic British actor who became one of the biggest stars of the 20th century
1. Charlie resisted sound
2. His friendship with Einstein
3. He started performing as a child
4. Chaplin thrice-married teenagers
5. He Left The US For Twenty Years
6. Chaplin’s mortal remains were once stolen
7. He was a great musician and composer
8. Chaplin quickly became a millionaire
9. He had blue eyes
10. There’s an annual Charlie Chaplin film festival

Charlie Chaplin was a comedic British actor who became one of the biggest stars of the 20th century’s silent-film era.

Born Charles Spencer Chaplin in London, England, on April 16, 1889, Chaplin’s rise to fame is a true rags-to-riches story. His father, a notorious drinker, abandoned Chaplin, his mother, and his older half-brother, Sydney, not long after Chaplin’s birth. That left Chaplin and his brother in the hands of their mother, a vaudevillian, and music hall singer who went by the stage name Lily Harley.

1. Charlie resisted sound

The sound was a revelation for the medium. But like all new technologies, some of the old guards were reluctant to embrace it. Charlie Chaplin was one filmmaker vehemently opposed to using sound and dialogue in his movies. As most of his comedy was a pantomime, he felt it was unnecessary. He also bemoaned its technical limitations. City Lights was produced when the sound had all but become the norm, and while it was a silent film, it still included sound effects. Despite his resistance towards the rising tide of talkies, the movie was a huge success and stands as one of his most celebrated works.

2. His friendship with Einstein

Chaplin and Einstein were close friends. Einstein had said that Charlie was the only person he wished to meet someday. According to The Vintage News, ‘Charlie invited Albert and his wife Elsa to dinner at his place and that’s was the beginning of their beautiful and strong friendship.’ They appeared publicly together for the premiere of City Lights in January 1931. According to britannica.com when Einstein and Charlie met, Charlie said, “The people applaud me because everybody understands me, and they applaud you because no one understands you.”

3. He started performing as a child

Both of Chaplin’s parents were in the entertainment industry. It is reported that, at age five, Chaplin replaced his mother (who was suffering from laryngitis) at a music-hall show, singing his first song Jack Jones in front of a crowd of soldiers. At age 12, he appeared as ‘Billy the page boy’ in a rendition of Sherlock Holmes.

4. Chaplin thrice-married teenagers

In 1918 Chaplin hastily tied the knot with 17-year-old actress Mildred Harris, a decision he would soon come to regret, saying they were “irreconcilably mismated.” Following the divorce, he married 16-year-old Lita Grey, another actress with whom he had a bitter breakup. And in 1943, while in the middle of a high-profile paternity suit, 54-year-old Chaplin married 18-year-old Oona O’Neill, to whom he had been introduced by a Hollywood agent. O’Neill’s father, playwright Eugene O’Neill, was so upset by the match that he disinherited her. But unlike Chaplin’s other relationships, this one would last. The two stayed together until Chaplin’s death at age 88 and had eight children.

5. He Left The US For Twenty Years

In 1952 while heading to London for the premiere of his semi-autobiographical drama, Limelight, attorney general James P. McGranery voided Charlie Chaplin’s re-entry permit. He claimed to have a solid case against Charlie Chaplin regarding his alleged anti-American activities, but later files proved this was not the case. Chaplin didn’t attempt re-entry and was more than happy to spend the rest of his days in Europe. He would eventually return twenty years later to receive an honorary award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Chaplin had a vocal disdain for certain aspects of the United States, but he was never vehemently anti-American.

6. Chaplin’s mortal remains were once stolen

In 1978, two robbers stole Charlie Chaplin’s dead body from Corsier-sur-Vevey village in Switzerland. This was just a year after he died in 1977. According to history.com, ‘After Chaplin’s widow, Oona, received a ransom demand of some $600,000, police began monitoring her phone and watching 200 phone kiosks in the region. Oona had refused to pay the ransom, saying that her husband would have thought the demand “ridiculous.”’

7. He was a great musician and composer

Chaplin composed the music for many of his own movies, despite never having had proper music training. In 1972, Chaplin actually won an Oscar for the music in Limelight (1952), which he helped compose.

8. Chaplin quickly became a millionaire

For $1,250 a week, plus a $10,000 bonus, Chaplin moved in December 1914 to Essanay Studios, which touted him as “the greatest comedian in the world.” He then signed with the Mutual Film Corporation for $670,000 a year, after which he agreed to make eight comedies for First National for over $1 million. Finally, in 1919, he founded his own studio with fellow Hollywood icons Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith. “I went into the business for money, and the art grew out of it,” Chaplin once said. “If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can’t help it. It’s the truth.”

9. He had blue eyes

The audience had always believed that Chaplin had brown eyes. This is due to the black and white cinema era; most people were not able to recognize that Chaplin had fabulous blue eyes.

10. There’s an annual Charlie Chaplin film festival

In the 1960s, Chaplin and his family enjoyed spending summers in the village of Waterville, located on the Ring of Kerry in Ireland. In 2011 the town founded the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival, which is held each August. (A bronze statue of him resides in town.) The festival features a short film competition with categories like Chaplins of the Future. 

Last year the fest tried to break the Guinness World Record of the largest gathering of people dressed as Chaplin.

20 August 2020, 13:55 | Views: 2048

Add new comment

For adding a comment, please log in
or create account

0 comments