Sir Charlie Chaplin KBE
(1889-1977)

Died aged 88

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame during the era of silent film. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy. Chaplin's childhood in London was one of poverty and hardship. As his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. At 19 he was signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company, which took him to America. Chaplin was scouted for the film industry, and began appearing in 1914 for Keystone Studios. He soon developed the Tramp persona and formed a large fan base. Chaplin directed his own films from an early stage, and continued to hone his craft as he moved to the Essanay, Mutual, and First National corporations. By 1918, he was one of the best known figures in the world. In 1919, Chaplin co-founded the distribution company United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films. His first feature-length was The Kid (1921), followed by A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). He refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. Chaplin became increasingly political, and his next film, The Great Dictator (1940), satirised Adolf Hitler. The 1940s were a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. He was accused of communist sympathies, while his involvement in a paternity suit and marriages to much younger women caused scandal. An FBI investigation was opened, and Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland. He abandoned the Tramp in his later films, which include Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952), A King in New York (1957), and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. He was a perfectionist, and his financial independence enabled him to spend years on the development and production of a picture. His films are characterised by slapstick combined with pathos, typified in the Tramp's struggles against adversity. Many contain social and political themes, as well as autobiographical elements. In 1972, as part of a renewed appreciation for his work, Chaplin received an Honorary Academy Award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century". He continues to be held in high regard, with The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator often ranked on industry lists of the greatest films of all time.

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Commemorated on 12 plaques

Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Charlie Chaplin
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
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Elliott Brown on Flickr
Charlie Chaplin
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Charlie Chaplin 1889 to 1977 Walworth-born comic genius

East Street, Walworth, London SE17, London, United Kingdom where they was born (1889)

Centenary Of Cinema 1996 #005

Charlie Chaplin [full inscription unknown]

Cannon Cinema, Aldershot, United Kingdom where they performed

City Varieties Music Hall. Harry Lauder, Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini performed in this Music Hall built in 1865 for Charles Thornton on the site of the White Swan coaching inn. Famous venue of the "Good Old Days" first broadcast in 1953

City Varieties Music Hall, Swan Street, Leeds, United Kingdom where they performed

Charlie Chaplin 1889-1978 lived here

287 Kennington Road Kennington, London, United Kingdom where they lived

Charlie Chaplin 1889-1997 film maker and Water Rat lived here 1898-1899

39 Methley Street, Kennington, London, United Kingdom where they lived

Centenary Of Cinema 1996 #157

Charlie Chaplin attended The Central London District Schools here from 1896-1898

Hanwell Community Centre, Westcott Crescent, Hanwell, London, United Kingdom where they attended school (1896-1898)

Charles Spencer Chaplin 16 April 1889 - 25 December 1977 Comic Actor, Director and Producer Charlie Chaplin was born in Walworth, London into a music hall family. He joined a troupe of child dancers, "Eight Lancashire Lads" at the age of 8. At 17, whilst on tour in America, he joined the Mack Sennett Keystone Company motion picture company. His acting technique was characterised by a high degree of pathos, accentuated in the then silent movies, but he was unwilling later to adapt his style to the "talkies". His success enabled him to co-found United Artists in 1919. His major films included The Tramp (1915), Shoulder Arms (1918), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940). He was knighted in 1975. The statue is by John Doubleday and was unveiled by Sir Ralph Richardson in April 1981.

Charlie Chaplin statue - Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom where they is commemorated

Charlie Chaplin [full inscription unknown]

71 Church Street, NW8, London, United Kingdom where they performed

Harrogate Theatre. Opened on 13 January 1900 as the Grand Opera House, designed by F.A. Tugwell, with a fine foyer frieze by Frances Darlington added later, the building was refurbished in the mid 1970s and 2007-9 and is home to theatrical activities that have flourished in Harrogate since the 1760s. Performers who have appeared here include Sarah Bernhardt, Mrs Patrick Campbell, Charlie Chaplin, Sonia Dresdel, Trevor Howard, George Robey, Ellen Terry, Arnold Ridley, Fats Waller, Ken Dodd, Martin Shaw, Ben Kingsley and Eddie Izzard. Home of the White Rose Players 1933-1955.

Oxford Street, Harrogate, United Kingdom where they performed

Charlie Chaplin. Fear na scannán cara an choireáin a chaith blienta shoná inár measc. For the man who made the movies speak in the hearts of millions. Charlie spent many years in our midst as a welcome and humble guest and friend to many. This image was created by Sculptor Ryan Hall. It was funded by the generosity of Josephine Chaplin and by the E.U. leader programme. 1998

English translation:

TBC, Waterville, Ireland where they was

Centenary Of Cinema 1996 #133

Charlie Chaplin gave one of his first professional performances at the Royal County Theatre 1903 [full inscription unknown]

Eden Street, Kingston Upon Thames, United Kingdom where they performed

Charlie Chaplin 1889-1977 Actor and Film-maker lived here in Flat 15 1908-1910

Glenshaw Mansions, Brixton Road, London, United Kingdom where they lived (1908-1910)