Charlie Chaplin Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1889 – 1977 *** Full Name: Charles Spencer Chaplin *** Nickname: Charlie and The Tramp *** Occupation: English Comic Actor *** Date of Birth: April 16th 1889 *** Place of Birth: Charlie Chaplin was born in East Street, Walworth, South London in England *** Family background: His father was Charlie Chaplin was born on Charles Chaplin Sr and his mother was Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill. His mother had an illegitimate son called Sydney John Hill and Charlie’s father would become his legal guardian. Both of his parents were entertainers in the music halls *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in a very poor household with much hardship and poverty. Most of his childhood was spent with his half-brother Sydney and his mother in Kennington who earned little money either looking after the sick or dressmaking with no support whatever from his father. Eventually, although his parents did not divorce, his mother and his father were separated by 1891 and his mother met another man and had another child the following year. This child, George, would be taken away his father Leo Dryden, at six months of age. By the time Charlie Chaplin was six years old he was sent to live in the workhouse, briefly reunited with his mother *** Education: Charlie Chaplin together with his older brother George attended Norwood Schools, an institution for destitute children ***
Charlie Chaplin Fact 1: Charlie Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889. The life of Charlie Chaplin spanned the period in history when there was massive change across the world, including WW1 and WW2.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 2: The early life of Charlie Chaplin was very tough, his mother was institutionalized for several months and both Sydney and Charlie were sent to live with Charlie Chaplin Sr who they did not really know and was an alcoholic. Eventually the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children were called upon to intervene. Charles Sr died at thirty eight years of age two years later.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 3: His mother was diagnosed with a severe infection as well as malnutrition, she went into remission and was released from the institute. When Charlie Chaplin was fourteen years of age he virtually took care of her. Sydney cHAPLIN had joined the navy a couple of years earlier. She was in and out of the institute several times before being kept there permanently.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 4: In order to earn a little money to feed himself Charlie Chaplin began to perform having been encouraged by his mother who said he had talent.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 5: With the assistance of his father’s connections Charlie Chaplin would become a member of the Eight Lancashire Lads clog-dancing troupe and toured the English music halls. Charlie Chaplin soon realized acting was really what he wanted to do and decided he wanted to put together a comedy act.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 6: H.A. Saintsbury, a manager, gave Charlie Chaplin his first big chance as a newsboy in Jim, a Romance of Cockayne, it closed after two weeks but his performance had been noticed and he cast in Sherlock Holmes as Billy the pageboy. The production repeated three nationwide tours before he was called to perform at the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End. In total he was with the cast for two and a half years.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 7: His brother had also chosen a career change and was acting as well and together they found work with a new company in a production called Repairs. After that Sydney Chaplin joined Fred Karno’s company and became one of their star performers. As such, when work was proving difficult for Charlie Chaplin, Sydney managed to get him work for a trial period of two weeks.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 8: So successful did he become that by 1910 Charlie Chaplin was being given lead roles and touring in North America on their vaudeville circuit. One of his most successful roles was that of the “Inebriate Swell” that garnered him much praise.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 9: Six months into the America tour Charlie Chaplin was approached by the New York Motion Picture Company to replace their star at Keystone Studios. Although Charlie Chaplin felt the Keystone comedies “a crude melange of rough and tumble” the idea of breaking into film was enough to have him sign a contract for $150 a week in September of 1913.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 10: His first film appearance was in Making a Living but “The Tramp” made his appearance in Mabel’s Strange Predicament. Of the creation of the "Little Tramp", Charlie Chaplin said "I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large ... I added a small moustache, which, I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression. I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked on stage he was fully born." Charlie Chaplin became synonymous with the 'Little Tramp.'
Charlie Chaplin Fact 11: In early 1916 Charlie Chaplin signed a contract with Mutual Film Corporation for $10,000 per week having also received offers from Universal, Vitagraph and Fox.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 12: When World War I broke out, Charlie Chaplin was in the USA and was pilloried in the British press for not fighting. At this point Charlie Chaplin announced that he would not only fight for his own country but that he had also registered for the American draft as well, but their country had called him up.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 13: By 1918, with his brother Sydney Chaplin as his manager, Charlie Chaplin signed a new contract with First National Exhibitors’ Circuit for $1 million to complete eight pictures. He built his own studio and began making his own films.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 14: When First National refused to finance him anymore he, together with Douglas Fairbanks, D. W. Griffith and Mary Pickford, collaborated in the creation of the United Artists movie studio. Charlie Chaplin he could not get himself released from the First Mutual contract, they were insisting he complete the remaining films he owed them.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 15: By 1922 Charlie Chaplin was no longer under any obligation to First National and was able, finally, to make his first picture. His first film, although well received was not a box office success because Charlie Chaplin was not in it.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 16: In 1925 Charlie Chaplin opened with his biggest success to date grossing a $5 million dollar profit on The Gold Rush.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 17: Charlie Chaplin had an unsuccessful marriage with a young wife who said she was pregnant but they married only to find out she wasn’t pregnant. Charlie Chaplin married again, under the similar circumstances this time Lita Grey was sixteen where Mildred Harris had been seventeen. Their two sons were born in quick succession, Charles Spencer arrived in 1925 and Sydney Earl in 1926. The marriage ended badly with Lita taking both children making malicious accusations against Charlie Chaplin that would have the public calling for his films to be banned. Charlie Chaplin was dangerously close to a breakdown and although his public soon forgot the incident affected him deeply.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 18: With a deep seated feeling that the new talkie films would not be successful or a long lasting genre, he made his next film City Lights which although it was successful Charlie was left in sufficient doubt that his next film would be successful without dialogue. In the end he decided to take a vacation that turned into sixteen months of travel. Charlie Chaplin Fact 21: During the 1940’s Charlie Chaplin suffered quite bad publicly on a personal level. A former relationship had not only turned sour but obsessive and Chaplin ended up in court. During the same period J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI took the opportunity, having previous suspicions regarding Chaplin’s political leanings to begin a smear campaign.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 19: On his return Charlie Chaplin met movie star Paulette Goddard with whom he had a relationship. They did marry but again it was short lived and they divorced.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 20: His next film would be very much along the lines of being politically and world events based. Similarities had been drawn between Charlie Chaplin and Hitler and his political views spilled over into his next project, The Dictator. The film would be a huge success and received five Academy Award nominations.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 22: During this period Charlie Chaplin met Oona O’Neill with whom he found “perfect love”. The couple married and remained married until Chaplin died. In eighteen years they had eight children. Charlie’s eldest son said that Oona “worshipped” his father.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 23: Charlie Chaplin would be accused of being a communist while living in America. So difficult did life become, with his refusal to become an American citizen, that members of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) called for his deportation.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 24: Charlie Chaplin decided his next film, having been based largely on his own life in London as a child, Limelight, should have its opening in London and as he left the U.S. his re-entry permit was revoked. He had had a premonition that he would not return.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 25: Charlie Chaplin and his wife Oona settled in Switzerland, Oona even renounced her U.S. citizenship to become a British citizen.
Charlie Chaplin Fact 26: On December the 25th of 1977 Charlie Chaplin died at his home having suffered a stroke at eighty eight years of age. The body of Charlie Chaplin was laid to rest at the Corsier-sur-Vevey Cemetery.
Influence & Legacy: Andrew Sarris, a film critic, in 1998 said that Charlie Chaplin was "arguably the single most important artist produced by the cinema, certainly its most extraordinary performer and probably still its most universal icon". Time magazine included Charlie Chaplin in their “100 Most Important People of the 20th Century”.
Short Facts about Charlie Chaplin for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous actor, Charlie Chaplin. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Charlie Chaplin with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.