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|Also Known As:||Charles Spencer Chaplin,Sir Charles Chaplin,Charles Chaplin,Charlie Chaplin||Died:||December 25, 1977|
|Born:||April 16, 1889||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||London, England, GB||Profession:||Cast ... director actor screenwriter composer producer|
Recognized as one of the greatest entertainers in movie history, Charlie Chaplin drew from his impoverished childhood in South London to create the most iconic character in cinema history, The Tramp, a good-natured, undaunted and somewhat unscrupulous cavalier from the 19th century trying to survive the isolating, technologically-driven 20th century. Outfitted in tattered baggy pants, a cutaway coat and vest, impossibly large worn-out shoes and a battered derby hat, The Tramp appeared in untold numbers of short films and made Chaplin the first true Hollywood star. After making his debut in "Kid Auto Races at Venice" (1914), Chaplin's Tramp was the focus of many iconic films like "The Tramp" (1915), "Behind the Screen" (1916), "Easy Street" (1917) and "The Immigrant" (1917). With his output slowed down a bit after World War I, Chaplin entered into one of his most creatively satisfying periods that saw "The Kid" (1921), "The Gold Rush" (1925) and "City Lights" (1931) hit the screen. Chaplin was one of the last to bow down to pressure and succumb to the sound era with "Modern Times" (1936), in which he reluctantly agreed to allow the public to hear the Tramp's voice - the first and only time this occurred. Having retired the character for good, Chaplin - who was also a pioneering writer and director on many of his films - starred in what became his last truly exemplary film, "The Great Dictator" (1940), before outraging audiences with an atypical turn in the thriller "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947). His last ode to the Tramp, "Limelight" (1952), failed to reach American screens amidst the political witch hunts of the McCarthy era, which led to him permanently residing in Switzerland until his death in 1977. Despite the hardships endured later in his career, Chaplin remained one of Hollywood's true geniuses while his Tramp characterization became one of cinema's most recognizable and defining images.
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