TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (4)
|Also Known As:||Died:||December 25, 1977|
|Born:||April 16, 1889||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||London, England, GB||Profession:||Cast ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
Began music hall career at age 5
Toured as one of the Eight Lancashire Lads
First featured stage role in "Sherlock Holmes"; toured English provinces
Appeared in London West End production of "Sherlock Holmes", starring its American author, William Gillette
Joined Fred Karno's Pantomime Troupe in England; quickly rose to Karno's star attraction, specializing in a dexterous portrayal of a comic drunk
Made first trip to America with Karno's Speechless Comedians
Hired by Mack Sennett's Keystone Company while on tour with Karno; left for Hollywood, arriving on Sennett's lot in December with a contract for $150 per week
Film acting debut in Keystone's "Making a Living"
First appearance of the tramp in "Kid Auto Races at Venice"
Directed, acted in and wrote over 20 shorts
Left Keystone Company; signed with Essanay Company for $1250 per week (Sennett had offered $750) plus a $10,000 signing bonus; met key collaborator, cameraman Rollie Totheroh, who would shoot every Chaplin film (and only Chaplin films) until his death in 1946
First film with Edna Purviance; she would play the idealized woman in every Chaplin film for the next eight years, remaining on the Chaplin payroll until her death in 1958
Moved to Mutual Film Corporation; the popularity of such Mutual two-reelers as "The Pawnshop", "The Immigrant" and "Easy Street" (only pic in which he ever played a cop) made him an international star
Signed by First National Exhibitors Circuit, producing his films independently; contract allowed him to build his own studio, which he alone used until 1952
Co-founded United Artists Corporation (with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith)
Strayed from First National contract calling for two-reelers to make "The Kid" (a six-reeler), his longest and most ambitious film to that time
Wrote and directed (appearing only briefly as a railway porter) "A Woman of Paris" (first full-length film), a comedy of manners starring Purviance (her final film with Chaplin); first UA release
Tramp's feature debut for UA, "The Gold Rush"; Chaplin called it "the picture I want to be remembered by"
Awarded an honorary Oscar for "versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing, and producing 'The Circus'"
First feature of the sound era, "City Lights" (a silent film); fourth biggest grosser of the year
Voice first heard in a commercial film, "Modern Times", when he sang a nonsense song; mild left-wing point of view signaled his growing political convivtion; year's second biggest money-earner after "San Francisco"
First full talkie, "The Great Dictator"; received Oscar nominations for best actor, best screenplay and best picture; refused New York Film Critics Award as Best Actor
His appearance at a rally supporting a Russian counterattack of Germany (a second front) led to his becoming a target of investigation by the FBI
Named in paternity suit by actress Joan Barry, who claimed that Chaplin had been her lover for several years and was the father of her child; though Chaplin denied Barry's claims and genetic evidence suggested that he was not the father of her child, the court ruled in Barry's favor
Played "lady killer" in "Monsieur Verdoux"; Oscar-nominated for his screenplay
Refused to testify before House Committee on Un-American Activities
Denied reentry into America after attending the London premiere of "Limelight" (only film in which he appared with Buster Keaton); settled in Switzerland
Sold interest in United Artists
First film outside the US, "A King in New York"
Orchestrated a festival of his films in NYC
Last film, "The Countess of Hong Kong", starring Sophia Loren and Marlon Brando; Chaplin had cameo as waiter
Returned to the USA after nearly 20 years to accept an honorary Academy Award
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
Body dug up by two grave robbers on March 2; found 2 1/2 months later and reburied
Subject of a biographical motion picture "Chaplin", directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Robert Downey Jr
Voted the greatest actor in movie history by a worldwide survey of film critics
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