Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin aka Charlie Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 to Hannah Chaplin and Charles Chaplin Sr. Though there is no official record of his birthplace, it is believed that he was born in the East Street locality in Walworth, South London.
Considered one of the most iconic figures in Hollywood and a pioneer in the history of film industry, Chaplin is known for his on-screen persona The Tramp and imitation of Rudolph Hitler. Chaplin’s career spanned more than 75 years and encompassed a life full adulation and controversies.
On the occasion of his 128th birth anniversary, we have listed out 10 lesser known facts about the legend that you need to know.
Chaplin had a difficult childhood. After his mother was sent to a mental asylum, he and his brother went to live with his father who was an alcoholic. Rumours were that the two brothers were abused by the father and were later rescued by the ‘National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’.
Though considered one of the funniest actors of his generation, Chaplin was a very serious person in real life and was very different from his on-screen persona of The Tramp.
In his initial years in the world of cinema, he secured a role in Charles Frohman’s production, Sherlock Holmes, as Billy the pageboy. His performance was appreciated unanimously that led to his stardom in the coming years.
Chaplin was hospitalsed after he met with an accident on the sets of Easy Street, where a lamppost fell on his head.
In 1918, he married 17-year-old actor Mildred Harris to avoid controversy after he came to know of her pregnancy. The couple was married for a brief time and got divorced in 1920.
Considered the biggest superstar of the silent era, it seemed Chaplin was not ready for sound films. Even after the introduction of sound films, Chaplin continued to make silent films, which brought worldwide attention and negative feedback.
At the first edition of Academy Awards, Chaplin was honoured with a special trophy for his contribution towards cinema in the form of his film The Circus. He received the award for acting, writing, directing and producing the film.
Everyone knows about Chaplin’s versatility. But do you know that he was even a music director. Yes, Chaplin composed the music for many of his own films back in the day. He composed music for his films like City Lights and Limelight.
Fandom is sometimes adorable and sometimes awkward. A Russian fan of the actor, who was an astronomer and discovered more than 100 minor planets, named one of them after the actor, ‘3623 Chaplin’.
Chaplin’s house in Switzerland was converted into a museum after his death — on the day of his 126th birth anniversary. The museum has welcomed more than 300,000 visitors ever since its creation. The estate also holds a studio, where his evergreen films are screened, recreations of set pieces and a restaurant named ‘The Tramp’.