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Sir Charlie Chaplin

5.06.2010

Sir Charlie Chaplin is one of the beloved comedians of the world. Years after his death, the comic films of movie actor and director Charlie Chaplin continue to be popular. He is one of the greatest comic actors who achieved greater, widespread fame in his own lifetime than perhaps anyone else in the history of the American cinema.


Charles Chaplin was born on April 16,1889 in London. His parents were music-hall performers and Charlie’s early life was spent touring England. Finally he became a dancer in music halls. Chaplin joined dancing company and went to America. Soon he entered the motion picture field in 1913 and within one year became a world-famous star. In 1916 he signed a contract with Mutal Company for what was in those days an unheard-of salary. But by now he was world famous and was writing and directing his own films. For Mutal Company Chaplin made some of his best short comedies. Then he built his own film studios and formed his own company and in 1919 he joined with the other leading film-makers of the period in forming the United Artists Corporation.


The 1920s were the golden age of the silent cinema, and Chaplin entered this golden age with wealth, power, authority, and complete freedom as an independent producer of his own work. The 1950s marked the beginning of an unhappy period in Chaplin’s life. When he left America for the European premiere the State Department banned his reentry because he had never become an American citizen. Chaplin took up residence in Switzerland. In 1973 he was at last received back with open arms into American film establishment, given a special Oscar in recognition of his lifetime contribution to film art, and commemorated with a statue at the historic corner of Hollywood. During the intervals of filmmaking Chaplin wrote “My Autobiography”, a fascinating document which is of particular value for its memories of the London of his childhood and his early work in the theatre. His old age was a satisfying crown to a life of activity bringing honours and universal reverence for the man and his work.


This is a story that Charlie Chaplin liked to tell about himself. It happened after the great actor had become world famous. A theatre announced that a competition would be held to see who could act like Charlie Chaplin. Those taking part had to dress like Chaplin, walk like Chaplin and act one of the roles in a Chaplin’s film. When Charlie Chaplin heard about the competition, he decided, as a joke, to take part in the competition himself. Naturally, he kept his plan in secret from everybody.


When the results of the competition were announced, Chaplin said, “I didn’t know whether to feel angry or only surprised. I didn’t win the first prize. But after thinking about it, I decided that it would be best to laugh”.


 



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