Charlie Chaplin was one of the most famous actors and directors of his time.
He is best known for his work in silent films, but he also made some great sound films as well.
Here are ten fun facts about Charlie Chaplin:
1. Charlie Chaplin was born in London on April 16th, 1889. His real name was Charles Spencer Chaplin.
2. When he was just five years old, Charlie’s mother died and his father abandoned him. As a result, he spent much of his childhood living in poverty in London’s slums.
3. In 1908, at the age of 19, Charlie joined Fred Karno’s comedy troupe and toured America with them for two years. It was during this time that he first began to develop his now-famous stage persona – “the Little Tramp”.
4. In 1914, Charlie signed a contract with the film studio Mutual Films and made his first ever film appearance in Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914). He went on to make a total of 35 films for Mutual over the next two years.
5. In 1918, Charlie left Mutual Films and joined First National Pictures where he made 12 successful feature films over the next four years, including The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925) and City Lights (1931).
6. During the 1920s and 1930s, Charlie became one of the world’s most famous celebrities – thanks largely to his work in Hollywood films such as Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940). At its peak, his public image was so strong that even Adolf Hitler reportedly wanted Chaplin to star in Nazi propaganda films!
7. Despite being an outspoken critic of fascism, Charlie actually met with Hitler in 1931 during a trip to Germany – although it’s unclear what exactly they discussed.
8. In 1940, shortly after finishing work on The Great Dictator, Chaplin’s wife Paulette Goddard divorced him and he married actress Oona O’Neill (daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill). The couple went on to have eight children together – seven sons and one daughter.
9. During World War II, Chaplin’s pro-Soviet views led to him being branded as a communist sympathiser by many Americans. As a result, he was effectively blacklisted from working in Hollywood and moved to Switzerland with Oona and their young family in 1952.
10. Despite falling out of favour with American audiences during the 1950s, Chaplins popularity remained high in other parts of the world – particularly Europe and Asia. He continued making movies until 1967 when he retired from filmmaking after completing his final project A Countess from Hong Kong starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.