Born in England in 1889, Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin began his career as a child on the Victorian stage. Using mime, physical comedy and slapstick during the silent film era, Charlie rocketed to stardom before the First World War.
Still one of the most recognizable movie stars in the world to this day, his talents didn’t stop at acting. He produced, directed and composed some of the most memorable movies of the 20th Century. He also co-founded United Artist Studios with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith, to escape the confines of film financiers in 1919. Charlie Chaplin won 3 Oscars during his 75 year career, though he quite loudly proclaimed his distaste for the Academy. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Chaplin the 10th Greatest Screen Legend of All Time.
Photo via imdb.
As Martin Sieff wrote in his review of the book, Chaplin: A Life, “Chaplin was not just ‘big’, he was gigantic. In 1915, he burst onto a war-torn world bringing it the gift of comedy, laughter and relief while it was tearing itself apart through World War I (sic)”. Thank you and happy birthday Charlie!