Charlie Chaplin

By Helen Simpson

A Biography of Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin was born on April 16th 1889 in London, England. His father was a vocalist and actor and mother was a famous actress/singer. This is what may have gotten him started in being interested in acting. When Chaplin was just ten his father died and his mother became sick. He and his brother, Sydney, had to fend for themselves. Both Sydney and Charlie had inherited skills from their parents and decided to pursue acting. Charlie joined a group known as The Eight Lancashire Lads and became known as an amazing tap dancer. He got his first acting role at 12. He played William Gillette in "Sherlock Holmes". After it ended he decided to become a comedian and moved to the United States in 1910.

His first popular play in America was "A Night in an English Music Hall". In 1913 he decided to audition for movies too. He worked with the Keystone Film Company. In 1914 he signed with the Mutual Film Company and created 12 comedies in that one year. In 1917 that contract expired and Chaplin decided to become and independent producer. He produced many comedies in the following years. In 1919 he founded The United Artists Corporation. He continued producing many more movies for the rest of his life. He produced The Kid in 1921, A Woman in Paris in 1923. During filming The Gold Rush he had an affair with the lead, Lita Grey. In 1929 the movie, The Circus, won Chaplin his first academy award. It remained very popular until around 1964. He spent two years and eight months filming City Lights which came out in 1931. It became almost as popular as The Circus. In 1931, he went on an 18-month world tour for his fans. After he came home, Chaplin continued producing movies until he died in 1977.

Charlie Chaplin - Eating Machine

Discussion Questions

1. Do you think Charlie Chaplin was a big contribution in making theater popular?

2. How do you think Chaplin's parents influenced his career?

Chaplin's Impact

Charlie Chaplin helped make theater possible by coming out out with his many enjoyable films. He was a great face of comedy in the 20's.