Life & Career of Charlie Chaplin

  • Charlie Chaplin is Born

    Charlie Chaplin is Born
    Charlie Chaplin is born to entertainers Hannah Chaplin and Charles Chaplin Sr. Chaplin and his brother Sydney John Hill both grew up involved in the performing arts. They suffered poverty, their parents split appart, and were abandoned.
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    Early Years

    The beginning of Charlie Chaplin's life and career
  • Hannah Chaplin Hospitalized

    Hannah Chaplin had fallen ill and the brothers would have to stay with their alcoholic father. Their father would soon pass away leaving the two Chaplin brothers to fend for themselves. Hannah Chaplin died in a mental asylum.
  • Chaplin Joins The Eight Lancashire Lads

    Chaplin Joins The Eight Lancashire Lads
    Chaplin officially became an entertainer, joining a tap-dancing group.The group was known as the Eight Lancashire Lads. He was a very talented tap-dancer, and the act was popular in the music halls. He was encouraged to be in the performing arts by his mother, and though he traveled with this group until 1900, he was dissatisfied with dancing, preferring the arts of acting and comedy.
  • Chaplin Becomes a Comedic Actor

    Chaplin Becomes a Comedic Actor
    Chaplin registered with a theatrical agency and began working as a comedic actor in plays such as "Jim, a Romance of Cockayne" and "Sherlock Holmes".
  • Chaplin Joins Casey's Circus

    Chaplin Joins Casey's Circus
    Chaplin refined his comedy act at Casey's Circus and was well recieved.
  • Chaplin Tours with Karno

    Chaplin Tours with Karno
    Chaplin toured in American Vaudeville acts.
  • Chaplin Signs with Keystone Company

    Chaplin Signs with Keystone Company
    Chaplin was becoming increasingly more popular as he was perfecting his comedy acts. He became so well known that theaters would sell out weeks in advance. Mack Sennett, “The King of Comedy” and founder of the Keystone Company, offered Chaplin a contract. Of course, Chaplin accepted in December 1913, which was the starting point of Chaplin’s success in Hollywood. Chaplin first embraced but then evolved the basic Keystone-style slapstick comedy.
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    Hollywood Years

    Charlie Chaplin's Hollywood career and some of his many films
  • Release of Making a Living

    Release of Making a Living
    First film with Keystone
  • Release of Mabel's Strange Predicament

    Release of Mabel's Strange Predicament
    First costumed appearance of the Tramp persona
  • Chaplin Joins Essany Studios

    Chaplin Joins Essany Studios
  • Release of The Tramp

    Release of The Tramp
  • Chaplin Joins the Mutual Film Corporation

    Chaplin Joins the Mutual Film Corporation
    Charlie Chaplin switched to Essanay Studios in 1915 and switched again in 1916 to Mutual Film Corporation. Chaplin’s popularity was through the roof as songs were song about him, was featured in cartoons and comic strips, and shops overflowed with the Tramp’s merchandise. With Mutual Company, Chaplin was an extremely wealthy man and was paid $670,000 a year.
  • Release of One A.M.

    Release of One A.M.
  • Release of The Rink

    Release of The Rink
  • Release of Easy Street

    Release of Easy Street
  • Release of The Adventurer

    Release of The Adventurer
  • Chaplin Joins First National Exhibitors Circuit

    Chaplin Joins First National Exhibitors Circuit
  • Release of A Dog's Life

    Release of A Dog's Life
  • Release of Shoulder Arms

    Release of Shoulder Arms
  • United Artists Founded

    United Artists Founded
    Charlie co-founded United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and D. W. Griffith. Each of them held a 20% stake and their lawyer William Gibbs McAdoo held the last 20%. This joint venture allowed the filmmakers abundant freedom within the developing Hollywood Studio System.
  • Release of The Kid

    Release of The Kid
    Clip from The Kid
    Before The Kid was released, Chaplin’s wife Mildred had begun a suit for divorce. Nervous that Mildred’s lawyers might seize The Kid, he fled to California to finish his editing in secret and the film ended up as the second highest grossing film of all time.
  • Realease of The Pilgrim

    Realease of The Pilgrim
  • Release of The Gold Rush

    Release of The Gold Rush
  • Release of The Circus

    Release of The Circus
  • Release of City Lights

    Release of City Lights
    Around this time, sound films have already been established in the film industry, but Chaplin’s City Lights was a silent film. His famous tramp persona was in the film and rather than ruin the character by making him talk, he used the capabilities of the sound film to arrange his own musical score and put it in as the film’s soundtrack. The film was about the tramp falling in love with a blind girl and tries to come up with the money for a surgery to restore her sight.
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    Later Years

    The final films of Charlie Chaplin and the end of his life
  • Release of Modern Times

    Release of Modern Times
    This film had a soundtrack like City Lights and incorporated some speech but was for the most part a silent film. It’s about the tramp trying to survive in a modern world. This is the last appearance of Chaplin’s tramp persona. The film is a response to the poverty that Chaplin witnessed while he was away one an 18 month world tour.
  • Release of The Great Dictator

    Release of The Great Dictator
    This film parodied Adolf Hitler, but it was filmed before the events that started World War II, at the time when Hitler was seen as a great leader that has restored Germany. There was some controversy about the film, but it was a success nevertheless.
  • Release of Monsieur Verdoux

    Release of Monsieur Verdoux
    It was a film that followed the story of a serial killer that supports his family by marrying and murdering wealthy women. It wasn’t well received by American audiences and many questioned Chaplin’s morality and whose side he was on when it came to the Cold War. Many wanted him deported.
  • Release of Limelight

    Release of Limelight
    This was Chaplin’s last American film in which he tells the story of a comedian that has lost touch with his audience. In it we see the London that Chaplin grew up in and the music halls where he got his start. While he was away for the premiere of the film in London, his visa was revoked and was therefore banned from America.
  • Release of A King in New York

    Release of A King in New York
    This was Chaplin's final film. It was about a King that goes to New York to escape the revolution in his country, but in New York he’s suspected of being a communist. The film gave a very negative look on America and wasn’t shown there until 15 years after its release.
  • Chaplin Returns to America

    Chaplin Returns to America
    Charlie Chaplin Wins Honorary Award
    In 1972, Charlie Chaplin would return to America for the 44th Academy Awards where he accepted an honorary award. They say that he received a standing ovation that lasted for over 10 minutes.
  • Death of Charlie Chaplin

    Death of Charlie Chaplin
    Charlie Chaplin dies at age 88 from a stroke in his sleep He was buried in Corsier-sur-Vevey cemetery in Switzerland.