Famously known as Charlie Chaplin ,Charles Spencer ‘Charlie’ Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in London.And while his childhood was marked by constant poverty and hardships, Charlie slowly- but surely- climbed through the world of entertainment, becoming , arguably,one of the best comedian of all times. His silent movies, in particular became a major hit at a time when the world was torn in war , and it was apparent that people needed some sort of escape . For Charlie and his fans, the escape came in the form humorous short films, commonly labelled as a wonderful blend of social drama and comedy.
Having said that, here are 10 more interesting facts about Charlie that you probably weren’t aware of :
1. Chaplin started working at age seven where he was housed in 2 pauper schools.Coming from a poor family, this was the best Charlie knew to survive.
2.He actually produced a political comedy (not silent,but a speech) that satirized Nazism and condemned dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini. In the short film, Chaplin takes on two roles: Hynkel the dictator and a persecuted Jewish barber.
Interestingly,the speech is still relevant even in today’s world.. Here is an excerpt from the speech(scroll down to listen to the audio version of the speech)
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible- Jew, Gentile, black men, white…
We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery ,we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.
Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.”
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder!
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts!
You don’t hate!
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.
Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!
In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men!
You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness!
You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.
Let us all unite.
Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie!
They do not fulfill their promise.
They never will!
Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people!
Now let us fight to fulfill that promise!
Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers!
To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!
Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Here is the video :
3. His father, an alcoholic, stayed with him and his brother Sydney, after their mother was sent to Cane Hill Mental Asylum. The two were later rescued by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
4. He was noticed and appreciated in one of Charles Frohman’s production ‘Sherlock Holmes’ as Billy a pageboy. With this he was called to London for the same role, after working with William Gillette, he continued escalating in the theatrical arts.
5. Chaplin escaped death having have gone to a sumo wrestling match with the prime minister’s son, after the assassins of Japanese Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi had hoped to instigate a war with the US.
6. The Coogan Act was established by Chaplin after suing his step-father and mother, who squandered millions from his film earnings of up to $70,000,000 in dollars.
7. Chaplin’s dead body was kidnapped and held for a ransom worth €400,000.
His widow refused to pay the demand because Charlie would have found it ridiculous. His body was found 11 weeks later.
8. In 1915, he was paid $10,000 a week, and he not only wrote, directed, edited, produced, starred in his own films he also composed music for his and other films.
9. In his filming of ‘The Gold Rush’ he did 63 separate takes as a character who eats a boot. This was a prop made of licorice, and he ended up being taken to the hospital due to high sugar intake for insulin shocks.
10. Charlie Chaplin once went to a Charlie Chaplin-look-alike competition and came in third.
Author : Megan.