Charles Spencer Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin, left, and Jackie Coogan appear in a scene from Chaplin's 1921 silent film, "The Kid." As one of Hollywood's legendary figures, Chaplin made his reputation playing the role of "The Tramp" in such classic films as "Gold Rush" and "Modern Times." He was one of the founders of United Artists studios in 1919 which produced some of Hollywood's greatest motion pictures. (AP 100 Photos of the Century, 11/18/1999)
Fairbanks, Pickford, Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin cartoon in Literary Digest, 1921/10/08
fan magazine 1925, from

1889 - born in London, theater family, orphaned

1913 - signed by Sennett for $150 per week

1915 - signed by Essanay for $1250 per week

1916 - signed by Mutual for $10,000 per week

1917 - signed by First National for $125,000 per film

1918 - made Shoulder Arms to support war effort, included dream sequence

1919 - built own studio & created United Artists to distribute

1920 - The Kid, 5250 ft., makes $2,500,000

1923 - directed A Woman of Paris, but not as a comedy

1925 - epic Gold Rush, 8498 ft. - Georgia's picture

1928 - The Circus, with shadow self, the ringmaster

1931 - non-talkie City Lights included music and sound effects

1936 - Modern Times - released Feb. 5

1940 - Great Dictator had dialogue, satire about Hitler

1941 - divorced 3rd wife Paulette Goddard (1936-42); widely publicized affair with Pola Negri; paternity suit by actress Joan Barry resulted in 2 trials, found guilty despite negative blood tests (then inadmissible in California).

1943 - married 4th wife, 18-year old Oona O'Neill (1943-77).

1952 - Attorney General James McGranery revoked re-entry permit, stayed in Europe.

1972 - visit to U.S. to receive special Academy Award for "incalculable effect in making motion pictures the art form of the century" and then returned to Switzerland.

1977 - died December 25 in Vevey, Switzerland.


revised 9/27/05 by Steven Schoenherr at the University of San Diego | Filmnotes