On This Day

Charlie Chaplin

Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker Charlie Chaplin

Full Name: Charles Chaplin
Profession: Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker

United Kingdom

Biography: Charlie Chaplin was born into poverty in England and started performing on the stage from a young age. After moving to America he became a film actor and famous worldwide for his tramp character in silent films.

Chaplin perfected his Tramp persona in Keystone films before founding United Artists Studio in Hollywood in 1919 with D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. The Studio went on to produce such famous Chaplin silent films as "The Kid" (1921), "The Gold Rush" (1925) and "Modern Times" (1936). All films that Chaplin wrote, directed and starred in.

Chaplin was one of only a handful of silent film makers who continued to make successful films in the sound era. "The Great Dictator" (1940) parodying Adolf Hitler and "Limelight" (1952) featuring fellow silent era star Buster Keaton are regarded amongst his best.

After having become a controversial figure for his Communist political views and marriages to much younger women, Chaplin left America while under investigation by the FBI and in 1953 settled in Switzerland.

Born: April 16, 1889
Birthplace: Walworth, London, England

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Aries

Died: December 25, 1977 (aged 88)
Cause of Death: Stroke

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1918-10-23 Actor Charlie Chaplin (29) weds Mildred Harris (17)
  • 1924-11-26 Comic actor Charlie Chaplin (35) weds "The Kid" actress Lita Grey (16) in Mexico
  • 1927-08-22 Actor Charlie Chaplin divorces his 2nd wife Lita Grey after 3 years of marriage in the largest divorce settlement at the time (US$600,000, plus trusts for children)
  • 1933-06-01 Charlie Chaplin (44) weds Paulette Goddard (22)
  • 1943-06-16 Actor/comedian Charlie Chaplin (54) marries actress Oona O'Neill (18)

Historical Events

  • 1913-12-16 Charlie Chaplin begins his film career at Keystone for $150 a week
  • 1914-02-07 Charlie Chaplin debuts silent film character The Tramp in "Kid Auto Races at Venice"
  • 1914-12-21 1st feature-length silent film comedy "Tillie's Punctured Romance" released starring Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin
  • 1916-02-26 Mutual signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract
  • 1919-02-05 Hollywood film studio United Artists founded by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D. W. Griffith
  • 1921-02-06 "The Kid", silent film starring Charlie Chaplin & Jackie Coogan, released
  • 1925-06-26 "The Gold Rush", directed, starring and written by Charlie Chaplin, is released
  • 1931-01-30 "City Lights", American silent romantic comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin, starring himself and Virginia Cherrill, premieres at Los Angeles Theater
  • 1931-03-27 Charlie Chaplin receives France's distinguished Legion of Honor
  • 1936-02-05 "Modern Times", silent film directed by, written by and starring Charlie Chaplin, is released
  • 1940-10-15 "The Great Dictator", a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin released
  • 1952-09-19 The United States bars Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England
  • 1952-10-23 Charlie Chaplin's "Limelight", starring himself and Claire Bloom, with an appearance by Buster Keaton, premieres in New York City; Not released in Los Angeles until 1972, winning Chaplin his only competitive Academy Award for original score
  • 1978-03-01 Charlie Chaplin's coffin and remains are stolen from a Swiss cemetery in an extortion plot
  • 2017-04-16 World record for gathering of Charlie Chaplin lookalikes - 662 at Manoir de Ban, Chaplin museum in Vevey, Switzerland