Why Famous: 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 the only silent film maker who continued to make successful film in the sound era, "The Great Dictator" (140) parodying Adolf Hitler and "Limelight" featuring fellow silent era star Buster Keaton (1952) 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.
- 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)
- 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
- 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 "Limelight" premieres directed, written, produced and starring Charlie Chaplin and Claire Bloom with appearance by Buster Keaton
- 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