Charles Spencer Chaplin, popularly known as Charlie Chaplin, is being remembered on his 129th birth anniversary today. The famous actor, filmmaker, comic genius and a controversial figure nonetheless, was born in London, England, on April 16, 1889. Chaplin’s father was a versatile vocalist and actor; whereas his mother, known under the stage name of Lily Harley, was an actress and singer, who gained a reputation for her work in the light opera field.
Charlie Chaplin’s early days
As per the website, charliechaplin.com, the actor was about 12, when he got his first chance to act in a legitimate stage show, and appeared as “Billy” the page boy, in support of William Gillette in “Sherlock Holmes”. Chaplin’s career as a comedian started in vaudeville, which eventually took him to the United States in 1910 as a featured player with the Fred Karno Repertoire Company.
Charlie Chaplin’s career and awards
With a career that spanned more than 75 years, the actor went on to receive three Oscars, out of which two were honorary awards. He got an honorary award for writing, directing, acting and producing ‘The Circus’, followed by his second honorary Academy Award in 1972. He then went on to win an Oscar for Best Score for ‘Limelight’ in 1973.
Chaplin’s versatility was just not limited to being an actor or a comedian, but also extended to writing, music and sports. He was the author of at least four books, “My Trip Abroad”, “A Comedian Sees the World”, “My Autobiography”, “My Life in Pictures”. He also wrote all of his scripts. He also played a variety of instruments with equal skill and facility. He was an accomplished musician, though self-taught, who played violin and cello left-handed.
Before his death in 1977 on December 25, Chaplin was survived by eight children from his last marriage with Oona O’Neill, and one son from his short marriage to Lita Grey.
On his 129th birth anniversary, let’s take a look at some of his words of wisdom:
• A day without laughter is a day wasted.
• We think too much and feel too little.
• Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles
• What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning.
• Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot