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Charlie Chaplin Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era.
At the time of his birth, Chaplin's parents were both entertainers in the music hall tradition: Hannah, had a brief and unsuccessful career under the stage name Lily Harley, while Charles Sr.,worked as a popular singer.
Chaplin's first stage appearance came at five years old, when he took over from his mother one night in Aldershot. The young boy confidently entertained the crowd, and received laughter and applause. Chaplin became a member of “The Eight Lancashire Lads clog dancing troupe. He began his professional career in this way, as the group toured English music halls from 1899 to 1902. Chaplin worked hard and the act was popular with audiences, but dancing did not satisfy the child and he dreamt of forming a comedy act.
By 1908, Chaplin had become a star of Fred Karno's prestigious comedy company. The young comedian headed the show and impressed American reviewers, being described as "one of the best pantomime artists ever seen here."
“Making a Living” marked his film debut,1914.
During the course of 1915, Chaplin became a cultural phenomenon. Shops were stocked with Chaplin merchandise, he was featured in cartoons and comic strips, and several songs were written about the star.
First National “A Dog's Life”, released April 1918, was the first film under the new contract. It was cinema's first total work of art. The film showed the character becoming more fragile and melancholy.
“The Kid” It was his longest picture to date. It was the first film to combine comedy and drama. It had been screened in over 50 countries.
Independence In 1919 Chaplin together with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and David Llewelyn Wark Griffith founded an American film studio “United Artists ”. All films shot on this studio were full-length. The first was “A woman of Paris”, a romantic drama about ill-fated lovers.
Silent films brought fame to Chaplin. In 1927 appeared sound films. The first Chaplin’s sound film was “The Great Dictator ”, it was released in 1940. It was the last film, where the image of Charlie-tramp was used. The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor.
In 952 Chaplin created the film “Limelight”. It’s a story about the fate of a creative person and about the art in general.
He moved to Switzerland in 1953. He composed music for his silent films and wired the film “The Gold Rush ”. He was awarded the International Peace Prize by the Communist World Peace Council in 1954.
In his film “A King in New York” Chaplin himself played the leading part. In 1964 Chaplin published his memoirs, which were the basis of bibliographic feature film “Chaplin ”. His final completed film, “A Countess from Hong Kong” (1967), based on a script he had written for Paulette Goddard in the 1930s. The main parts were played by Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.
In 1972 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Lincoln Center Film Society and an Academy Honorary Award for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century". In 1953 he received the Academy Award for Best Original Score for Limelight, the only competitive Academy Award he won during his career. In 1975 Queen Elizabeth II made him a Knight Commander of the British Empire.
Chaplin died in his sleep from the complications of a stroke in the early morning of 25 December 1977 at his home in Switzerland. The monument in his memory was set on the lakeside of Geneva.
Several memorials have been dedicated to Chaplin. In London, a statue of him as the Tramp was unveiled in Leicester Square. The Swiss town of Vevey, named a park in his honour.
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