Birth date of Charlie Chaplin
Few men were as influential to the rise of American cinema than silent film star Charlie Chaplin. The son of British performers, Chaplin was discovered by a motion picture producer while performing with an American vaudeville troupe. He became a household name in 1914’s eleven-minute film Kid Races at Auto Venice, where his character the Little Tramp debuted. The character was an ambitious and hopeful vagrant who struggles to make ends meet while still playing the part of a gentleman. With his signature blunt moustache, dark eyes, bowler hat, and cane, the Little Tramp went on to star in many comedies – most notably 1921’s feature-length movie The Kid. Chaplin refused to give voice to the Little Tramp, playing his character in silent pictures only – even after the first “talkie” film was released in 1927. Chaplin built Charlie Chaplin Studios in 1917, where he churned out an impressive number of films. Today, Charlie Chaplin Studios is home to the Jim Henson Company, where a large statue of Kermit the Frog dressed as Chaplin’s Little Tramp character sits atop the main building. Chaplin famously left the US and refused to return in 1953. He took up residence in Switzerland, where he died on Christmas Day, 1977.
How do you think a silent film star influenced movie audiences? What do you think it takes to entertain a crowd if they can’t hear you?
Charlie Chaplin © Bubbles 1997