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Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer, who became significantly popular during the era of silent film, an era of cinema that persisted from the mid 1890’s until the 1920’s, where movies have no sound, synchronized audio recording, nor audible dialogs. It was the era where films were watched while accompanied by a pianist. In this era, Charlie Chaplin became most popular for his character, The Tramp. Charlie Chaplin’s career spanned more than 75 years, since his childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977. His life has sparked both admiration and controversy.
See the fact file below for more information on the Charlie Chaplin or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Charlie Chaplin worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Charlie Chaplin’s rise to fame is a rags-to-riches story.
- Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889, in London, England.
- Not long after his birth, Chaplin’s father became an alcoholic and abandoned him with his mother and older half-brother, Sydney.
- Chaplin’s mother, Hannah, went by the stage name of Lily Harley, as she was a music hall singer and vaudevillian.
- She was able to support her family for a few years.
- On one performance, Hannah lost her voice for unknown reasons; to continue the show, young Charlie came to the stage to replace her.
- Chaplin, only five at the time, continued his mother’s performance.
- Chaplin knew comedy at the time, as he imitated his mother’s cracking voice.
- The audience loved his performance.
- Unfortunately, his mother’s voice never returned.
- Sadly, she also suffered from mental illness and was later confined to an asylum.
- Chaplin used his mothers contacts to enter showbiz in 1897.
- He landed in a clog-dancing troupe named the Eight Lancashire Lads.
- Chaplin worked many jobs, such as being a news vendor, printer, and toymaker, but he never lost his dream to be an actor.
- Chaplin made his first acting role as a pageboy in a production of Sherlock Holmes (1903-1906).
- In 1908, he toured with a vaudeville group named Casey’s Court Circus.
- He teamed up with the Fred Karno Pantomime Troupe and became a star as a drunk man in a comedic sketch.
- Chaplin got to the United States with the Pantomime Troupe, and there he caught the eye of Mack Sennett, who signed him to a contract for 150 dollars a week.
- Chaplin debuted in a film called Make a Living in 1914.
- In order to be a unique actor, Chaplin decided to stick to a character in his next film.
- His identifiable character is known as “The Little Tramp,” who first appeared in Kid Auto Races at Venice in 1914.
- Chaplin left Sennett in 1915 to join the Essanay Company, which contracted to pay him $1,250 dollars a week.
- With the Essanay Company, Charlie hired Sydney, his older half-brother, to be his business manager.
- Chaplin then rose to stardom.
- Chaplin made 14 films in his first year in the company.
- His first classic film was The Tramp (1915).
- The Tramp is about how his character became an unexpected hero, saving a farmer’s daughter from a gang of robbers.
- By the age of 26, Chaplin moved to Mutual Company, which paid him $670,000 a year.
- While with Mutual Company, he made some of his best work, such as One A.M. (1916), The Rink (1916), and Easy Street (1917).
- As a filmmaker, Chaplin was known to be a perfectionist.
- However, the good results were hard to deny as he made his greatest films, such as The Kid (1921), The Pilgrim (1923), A Woman in Paris (1923), and The Gold Rush (1925).
- These films were produced by a company he co-founded named United Artists.
- Chaplin had numerous affairs with women who had roles in his films.
- Chaplin married Mildred Harris in 1918, who was 16 years old.
- Chaplin wed again in 1925 with another 16-year-old actress, Lita Grey, whom he’d cast in The Gold Rush. They divorced in 1927.
- He wed again in 1936 to Paulette Goddard, and their marriage lasted until 1942.
- In 1943, Chaplin married Oona O’Neill, who was the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill.
- Their marriage was happy and resulted in eight children.
- Chaplin made his last visit to the United States in 1972 to receive an Honorary Academy Award.
- In 1975, Chaplin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
- Charlie Chaplin died at his home in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland on December 25, 1977.
- Two men stole Chaplin’s body from the grave for a ransom of $400,000.
- Eleven weeks later, Chaplin’s body was recovered and the robbers were arrested.
Charlie Chaplin Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Charlie Chaplin across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Charlie Chaplin worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin who was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer, who became significantly popular during the era of silent film, an era of cinema that persisted from the mid 1890’s until the 1920’s, where movies have no sound, synchronized audio recording, nor audible dialogs. It was the era where films were watched while accompanied by a pianist. In this era, Charlie Chaplin became most popular for his character, The Tramp. Charlie Chaplin’s career spanned more than 75 years, since his childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977. His life has sparked both admiration and controversy.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Charlie Chaplin Facts
- Career Checklist
- Charlie, the Actor
- Charlie, the Filmmaker
- Poster Match
- Silent Film Era
- Multiple Marriages
- Chaplin’s Colleagues
- Film Review
- My Funny Film
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.