“A day spent without laughter is the day wasted”. These lines came from the man who himself spent his life in miseries until he made it big. Sir Charlie Spencer Chaplin, the funniest man that the world has seen and still remembers, laughed out loud at his pain and gave the world a reason to laugh. The veteran actor, director, musician, producer and what not, is the perfect example of ‘rags to riches’. Chaplin was born to Charles Chaplin, actor and singer himself and Hannah Chaplin, a stage artist during the Victorian London days.
Not long after when Hannah separated from her husband taking her 2 kids along, one being Charlie Chaplin, she lowered down to days of poverty and health issues. After a prolonged illness of Syphilis, Chaplin’s mother started hallucinating and had to be shifted to mental asylum leaving him trapped in an orphanage, where Chaplin least wanted to go. His mother’s recurring illness obligated him to work at a young age of 12 as a stage artist. Eventually, he gained success which took him to America kick-starting his career as a comedian and eventually the star of silent films. His creation of “The Tramp” gave him immense applause from around the world. Quite amazing to believe how extraordinarily one can make people laugh and cry without dialogue.
The Oscar-winning, Charlie Chaplin’s life was no less than a motion film with comedy, tragedy, romance and hard to believe, a controversial life. Did you know? Charlie Chaplin had regular visits from the FBI and messy marriage relationships. Well, he did some really nasty things during his ‘Era of riches’’.
Giggle and rapt through these facts of the legendary actor who ruled the Silent film era.
1. An ideal Perfectionist
Chaplin was such a look-out for Perfection that he acted, directed, produced, script write and composed music by himself for his films. There is a famous saying that if you want anything done your way, just do it yourself. Chaplin was just the person. On occasions he made actors do retakes several times just to get that perfect shot.
2. A haunting memory of his mother
Chaplin’s mother was also believed to be a controversial figure. She had changed many partners during her lifetime until Charlie was born. She was known to be a gold-digger. Eventually, life left her with mental illness which bound her to the mental asylum. The condition of his mother had disturbing effects on Charlie. But he still managed to give her a life of possible comforts during her last days. He wasn’t that moved by his alcoholic father’s demise as much he was moved by his mother’s live conditions.
3. Chaplin had a thing or two with young girls
Sir Charlie Chaplin was attracted to teenage women. He had affairs with quite a few of them and married a few also. Mildred Harris, 16 year old, Lita Gray and Paulette Goulard were the ones whom he married until he found his true love Oona O’Neil with whom he fathered 8 children. Charlie was 54 and Oona was just 18 at that time.
4. Fell onto a nasty paternity suit
Joan Berry, an actress of 1940s, had an alleged affair with Chaplin, but refused to marry when proposed by him. Berry had put allegations on Chaplin for “making her available to other people for immoral purposes when in New York”. Also, Berry claimed Charlie to be her daughter’s father. Though the blood tests proved the other way round, still the court found the allegations to be true and slapped him for child support contribution. This resulted into a big time reputation spoiler in Charlie’s career.