Autobiography of Charlie Chaplin Essays

Autobiography of Charlie Chaplin Essays

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I was born Charles Spencer Chaplin in Walworth, London on April 16, 1889. I have an older brother, Sydney, but he’s only my half brother- same mother, different father. I was named after my father, but he was a drunk. He died when he was thirty-seven. My mother, Hannah, was a music hall entertainer. Both her physical and mental health fluctuated during my youth. One night, when I was five years old, she became sick during a performance. I went out on stage and sang in her place. I knew then that I loved performing, and I loved it when the audience threw money at me.
It was difficult for my mother to make enough money to support me, Syd, and herself. Syd and I had to share a single pair of shoes, taking turns going from place to place. My mother slipped into insanity. We were constantly made fun of and the authorities separated the three of us for a year. By the time I was fourteen, I was forced to have her committed to an institution. I don’t like to remember my childhood.
When I was about seventeen, Syd introduced me to Fred Karno, who led a vaudeville troupe. I succeeded in impressing him, and I subsequently became a member of the troupe. It was during my time in this troupe that I fell in love with a dancer, named Hetty Kelly. I asked her to marry me, but she, being only sixteen, felt that she was too young. I then asked her to wait for me until I returned from the troupe’s planned trip to New York.
While spending time in New York, I started to become fascinated with the movies. I got a telegram one day from Mack Sennett from Keystone Pictures, who offered me a job in California. He promised $150 per week. I was off to Hollywood within the next month. When we I met Sennett, he did not believe that I was Charlie Chaplin. He said that Charlie Chaplin did the best drunk he had ever seen and that I was too young to be him. I immediately went into my drunk routine, which convinced him. He took me and said, “Forget everything you ever learned, you’re not in the theater anymore.”
At first I was terrified by the movies, but it soon became very natural to me. I walked into a room of costumes and tried many different things on. Sennett and the rest of the crew grew angry as they waited for me to get myself dressed. “I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. Everything a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small...


... middle of paper ...


...mas day, 1977. In all, I was in seventeen feature films, and over seventy short films.



Works Cited
_____. Biography for Charles Chaplin. Internet Movie Database Inc. Copyright © 1990-2005. 11 January, 2005. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000122/bio.

_____. Chaplin, Charlie. Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyrigt © 2005. 11 January, 2005. http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/c/chaplin.asp.

Chaplin, Charlie. “Rhythm: A Story of Men in Macabre Movement.” Script Magazine. January, 1938.

Chaplin. DVD. Dir. Richard Attenborough. Perf. Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Diane Lane, Kevin Kline, Moira Kelly, James Wood. 1992. 144 min.

Gerstein, David. Charlie Chaplin, A World Wide Web Celebration. 11 January, 2005. http://wso.williams.edu/~dgerstei/chaplin/intro.html.

Haining, Peter. The Legend of Charlie Caplin. Book Sales Inc. 110 Enterprise Avenue, Secaucus, NJ. 1982.

Lynn, Kenneth S. Charlie Chaplin and His Times. Simon & Schuster Rockefeller Center. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY. 1997

Raymond, Tom. Charlie Chaplin Biography. “Clown Ministry” Copyright ©WebRing Inc. 28 January, 2005. http://www.clown-ministry.com/History/Charlie-Chaplin.html.

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