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April 16

Charlie Chaplin

Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” has a wobbly little walk, a stubby black mustache, and always clad in a baggy suit, his signature derby hat, and cane.

Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-129062.

1889: The Little Tramp
Charlie Chaplin is born in London, England
Charles Spencer Chaplin was only 14 when he got his first role in a play, and he liked it so much that he soon hit the vaudeville circuit as a comedian. In 1913, he started making silent movies, developing instantly recognizable characters like “the Little Tramp.” He starred in early cinematic masterpieces like City Lights, Modern Times, and The Great Dictator, in which Chaplin combined humor with pointed commentary against the politics of Adolf Hitler, who was rising to power as the film was made.

Chaplin formed United Artists with other stars of the day to secure more control over their work. He wrote scripts and soundtracks, directed himself and others, and generally worked in most every aspect during those early days of film. Charlie Chaplin was one of the world’s first real movie stars and is considered one of the greatest creative talents of 20th century film.
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