Today, 16 April, marks the 129th birth anniversary of Charlie Chaplin, who through his perfect comic timings and expressions made everybody laugh through his silent films. He was born on 16 April 1889 in South London. He became a worldwide icon through his on-screen persona ‘Tramp’ and his career lasted for more than 75 years. His some of the notable work includes in the movie ‘A Woman of Paris’, ‘The Gold Rush’, ‘Lita Grey’, ‘The Circus’, ‘City Lights’ and many more. His life was surrounded by both popularity and controversies. In 1919, he co-founded a company named United Artists which gave him a complete control over films. He was one of the biggest legends of the silent era and in 1972 had received appreciation for his work by receiving Honorary Academy Award for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.”
In 1930’s he refused to work in sound films and instead produced City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. His childhood was full of misery and poverty and there was no dearth of laughter in his house. His father was absent and mother was committed to a mental asylum when he was just 14 years old.
Charlie Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later started working as a stage actor and comedian. At the age of 19, Fred Karno company signed him and took him to America. His movies are characterized by slapstick combined with pathos. In the later years, Chaplin was accused of his connection with a paternity suit and marriages to much younger women caused. Chaplin was forced to leave the United States and settle in Switzerland after an FBI investigation.
Other important events on April 16:
1521: Martin Luther arrives at the Diet of Worms assembly
1452: Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, scientist, and visionary was born
1861: US President Abraham Lincoln outlaws business with confederate states (US Civil War)
1953: British royal yacht Britannia launched by Queen Elizabeth II
2017: World record for the gathering of Charlie Chaplin lookalikes – 662 at Manoir de Ban, Chaplin museum in Vevey, Switzerland