Charlie Chaplin was the undisputed “King of Silent Film” in his time. He paved the way for stars such as Mr. Bean and is still celebrated around the world today. There are chances that you’ve probably come across one or two videos of Charlie Chaplin on the Internet. They are often used as memes and used to elicit humour because of how hilarious they are.
Charlie Chaplin lived during the “Silent Film” era in the 20th century and enjoyed a career that spanned over 75 years. He redefined the entertainment industry and is still considered a notable figure till this day. However, things were not always rosy for the legendary showman
Chaplin’s childhood was one plagued by poverty and hardship. Due to the absence of his father and the financial instability of his mother, he started engaging in manual labour at the tender age of 9. It didn’t take long for young Chaplin to find love for entertainment and soon he was appearing in movies.
Being the genius that he was, he developed the Tramp Persona – which he is widely known for – and soon built a large fanbase. His influence was so undeniable early on in his career that he had already become one of the most famous figures in the world.
A true master of his craft, Chaplin not only acted but produced, directed, and wrote the bulk of his work. This control he had over his career soon saw him rise to become the highest-paid performer in the world.
By the prime of his career, he had become richer than the then president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. This played out due to a contract he signed with a film corporation in New York. This contract brought about the increase in his salary to $670,000 per year. This amount, by today’s standard, is the equivalent of an incredible $15.7 million dollars.
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Aside from the financial success Charlie Chaplin achieved in his career, he also earned a good number of accolades as well. For instance, he was the first actor to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. This honour was conferred on him on July 6, 1925. Prior to this, Time Magazine had only covered politicians, military personnel, and other high-profile individuals. This goes to show how much impact Chaplin had on the society at large.
Chaplin was a charmer in his personal life as much as he was on screen. He had a total of four marriages in his lifetime: the first was to Mildred Harris who he married when he was 29 and she was 16; the second was to Lita Grey who was also 16 when he married her; the third, when he was 47, was to 28 year old Paulette Goddard; and his final marriage was to 18-year-old Oona O’Neill who he married and remained with till his death in 1977.
You’ll no doubt be intrigued to learn that Chaplin has a space asteroid named in his honour. The asteroid is called “36:23 Chaplin”, coined by a Russian astronomer Lyudmila Karachkina.