Great artists live through centuries. Their body may die but not their art. Charlie Chaplin is one of the great artists who still makes us laugh. A recognizable face to everyone around the world, but how well did you know about his life?
It is tragic and terrible. The perfect example for the tears of the clown is Charlie Chaplin. Happy face to entertain us in movies and crying inside in real life.
He faces a lot of personal, professional, and political issues that you could ever imagine.
Let’s know the untold story of Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin’s childhood struggles
Both his father and mother came from theatrical backgrounds. His father had a very good relationship with not Chaplin but with alcohol. His father is called Charles Spencer Chaplin. I will use Charles to avoid confusion.
Charles is an alcoholic. He abandoned his family leaving no money to survive. At that time Charlie Chaplin was just 1 year old. When Chaplin later came under his guidance, he abused him. He was eventually arrested and later died when Chaplin was 12.
Despite his father being a demon, his mother is an angel. Hannah alone took care of his son Chaplin and Sydney. She tried as much to provide shelter and food to her sons by acting on stage.
But it’s not enough. Chaplin mimics his mother’s comic performances and singing. That’s where his acting performance starts.
He dances in the streets with his half-brother Sydney to collect pennies. Even though Charlie Chaplin lives in hardships, it’s considered a happy time because he has a family. He is going to lose that sooner.
Hannah suddenly loses her voice while performing onstage. The manager panicked and insisted someone do something.
Chaplin performed on stage for her mother. This started the career of Chaplin and unfortunately the sadness too.
Losing the voice is the symptom. Later Hannah was institutionalized for mental illness. Chaplin was forced to live with his father and then workplaces. Chaplin spent his teenage years searching for food and work. Sydney joined the navy and Chaplin became alone.
Charlie Chaplin’s greatest success and suffering
Chaplin worked as a newspaper vendor, doctor’s boy, toymaker, printer, and many others. Until he got the role of a drunk and toured America. America loved Chaplin, so he got the chance to play into motion pictures.
He created that iconic character, the little tramp, in his 2nd film. The guy with a short mustache, lousy trousers, tight black jacket, a small black bowler hat, and a cane and how could anyone forget that famous penguin walk.
Chaplin’s acting performance made him rich. He earns more than US president Woodrow Wilson of his time. He made 34 films in 1914 alone.
He’s no more have to search for food in the streets. But he searched for something else. He married 3 times and got divorced. It was only the 4th time he continued to live. His wives were a lot younger than him.
It gets him into a lot of controversy and hatred. Chaplin has become famous worldwide and most Hollywood films have been a huge success. You only knew him as a comedian, but he writes most of his movies and produces it by his own company too.
He becomes a true genius and gives artistic movies like The Gold Rush and The kid. Sounds were introduced in movies. But he still pursues silent films, and it helped him to reach worldwide without the barrier of language.
When an artist becomes limitless, society pulls and gives troubles. That’s what exactly happened to him.
Falling and rejections of Charlie Chaplin
Hitler and Chaplin not only share the same style of mustache. There is also something that bound them together. Not in a friendly manner. Chaplin couldn’t ignore the cruelness of the Nazis. The world was scared of Hitler but not Chaplin.
Chaplin made The Great Dictator in which he plays Hitler and his iconic little tramp. He made fun of Hitler, and he describes the importance of democracy.
Chaplin criticized that he couldn’t speak properly that’s why he only does silent films. But he shuts their mouths with a speech about democracy in the final minutes of the movie.
The Great Dictator is a full-length true sound film and a masterpiece of acting and filmmaking. There is a saying that Hitler likes Chaplin until this movie.
But it’s not the Hitler or Nazi ruined Chaplin’s life. It’s the same people who loved him.
Chaplin was native to English and America is an adopted country for him. He never gets citizenship of America despite his 40 years of living there.
Due to industrialization and capitalistic policies, the industries treat labor as slaves. He projects the true sufferings of labor workers in his Modern Times movie.
This makes the US government angry. America started labeling Chaplin as a communist and supporter of the USSR. People are starting to claim Chaplin as an outsider and anti-American. They protested against him.
When he made a trip to Europe he was exiled from America by the US government. He spent his next 25 years in Switzerland. He returned to America only once. To get the honorary Oscar.
He continues to make films until he dies, but everyone rejects him. He died in 1977 on the happiest day of the year, Christmas.
A great artist never cares about his personal struggles, political pressures, or even the people’s support. They persist in giving their artwork whatever means they could find.
Charlie Chaplin may not be a good human, but he is one of the greatest artists. No one can deny that.
This is one of my favourite quotes of Charlie Chaplin which explains the sadness of his life.
I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.Charlie Chaplin
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The tragedies of Chaplin sound overwhelming, and you think it’s ended. But it’s not.
After he died some thieves stole Chaplin’s body as a hostage and asked for ransom. Later the police rescued Chaplin’s body and buried him in the concrete slab. They don’t even let the man rest in peace after he died too.
If you love this article, check out our dedicated series called Art Uncovered discussing the arts and artists like Charlie Chaplin.
Comment down your favorite Chaplin movie and the reason.
My favorite is the Great dictator for the courage of an artist.
If you love my writing, check out my other article explaining the hidden male supremacy and the portrayal of women in films.