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Chaplin, Charles, 1889 - 1977



Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin KBE was an English actor, filmmaker, and composer most famed for his creation of the Tramp character, which to this day is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry.

In spite of Charles growing up in poverty due to his mother’s ill health and mental health problems and his father’s abandonment and alcoholism, Charles managed to become one of the most successful film starts of his time and have one of the longest careers of any celebrities of the time lasting until a year before his death.

Charles started his career in performance as a child growing up in Victorian England, no doubt influenced by his parents, both of who were music hall performers. Charles toured music halls and theatres around England until at nineteen years of age he was signed by Fred Karno, who took him on tour to America.

By 1918, Charles had achieved worldwide fame and was directing his own films and gradually taking control over all aspects of his work, especially after co-founded United Artists in 1919.

In the 1940s Charles’s political ideas and life style raised controversy and the FBI opened an investigation against him. Charles was forced to leave the United States and moved to Switzerland.

Charles’ health stated to decline in the 1960s. although he continued working and making appearances until a year before his death in 1977.

Through the course of his career Charles received many awards and honours including a Knighthood in 1975 an honorary Doctorate in Letters degrees by the University of Oxford and the University of Durham in 1962, the Erasmus Prize in 1965 and Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour by the French government in 1971. In 1972 he received a special Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lincoln Centre Film Society and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Charles also received three Academy Awards in 1929, 1972 and 1973 and was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in 1976.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Cyril Critchlow Collection

Reference code: NFA0089
Scope and Contents The Cyril Critchlow collection contains programmes, posters, handbills, books and magic journals, many of which relate to shows in Blackpool where Cyril resided and includes material on entertainment venues such as Blackpool’s North Pier, Central Pier, South Pier, Tower Circus and a small collection of programmes from other national venues. Additionally, it contains circus photographs and postcards mainly of the Ohmy Circus and Sanger Circus including individual circus troupes and performers...
Dates: c1837 - 2008

Newspaper Cuttings and Scrapbooks, c1832 - 1999

Reference code: 178G25
Scope and Contents

Various newspaper cuttings and scrapbooks about variety and circus performers including the Ohmy and Sanger families.

Dates: c1832 - 1999

The Stage and The World’s Fair Scrapbook, c1920 - 1939

Reference code: 178G25.1
Scope and Contents

Scrapbook containing newspaper cuttings from the Stage and The World’s Fair about performers including Charlie Chaplin, Joe Hodson and Dan Leno. 26pp, nineteen blank, seven lose pages and one lose envelope.

Dates: c1920 - 1939