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Charlie Chaplin: Born in South London

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British actor and director

1889 16 April: Born in East Street, Walworth, south London. Parents were Music Hall performers.
1891 Lived on Barlow Street, Walworth (according to 1891 census). 
c1892 Parents separated. Father travelled to New York City.
1894 (5) Appeared on stage in Aldershot and sang Jime Jones.
1895 Mother had a breakdown.
1897 Chaplin toured in Eight Lancashire Lads troupe (aged 8).

1898 Chaplin and mother attended Lambeth Workhouse. 
Lived at 39 Methley Street, Kennington.
1890s Lived at Chester Street, & 3 Pownall Terrace (demolished), Kennington.

1901 Lived at 94 Ferndale Road (according to 1891 census). 
Father died of alcoholism.
1903 May: Chaplin’s mother was committed to Cane Hill Asylum (until 1921?)
1906 Brother Sydney Chaplin (1885-1965) joined Fred Karno Troupe. Karno had houses in Southwell Road and Vaughan Road (?), Camberwell which he named the Fun Factory.
1908 Feb: Sydney Chaplin got Charlie a job with Fred Karno Troupe.

1910-1911 Toured US with the Fred Karno troupe
1912 June  Back in England. Placed his mother at Peckham House, a private asylum in south London that cost 30 shillings a week
2nd US tour with the Fred Karno Troupe. Stan Laurel now with troupe.
1913 23 Sept: Signed up to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Film Company in Los Angeles.
1914 2 Feb:  Appeared in his first film Making A Living.
7 Feb: Appeared as the “Little Tramp” in his second film.
(25) Then appeared in 33 other Keystone films that year.
1915 Moved to Essannay Studios where he wrote, directed & acted in 12 films. 
1916-7 Made 12 films for Mutual which led to his success. 
Key films included Easy Street (27:23 it has been suggested that East Street, his birthplace, was the inspiration), Behind the Scenes & The Vagabond.
1918-23 Signed with First National for 8 films. Married Mildred Harris.
1919 (30) Formed United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford & DW Griffiths

1920 Charlie & Mildred divorced.
1921 Filmed The Kid.
Visited London (Pathe news film 1:31) where huge crowds of thousands met him at Waterloo Station and the Ritz. 

Later took a taxi to Waterloo Bridge and then, on his own, he walked to Lambeth Walk an old haunt of his childhood. 
A few days later he visited 3 Pownall Terrace in Kennington (demolished in 1968) where he had lived in a little room at the top of the house. He told the occupier ”many’s the time I’ve banged my head on that sloping ceiling,” after he was taken to see his old room. Attic scenes in The Kid possibly a copy of that room in Pownall Terrace.
Placed his mother back to USA with him
Decorated by French government. 

1922 The FBI began a secret file on Chaplin.
1923 Chaplin’s mother came to America to live.
1924 (35) Married his second wife, actress Lita Grey (aged 16). 
1925 Filmed The Gold Rush.

First actor to appear on cover of Time magazine.
Battle ship Potemkin his favourite film.
Charles Chaplin Jnr born (later an actor).
1926 Now the most famous star in the world.
Second son, Sydney Chaplin, born, later an actor.
1928 Filmed The Circus. 
Chaplin’s mother died at Physicians’ and Surgeons’ Hospital in Glendale. 
Divorced from Lita.
1929 (40) Won an honorary Oscar.

1931 City Lights (silent). Visited UK for premiere.

1932 Back in USA, he began a relationship with Paulette Goddard.
1936 Modern Times (silent)

Great Dictator (first with dialogue). 

Began an affair with Joan Barry.
1942 May: Chaplin gave a speech supporting a second front in Europe to aid Russia.
1943 Married Oona O’Neill (Oona was 18 and Chaplin 54.).
1944 (55) Daughter Geraldine Chaplin born (later to appear in Dr Zhivago). 
1947 Chaplin opposed House of Un-American Activities.
Monsieur Verdoux.

1952 Used Buster Keaton in Limelight
23 Sept:Visited London with Oona. Photographed at his childhood home in Kennington.

16 Oct:  Premiere of Limelight.

1953 Settled with his family at the Manoir de Ban in Corsier sur Vevey, Switzerland.
1957 Filmed A King In New York in London.

1960 Charles Chaplin Jnr wrote a biography of Chaplin - My Father, Charlie Chaplin.
1962 Youngest son Christopher born (Chaplin was 73). 
1964 (75) My Autobiography published. 
1967 Filmed A Countess In Hong Kong in London.
1968 Charles Chaplin Jnr died.
1969 (80) Wrote music for his silent films.

1972 Returned to USA to receive an honorary Oscar.
1974 (85) My Life In Pictures (pictorial autobiography) published.
1975 Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. 
1977 25 Dec: Died in Switzerland.

1982 Unknown Chaplin (ITV) An essential documentary by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. Narrated by James Mason.

Chaplin His Life & Art - David Robinson (McGraw-Hill 1985)
Chaplin Genius of Cinema - Jeffrey Vance (Abrams 2003)
Charlie Chaplin’s South London (Quality School Brochures 2008)
Charlie Chaplin - Peter Ackroyd (Chatto 2014)

Charlie Chaplin - The Mutual Films Collection 1916-17 
Charlie Chaplin Complete Box Set


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