Charlie Chaplin's Hat on Display

Some of the items belonging to the famous British actor and director will soon be auctioned off in London

By Entertainment News Staff   October 18th, 2005 09:19 GMT
Charlie Chaplin's trademark bowler hat and cane, used in the classic movie THE TRAMP, are set to go on display in Hollywood, before going up for auction in London.

An impersonator plays Chaplin's part from one of the movie scenes during the four hours exhibition at Bonhams & Butterfields auction house.

The items will be included afterwards at a rock 'n' roll and film memorabilia auction in London, which is set to take place on November 16.

Charlie Chaplin was born Charles Spencer Chaplin in London, England on 16 April 1889. His parents, Charles Chaplin Senior and Hannah Hill were music hall entertainers; they separated shortly after Charlie was born, Charles leaving Hannah to provide for her children. In 1896, when Hannah was no longer able to care for her children, Charlie and his brother Sydney were admitted to Lambeth Workhouse and, later, Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children.

Charlie debuted in the music hall in 1894, after his mother became very ill, when he had sung a song. At the age of 8, he was already touring in a musical, "The Eight Lancaster Lads". Nearly 11, he appeared in "Giddy Ostende" at London's Hippodrome. From age 17 to 24 he was with Fred Karno's English vaudeville troupe, which brought him to New York in 1910, aged 21.

In November of 1913 he signed a contract with Mack Sennett at Keystone and left for Hollywood.
His first movie, Making a Living (1914), premiered in February of 1914. Chaplin made 35 films that year, moved to Essanay in 1915 and did 14 more, then jumped over to Mutual for 12 two-reelers in 1916 and 19177. In 1918 he joined First National (later absorbed by Warner Bros.) and in 1919 formed United Artists along with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith.
His first full-length film was The Kid (1921); his first for UA, which he produced and directed himself, was A Woman of Paris (1923). In 1929, he won a special award "for versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing The Circus (1928) at the first Oscar awards. In 1943, he was accused of fathering a child; the papers made much of the scandal, but he was proven in a court trial not to be the father. The same year he entered his fourth marriage, to Oona Chaplin, daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill. Charlie and Oona had eight children.

In 1952 he decided to move to Switzerland, tired of political and moralistic controversies and plagued with tax problems.
Chaplin published his memoirs in 1964.
In 1972 he returned to Hollywood to claim a special Oscar honoring his lifetime contributions to movies. He was named Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1975. He died in his sleep from old age.

Comments