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Charles Spencer Chaplin b1889-d1977 movie actor producer screenwriter director composer Born in London England the son of music hall entertainers his mother had a nervous breakdown and his father died when he was five He became a street urchin with his half brother dancing of pennies in the street After a time in an orphanage he joined a theater troupe and by the age of 17 he came of the United States on a tour where in 1912 he joined the Keystone company Chaplin made 35 films in one year with Keystone many of which he wrote and directed as well as creating the character of the Tramp He had the appearance of improvisation but he worked out every last detail of his films In 1915 he joined Essanay making his masterpiece The Tramp In 1919 he became one of the founders along with Douglas Fairbanks Mary Pickford and DWGriffith to find United Artist Still under contract with First National he made the film that made him an international star The Kid He went on to make City Lights1928Modern Times1936 The Great Dictator1940 Limelight1952 Over the years he had been criticized for his many romantic affairs with younger women In 1952 on a ship to England he was informed that he might not be permitted back into the US because of his alleged leftist views He settled in Switzerland with his wife Oona with whom he had 8 children He did not return to the US until 1972 to accept a Special Academy Award In 1975 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and regarded as one of the few individuals to be a true genius of motion pictures During the 1970s Chaplin became older and frail bet the compultion to keep working remained During the Academy Awards in 1995 a poll of movie critics was conducted to name the greatest actor of all The winner was Charlie Chaplin He died very
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