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Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on April 16 1889 in WalworthLondon and lived a Dickensian childhood shared with his brother Sydneythat included extreme poverty workhouses and seeing his mothers mentaldecline put her into an institution Both his parents though separated whenhe was very young were music hall artists his father quite famously so Butit was his mother Charlie idolized and was inspired by during his visitsbackstage while she performed to take up such a career for himself He achieved his ambition when he joined a dancing troop the EightLancashire Lads and this eventually led onto parts in Sherlock Holmes andCaseys Court Circus Sydney meanwhile had joined the famous Fred KarnoCompany and quickly became a leading player and writer therein Hemanaged to get Charlie involved and he too became a Karno star For bothboys Karno was almost a college of comedy for them and the period had aIn 1910 Charlie toured the US with the Karno group and returnedfor another in 1912 It was on this tour that he was head hunted by MackSennett and his Keystone Film Company and Charlie was thus introducedinto the medium of film His first film in 1914 was aptly titled Making ALiving and it was directed by Henry Lehrman He starred in many of hisKeystones along side Mabel Normand who also directed three of his films but it wasnt until Twenty Minutes of Love that he had a taste of directinghimself and this quickly became the only way he workedHis success was such that he was able to move from one company toanother each time into a better deal In 1915 after thirty-five films hemoved to Essanay and it was here he really found his feet not to mention hislongest serving leading lady Edna Purviance Notable films during thisperiod include The Champion The Tramp and The Bank In 1916 he movedto Lone Star Mutual with even greater control and financial rewards Herehe made the definitive Chaplin short comedies The Rink
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