Charlie Chaplin was many things to many people. He was first and foremost a great silent artist. He was a complex individual who delighted and enraged. He moved human beings emotionally one-way or the other. He lived at the top of the world, and his screen image (instantly recognizable in silhouette) pierced the psyches of people everywhere. .
Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889 in Walworth. London. He spent his childhood in extreme poverty. Although both his parents were music hall artists, they separated when he was very young. But it was his mother who inspired him to pursue a career in music and acting. Though he pursued learning passionately in later years, young Charlie left school at 10 to work as a mime and roustabout on the British vaudeville circuit.
Chaplin started off his career when he joined the Eight Lancashire Lads, which eventually lead him to parts in Sherlock Holmes and Casey's Court Circus. Later, his brother, Sydney, managed to get Charlie involved with the Fred Karno Company, which was basically a comedians college. In the early 1910's, Charlie toured the United States with the Karno group. While on his tours, Charlie became associated with the Keystone Film Company, in which Charlie took his first glimpse into the emerging movie industry. .
In his early movie career, Chaplin starred in Making A Living and other movies made by Keystone Film Company. And finally Chaplin experienced directing a movie when he directed Twenty Minutes of Love. As Chaplin's success increased, he moved on to other film companies with better deals. Along with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith, Chaplin formed United Artists in 1919. For 13 years, he resisted talking pictures, launched with The Jazz Singer in 1927. Even then, the talkies he made, among them the masterpieces The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947) and Limelight (1952), were daringly far-flung variations on his greatest silent films, The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928) and City Lights (1931).