|Date of Birth
||16 April 1889,
|Place of Birth
||Walworth, London, England, UK
Charles Chaplin's parents, Charles and Hannah Chaplin, were music hall entertainers. His first stage appearance, at age five, was singing a song in place of his mother who had become ill. At eight he toured 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 the next month. His first movie, Making a Living (1914), premiered in February of 1914. He 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 1917. 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 _Woman of Paris, A (1923)_ . In 1929, at the first Oscar awards,he won a special award "for versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing" The Circus (1928). In 1943 he was accused of fathering a child; the papers made much of the scandal, but it was proved in a court trial that he was not the father. The same year he entered his fourth marriage, to Oona Chaplin, daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill. They had eight children. Tired of political and moralistic controversies and plagued with tax problems, he left the United States for Switzerland in 1952. He 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.