CAIRO – 17 April 2022: Charlie Chaplin was a comic legend, whose career spanned over more than 75 years.
Born on April 16, 1889, Chaplin was known to have been a multi-talented artist, who mastered comedic acting, screenwriting, choreography, and directing.
In the book "My Father, Charlie Chaplin” published in its Arabic version recently by Dar Al-Mada Publishing in Baghdad, Charles Chaplin Jr. revealed new aspects about the life of the comic legend, Charlie Chaplin. For instance, it was not known to many that Chaplin dreamed of establishing a virtuous city through art, whose main strength is the interaction of cultures.
The son also reveals that Chaplin lived a difficult and miserable childhood, with his father either drunk or absent, and his mother struggling to earn money. He often suffered from hunger and cold, and when he was 5 years old, his family placed him in a shelter because they were unable to take care of him. This shelter was like military barracks, where he stayed for 2 years before his mother took him back and brought him home. Chaplin realized at an early age that poverty is the best teacher.
Among the son's most important accounts of his father comes a great piece of advice: "You just have to believe in yourself. That's the secret. Even when I was living in the shelter, or wandering about in search of something to keep me alive, I always considered myself the greatest actor in the world. In those very moments I had to feel that fullness that comes from total self-confidence, without which you would be defeated.”
From suffering to talent, the son talks about his father's early talent, which began with theatrical performance during childhood, until he reached the age of 19, and signed a contract with the Fred Karno Studios and traveled to the United States in 1914.
Chaplin rose to fame with Keystone Studios, passing to the moment that changed his life, when he was able to show the “Tramp” within him through playing the role in the film “Kid Auto Races At Venice. It is this side of Chaplin that his son sees as his "alternate self," in which he often used to hide to remain a child who never grows up. This role became Chaplin’s trademark character.
It is this alternate self that, within a few months, made him the highest-paid actor and director in the world. In 1916, he was earning $670,000 a year, a huge figure at the time, and by 1918, he became one of the most well-known personalities in the world.
Chaplin passed away on December 25, 1977.