February 2, 2021
A Rare Candid Photo Of Charlie Chaplin, Colorized
Everyone knows who Charlie Chaplin was, even if you never saw one of his films. The iconic mustache, bowler hat, and his pantomiming perfection cemented him as an immortalized comedic genius. Even though the legendary actor’s exploits began over 100 years ago, people still know the name and the unforgettable tramp that set the bar for what was funny.
As ubiquitous as Chaplin remains in our culture, there's something special about seeing him in color. Photos of a young Chaplin are all in black and white, placing him very firmly in the past. Through colorization techniques we can actually see what it would look like if Chaplin were around today.
However, Chaplin’s actual life was far from the high jinx-laden theatre that became his calling card. Many famous people live through a controversy or two but Chaplin lived through more difficult times than most of Hollywood combined. Naturally, a few of the scandals were of his own making.
An Early Start & Difficult Upbringing
Chaplin’s parents were both down on their luck entertainers who’d perform for anyone who’d pay them. Whether it was music halls or street corners, young Charlie got a taste of the life of a performer before he could read properly. At age 5, his mother lost her voice on stage and a precocious Chaplin was ushered on stage to fill the gap.
According to the History Channel, Chaplin belted out a popular song called, “Jack Jones,” which endeared him to the crowd. He further won them over by announcing he’d pick up the money showered upon him before continuing and mimicking his mother’s lost voice.
Tragically, his mother’s lost voice was part of her never ending battle with a litany of health issues. Ultimately, she was committed to an insane asylum for many years before a successful Chaplin rescued her. His father abandoned his two kids and died of alcoholism; Charlie and his brother ended up in a public boarding school. The 18 months spent there became the longest period of schooling he would receive.