If you want to know the life story of a great artist, you may be wondering: What did Charlie Chaplin do? He had an unsavory history of law breaking, sexual depravity, and political activism. The following article will cover some of his artistic accomplishments and his unsavory behavior.
Unsavory record of law breaking
In the 1950s, the FBI was investigating Charlie Chaplin. The FBI’s definition of “un-American activity” was wide-ranging, and they were concerned that Chaplin’s cultural status could pose a threat to national security. Nevertheless, despite the agency’s efforts, they never proved Chaplin’s communist affiliation.
In the 1917 short film, The Immigrant, Chaplin played a mistreated immigrant and even kicked an immigration official when he was walking by. This act was deemed unpatriotic by FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, who used the incident to investigate Chaplin.
In another instance, Chaplin had sexual relations with young women under the age of consent. This he did with the intent of avoiding prosecution. He also paid a doctor $25,000 to falsify a birth certificate for one of his children. In the aftermath, Chaplin was denounced in the Senate.
The sexual depravity of Charlie Chaplin is well documented. His divorce papers reveal that he abused his teenage wife, Lita Grey, and had her perform degrading sexual acts with him. The teen actress became pregnant with his child at age 16, but refused to get an abortion. Her mother even threatened Chaplin with charges if she did not marry him before she turned 18. In spite of the allegations against her son, Charlie Chaplin eventually married Grey, and even gave his son an honorary Oscar in 1972.
Unlike the scandals surrounding Harvey Weinstein, the sexual depravity of Charlie Chaplin was largely covered up by the studio press agents. Although he was a great comic genius, his depravity was notorious. His first victim was a sixteen-year-old girl named Mildred Harris. She gave birth to a child with Chaplin and later married him to avoid statutory rape charges.
After the Second World War, the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began investigating left-wing political views in the entertainment industry. Chaplin was subpoenaed to appear before HUAC three times. At the time, the FBI was led by J. Edgar Hoover, who compiled a 1,900-page file on Chaplin’s political activism. He eventually advised the Attorney General to let Chaplin return to the country.
Chaplin’s political activism had a lasting effect on his life. He remained in Switzerland until his death, returning only to the US in 1972 to receive an Academy Award. He made two more films before dying at age ninety-two in Switzerland.
Charlie Chaplin’s career as an actor and film director was marked by a commitment to perfection. His films, including City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936), were filled with the perfect balance of sentimentality and comedy. He later expanded his filmography to include dialog-driven movies, such as The Great Dictator (1940) and Monsieur Verdoux (1947).
Charlie Chaplin’s films were often acclaimed for their social commentary. His 1936 masterpiece Modern Times was a satirical take on the world of mass production. The film was a reaction against the standardized lifestyle of the time, in which men were turned into machines. His revolutionary approach to society was reflected in his innovative style of performance. Chaplin’s mechanical body mannerisms were admired by social realists and avant-garde artists alike.
Charlie Chaplin’s private life was filled with scandals, misadventures, and misgivings. His movie career was one of the most successful of the 20th century, but he was also one of the most prolific sex offenders. Despite his countless successes, Chaplin abused women and was accused of sexual misconduct with actresses half his age.
His marriage to young actress Joan Berry, at age 19, lasted just two years. Their relationship was fraught with conflict. Chaplin was unwilling to support his wife’s career and questioned her talent. In response, she filed a lawsuit against him. The divorce was final in 1942. Chaplin was never arrested for statutory rape.
After his death, Chaplin’s home in Vevey, Switzerland, became a museum and opened to the public. In 1987, his cane and hat sold for PS82,500, or approximately $150,000, indicating that he still held secrets from his early years. Oona Chaplin’s private life is not well-documented, but she did play a role in the Chaplin family’s life.