Photo Essays
1. Exile’s Return
2. Chaplin’s Parents
3. Hannah Chaplin’s Femmes Fatales
4. Playing Dress-Up  In The Land of Make Believe
5. Teenage Girls and Fear of Aging
6. Chaplin’s Three Teenage Wives
7. Mildred Harris
8. Lita Grey
9. Oona O’Neill
10. Chaplin’s Father
11. A Royal Lion
12. Vesta Tilley as Bertie
13. Ella Shields as Bertie
14. Making A Living
15. The Lion Comique’s Son: Dressed Like A Bum
16. Monsieur Verdoux as a Lion Comique
17. Calvero as a Lion Comique
18. The Lion Comique’s Son in the Limelight
19. Charlie as a Child
20. The Kid’s Lucky Break
21. Syd Chaplin
22. A Family Album of Theatrical Drunks
23. Chaplin’s Family Romance
24. Edna Purviance
25. Purviance’s Influence on Chaplin’s Character
26. Essanay
27. Chaplinitis
28. Chaplin’s Predecessors
29. Eye Contact: Audience-Performer Intimacy
30. Chaplin the Auteur
31. Chaplin’s Two Autobiographies
32. Going It Alone
33. The Circus
34. Autobiographical Starvation Scenes From The Gold Rush
35. Autobiographical Madness Scenes in Modern Times
36. Two British Music Hall Traditions and Topical Comedy
37. The Great Dictator
38. Fatal Attraction: Joan Barry
39. Monsieur Verdoux: Guillotine or Hatchet Job?
40. Limelight
Chaplin: A Life In Film
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 The Circus
Jeffrey Vance Collection Jeffrey Vance Collection
Hannah Hill and Charlie Chaplin Sr . were aspiring adolescent actors when they met and fell in love while touring in the road show company of Shamus O’Brien in 1881. The two dreamers--Cockney-born teenagers--both came form working-class families and hoped to become famous music hall stars.

Sixteen-year-old Hannah’s chosen stage name Lillie Harley echoed that of her idol Lillie Langtry, the glamorous actress who parlayed her stage career into an affair with The Prince of Wales (whom she playfully addressed as “Bertie”). Langtry’s career proved that commoners and kings could and did freely meet and mingle: Hannah Hill’s fondest hope for herself.

A hopeful young actress with grand ambitions, Hannah fancied herself a future royal consort. She identified both with Nell Gwyn (the Cockney-born actress and mistress of Charles II) and Josephine de Beauharnais (who employed her seductive feminine wiles to conquer Napoleon). Hannah’s romantic fantasies inspired her to tell her impressionable young son, Charlie, that his namesake father, Charlie Chaplin Sr. had been the spitting image of Napoleon when they first met and fell in love.

“Mother was a soubrette on the variety stage, a mignonne in her late twenties, with fair complexion, violet-blue eyes and long light-brown hair that she could sit upon. Though she was not an exceptional beauty, we thought her divine-looking…she was dainty, attractive and had compelling charm,” Chaplin recalled [1964.]

In addition to being Hannah’s dark, brooding and moody version of Napoleon, 18-year-old Charlie Sr. had a fine light baritone voice and would go on to have a successful career playing the stage role of handsome, sartorially elegant men-about-town who were would-be ladykillers.
© 2008 All Essay Rights Reserved.

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service marks of Bubbles Inc. S.A. and/or Roy Export Company
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