So much that I did not know about Charlie Chaplin Despite the demise of silent films, of which he produced a phenomenal amount, he was truly successful from humble beginnings to meeting and befriending politicians, royalty as well as well known film and entertainment personalities A good insight into the world in the early 20th century too. A Silent Comedy Star Whose Legendary Slapstick Routines Are Recognisable To This Day, Charles Charlie Chaplin S My Autobiography Is An Incomparably Vivid Account Of The Life Of One Of The Greatest Filmmakers And Comedians, With An Introduction By David RobinsonAs A Child, Charlie Chaplin Was Awed And Inspired By The Sight Of Glamorous Vaudeville Stars Passing His Home, And From Then On He Never Lost His Ambition To Become An Actor Chaplin S Film Career As The Little Tramp Adored By The Whole World Is The Stuff Of Legend, But This Frank Autobiography Shows Another Side Born Into A Theatrical Family, Chaplin S Father Died Of Drink While His Mother, Unable To Bear The Poverty, Suffered From Bouts Of Insanity From A Childhood Of Grinding Poverty In The South London Slums, Chaplin Found An Escape In His Early Debut On The Music Hall Stage, Followed By His Lucky Break In America, The Founding Of United Artists With DW Griffith And Douglas Fairbanks, The Struggle To Maintain Artistic Control Over His Work, The String Of Failed Marriages, And His Eventual Exile From Hollywood After Personal Scandals And Persecution For His Left Wing Politics During The McCarthy EraSir Charles Charlie Chaplin Was Born In Walworth, London Best Known For His Work In Silent Film, His Most Famous Role Was The Little Tramp, A Universally Recognisable And Iconic Character Who Appeared In Films Such As The Kid , The Gold RushAnd City LightsHis Other Films Include Modern Times , A Commentary On The Great Depression, And The Great Dictator, A Satirical Attack On Hitler And The NazisIf You Enjoyed My Autobiography, You Might Like Andy Warhol S The Philosophy Of Andy Warhol, Also Available In Penguin Modern Classics Tells So Much About This Curious, Difficult Man A Wonderfully Vivid Imagination The New York Times The Only Genius To Come Out Of The Movie Industry George Bernard Shaw Its great to readabout probably the greatest artist of the early 1900s He made 82 films in black and white as well as with sound managing the transition into the talkies its interesting to hear from his perspective about his childhood and later his fame as well He seems to have omitted certain important characters eg his wives from the narrative and only glosses over them in a few sentences Towards the middle of the book, it feels a bit repetitive at times when he describes yet another dinner or meeting with a famous person Great insight into his life though and his character and how he thought. This was the second time that I have read this book Being brought up by parents who were a generation older than the norm, I was brought up watching Chaplin movies and so am a huge fan of his work I bought my mother a copy of the paperback edition of this book as a birthday gift a few years before she died, and found it while clearing out her house, which is when I read it for the first time I am not sure what happened to that original, but was inspired to download and read it for the second time following a visit to see The Artist.Considering that this book was written when Chaplin was in his mid 70 s and unlike modern celebrity memoirs, he did indeed write this all himself it is an astonishing feat of memory As such it covers the period from his birth to the mid 1950 s around the era of Limelight and Monsieur Verdoux, two of his most successful films, and his fall from grace in the United States, where he was accused of being a Communist sympathiser.It is all in here, from his humble beginnings in Lambeth and Kennington and the grinding poverty that led his mother to repeated bouts of insanity, and his meteoric rise to fame Despite his reputation as a womaniser, Chaplin is relatively coy about his love life, with little information on his four marriages mostly it has to be said, to protect the elder of his many children.Despite his rise to fame and incredible wealth, Chaplin never forgot his beginnings, and the things that matter The book reveals an astute mind and understanding of what I would term humanist principles.It is true what they say that films are not made the way they used to be, and I for one would welcome a revival of silent movies and this expressive form of acting and entertaining, where action reigns supreme and the true meaning is lost in words that act as mere symbols for what we feel.To write a comprehensive review of this book would be a tome in itself, but suffice to say that this is a well written and exceedingly readable book, which makes a refreshing change from the egocentric modern celebrity tell all memoirs These so called celebrities and indeed actors, could learn a lot from this man were he still alive. A few months ago whilst on business on a rainy day in Kennington South London, I found myself standing outside a house with a blue plaque Charlie Chaplin lived here .I then saw this book Charles Chaplin My Autobiography and bought it out of curiosity and for something to read on the Tube not expecting very much.I was was completely wrong It is brilliant so well written and the way Charlie writes is so vivid engaging He clearly was often very interested in the people he met and what motivated them and the situations in which he found himself.It certainly pushed asided the preconceptions I had about him as just playing the little tramp and just being a silent movie star without much relevance to modern times On the contrary his life was astonishingly rich and he was greatly loved and respected by people of all walks of life But although he became very wealthly, he never forgot where he came from and he supported socialism He suffered for this at the hands of the American authorities during the McCarthy Era and the anti communist witch hunts.As regards the criticism by another reviewer of his film the Great Dictator and the way it pokes fun at Hitler and the Nazi s Well seeing the funny side is a very English way of dealing with monsters But when Charlie made that film he did not know about the concentration camps We know about them but we still poke fun at the Nazis in comedies such as Allo Allo This book is definitely a good read. This book puts into perspective the reality of true talent and genius, especially when compared with the modern fashion for so many self proclaimed celebrities to produce several autobiographies before they have achieved very much at all.From the early struggles caused by extreme poverty in London to fame, wealth and stardom worldwide, before eventual rejection in America, the story is very well told.It ends with the release of his film Limelight which was the first film I was ever taken to see Little did I know, or would have understood then, how much Charlie Chaplin had done on the film Not only did he write it, direct it, and star in it, but he also wrote the music for it Can anybody else match that Ever