Chaplin also gained complete control over production of his films. He wrote and directed nearly all his films, and he composed the music scores for all his sound pictures.
Chaplin's stardom began in 1914, when he first appeared as "the Tramp" or "the Little Fellow". Looking undersized and undernourished, Chaplin wove battered pants much large. He walked in a shuffling manner that suggested he had never worn a pair of shoes his own size. But this figure of poverty also wove gloves and carried a bamboo cane that seemed to reflect a spirit that bounces back from the most crushing defeats.
The last shot in many of Chaplin's early silent films shows him walking down a road into the distance. The Tramp was home less and penniless once more, but with hat tilted and cane flourishing, he again was ready for whatever adventure lay around the corner.
In 1919, Chaplin formed the United Artists film corporation whith actor Douglas Faivbank Sr., actress Mary Pickford and director D.W. Griffith. He made fewer pictures, and those he made were longer and more serious.
He continued to create laughter, but he also seemed to be commenting on why the world of respectability and authority offered so little to the human soul.
His films during this time included "The Kid" (1920) and "The Gold Rush" (1925). Chaplin played the Tramp in these films and in his first twosound films, "City Lights" (1931) and "Modern Times" (1936). In "The Great Dictator" (1940) he played two roles, a humble Jewish barber and a tyrant based on the German dictator Adolf Hitler. Chaplin played a murdered in "Monsieur Verdoux" (1947) and an elderly music hall comedian in Limelight (1952).
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born into a poor London family. He became a variety and music hall performed and began touring the United States in 1910. He lived in the U.S.A. for more that 40 years but never became a citizen. In 1943 Chaplin married Dona O'Neill. It was Chaplin's fourth marriage.
In the 1940's and early 1950's, Chaplin was a center of controversy. Some people criticized Chaplin's personal life as immoral and accused him of supporting Communism. In 1952, Chaplin's traveled to Europe. While he was in Europe, the U.S. government announced that Chaplin could not reenter the United States unless hearings were held on his personal life and political views. Chaplin decided in Switzerland.
In 1972, Chaplin visited the United States to participate in ceremonies in his honor in New York City and Los Angeles. Chaplin received an honorary Oscar at the annual Academy Award ceremonies in April. The award praised Chaplin "for the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century". In 1975, Chaplin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.