125th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN

125th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN  

Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in a suburb of London on 16 April 1889. His childhood was marked by economic and family difficulties, but that experience did not stop his talent from emerging. He began to appear on stage at the age of seven, and he joined a theater company when he was fourteen. An international tour brought him to the United States in 1913, and there, in a Hollywood on the rise, he signed his first film contract. Only two years later he introduced the character known as “the Little Tramp”, an unforgettable portrayal of a vagabond with a black moustache, a bowler hat, a tight and short jacket, baggy pants and a walking cane. As an actor, director, screenwriter, comedian, composer and producer, Chaplin’s artistic talent was evident in the versatility of his works. His great intuition was to analyze the injustices of modern society through the telling of stories by a comic character. During a time of economic and industrial progress, the Little Tramp became a symbol of redemption through the satire of the most marginalized classes. Counted among the most talented artists of the 1900s, Charlie Chaplin gave a fundamental contribution to the transformation of cinema from being a simple form of entertainment to a new means of communication able to recount and express realities and events of great and profound complexity. Some of his most memorable works, which impressed millions of spectators around the world, include: The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator. It was only in 1972, five years before his death, that Chaplin was awarded an Oscar for his invaluable contribution to the art of cinematography. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will mark the 125th anniversary of his birth with a postage stamp in order to celebrate this artist whose work impacted more than fifty years of the history of film.