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Charlie Chaplin biography(April 16, 1889 - December 25, 1977)

Charlie Chaplin, who brought laughter to millions worldwide as the silent "Little Tramp" clown, had the type of deprived childhood that one would expect to find in a Dickens novel. Born in East Street, Walworth, London on 16 April, 1889, Charles Spencer Chaplin was the son of a music hall singer and his wife. Charlie Chaplin's parents divorced early in his life, with his father providing little to no support, either financial or otherwise, leaving his mother to support them as best she could. Charlie Chaplin's mother Hannah was the brightest spot in Charlie's childhood; formerly an actor on stage, she had lost her ability to perform, and managed to earn a subsistence living for herself, Charlie, and Charlie's older half-brother Sidney by sewing. She was an integral part of Charlie's young life, and he credited her with much of his success. Sadly, she slowly succumbed to mental illness, and by the time that Charlie Chaplin was 7 years old, she was confined to an asylum; Charlie and Sidney were relegated to a workhouse (a government facility for orphaned and abandoned children) -- not for the last time. After 2 months, she was released, and the family was happily reunited, for a time. In later years, she was readmitted for an 8-month stretch later, during which time Charlie Chaplin lived with his alcoholic father and stepmother, in a strained environment.