This novel, which was never published or even intended for publication, was written by Chaplin as a preliminary to the 1952 film, Limelight. It took over three years to complete & more than thirty pages are dedicated to the past of the main characters, Calvero & Terry (nine pages are given to the romance between Calvero and Eva Morton, who would become one of his five wives, but is never mentioned in the film).
|Page from the novel. Source: Limelight: Chaplin Project N. 1.|
|Page from the novel describing Terry’s childhood. Source: Limelight: Chaplin Project N. 1|
Early versions of the Limelight screenplay reveal that Chaplin originally wanted to integrate the backstory of the characters into the film. Actresses were hired to play Terry as a child, as well as her mother and sister, Louise. Chaplin later abandoned this idea.
Footlights was the first novel Chaplin ever attempted to write.
|Young Terry and her mother in a deleted scene from Limelight.|