The Chaplin brothers’ bios in Stars Of The Photoplay, 1924


The inaccuracies found in these bios are not necessarily the fault of the writer but of Charlie and Syd themselves who, in early interviews, often fabricated their background to reporters. Unfortunately, these fabrications were repeated over and over again for many years. Neither place of birth is correct (both brothers were born in London). Syd was born March 16th, not 17th (he liked to give St. Patrick’s Day as his birthday). Charlie’s height, as usual, is wrong (and Syd’s, too, perhaps). Charlie was closer to 5′ 6 1/2″ & the brothers were about the same height (see here). Charlie usually underestimated his height to reinforce his image as the “Little Fellow.” To clarify some of the other information. Syd’s role in Sherlock Holmes was obtained for him by Charlie who was playing Billy, the Page Boy at the time. The company never toured America. Charlie did more than just “some clog dancing in a London Theater.” He toured the provinces with the Eight Lancashire Lads for two years.

The bios include beautiful photos of the brothers by Albert Witzel (Charlie) and Clarence Sinclair Bull (Syd).

4 Comments

  1. I saw a photo of the Lancashire Lads last month. Charlie was singled out as a 90 % sure. All the boys were in clogs. Now I can't remember what site.

  2. The 'CC Stage by Stage' article was the one I saw. Wow, a closer look at those clogs in your links there. My friends used to be cloggers.Thankyou

  3. As we discussed, Syd used these attributes in his listing in Motion Picture Studio Directories, 1919 & 1921 (ancestry.com). Whether they exhibit any aspect of the truth, however, remains suspect.

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