Charlie Chaplin was born as Charles Spencer Chaplin on 16 April, 1889 in Walworth, South London. Charlie lived with his single mother and brother in the district of Kennington. His mother had no source of permanent income other than the occasional dressmaking and nursing that she did. So Charlie’s family was always living in the midst of poverty and hardship. Charlie was sent to a workhouse at the age of seven because his mother was no longer able to look after him.
In 1898, he and his brother were sent to Norwood School which was an institution meant for destitute children. His mother was sent to Cane Hill mental asylum as a result of developing a psychosis. She was in and out of the mental asylum till her death in 1928. For some time Charlie and his brother went to live with their father. But he had become a severe alcoholic and died two years later. His brother joined the Navy whereas Charlie roamed the streets searching for food and a place to sleep.
He joined the Eight Lancashire Lads clog-dancing troupe and toured English music halls for two years. He was appreciated for his dancing but he himself was beginning to show interest in performing comedy acts. He enrolled in theatre at the age of 14. He played various roles and was appreciated to start with. Then came the first call of destiny for this young boy. His act in the play ‘Sherlock Holmes’ was so appreciated by the public that he was selected to play the role in three nationwide tours. He stayed with this play for two and half years till he was 18.