Thanks to Trish for identifying the man in this photo, which was included in my post about the Five Non-Charlies from yesterday. His name is Milt Gross, a comic book artist from the early 20th century. But he also had a Charlie Chaplin connection. Gross evidently worked with Charlie as a gagman on The Circus. In the comments section of my post, Trish included an interesting article about Gross, which mentions his work on The Circus, as well as his resemblance to Charlie (which is more noticeable in the photo below). But best of all, it includes a great little anecdote about Gross, sitting incognito behind a plant, watching Charlie read aloud from his book, Nize Baby:
"[Cartoonist] Bob Dunn remembered that Gross looked remarkably like Chaplin, and he idolized the famous actor. “Milt told me he ‘got’ what Chaplin was doing,” Dunn once wrote. “He understood the subtleties that the little tramp character used so effectively. Nize Baby, Milton’s book of wild Jewish dialect, was a literary blockbuster of 1926-27. The young author was invited out to Hollywood under contract to Carl Laemmle. On his first time alone, with no Laemmle press agent to steer him here or there, Milt went to a little table in the corner of the annex, behind a potted plant. On the other side of the rubber aspidistra was Charlie Chaplin with a party of six. Chaplin had his guest belly-laughing their head off. How? He was reading Nize Baby to them, giving the Bronx dialect a reading worthy of an Oscar. Milt said it was his ‘Life’s Greatest Moment.’"