Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas with Charlie (and Jackie)

Another installment in my annual "Christmas With Charlie" series.

From the Los Angeles Times, November 16, 1920:
Charlie Chaplin emerged from seclusion yesterday to announce that he will be in Los Angeles to celebrate the Christmas holidays. The announcement came in a telegram sent by him from New York to Jackie Coogan, child screen actor who has played in many of the film comedian's pictures.1 The boy recently suffered a basal fracture of the skull in an automobile accident.2
Chaplin, for several weeks, while his wife's divorce suit was pending, had been in hiding from the general public and none of his plans were divulged until his telegram was received yesterday. The message stated:
"Dear Jackie: I know you are recovering nicely because you are such a strong little man who can take a punch. Hope yourself and daddy will be out when I return so that we can spend Christmas together, or at least you will be well enough to play with toys, so don't disappoint Santa Claus, as there are no chimneys in hospitals for him to come down through. You wait and see what I'll bring from New York. If you want anything ask my manager, Mr. Reeves, and he will get it for you. [Signed] Charlie Chaplin."

Coogan and Chaplin on the set of The Kid 
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1Besides The Kid (1921), Jackie also appeared in A Day's Pleasure (1919) & Nice And Friendly (1921), a film Chaplin made as a wedding present for Lord & Lady Mountbatten.
2Jackie's father, who was driving, was also injured. 15 years later, father and son would be involved in another car accident. This time, Jackie's father would be killed.

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