Saturday, November 7, 2015

Part of the job

Paris, 1952

"[In Paris] they examine my signature closely. They seem puzzled. I look. It is spelled right. Oh, I see! They expected 'Charlot.' And I write some more with 'Charlot.' --Chaplin, My Trip Abroad, 1922

London, 1931

"Two children were at dinner with their parents in a cafe last night and Charlie Chaplin came in and sat at the next table. Followed a discussion between the little ones. The boy slid off his chair, approached the comedian and asked for his autograph on a menu card. Chaplin smilingly complied. When the little boy returned to the table and showed his treasure, the girl conceived the idea of doing likewise, whereupon her parents refused to allow her to further interrupt Chaplin at his dinner. Tears came into her eyes. Chaplin heard the altercation and came over to her with his card and a little picture he had drawn upon it for her. He is one of the best natured of the notables. And probably the one who is beset most frequently by souvenir hunters and autograph maniacs." --Atlanta Constitution, August 10, 1928

Aboard the Olympic, 1921

"In his last days in America, fearful of writ-servers, Chaplin slipped out of his hotel each day to lunch at the '21' Club. Al Reuter, the well-known autograph collector and dealer, happened to be working at the club at the time. Al came off duty at 3 p.m.--about the time that Chaplin left the club--and so, on several successive days, he put on his dark glasses and trailed Chaplin, autograph book in hand. Each day Chaplin eluded him until the last, when Al finally caught him and got an autograph from his visibly relieved quarry." --David Robinson, Chaplin: His Life & Art

During Mann Act trial, 1944

[At the bar, Chaplin] held a gin and tonic while reporters crowded around. But, possibly for the first time in the history of press conferences, they weren't asking questions. They were asking for Charlie Chaplin's autograph. --Los Angeles Times, January 22, 1967

Paris, 1954

"Charlie Chaplin was huddled in a chair in a far corner of a popular night restaurant. A woman with an autograph album under her arm and dragging by the hand a child dazed with weariness entered the place looking eagerly up and down the rows of tables. It was past midnight. The lady spied Chaplin and the light of battle kindled in her eyes. Yanking the collapsing child into protesting wakefulness she strode to Chaplin's table. She shook the infant sharply. 'Darling, darling,' she cried. 'Shake hands with Mr. Chaplin, darling. Shake hands nice, darling, and make Mr. Chaplin a bow.' The child, lifting her tired white face, smiled stupidly at the comedian who gently patted her hand. 'I know Mr. Chaplin will be glad to sign your little book if you ask him kindly, darling,' said the mother. She thrust the book and a fountain pen into the child's hand. 'Thank Mr. Chaplin, kindly, darling.' The child was too fatigued to hear, much less obey, but giving the woman a brief, contemptuous look, Chaplin took the book and wrote: 'I'm tired of it too, my dear--Charlie Chaplin.'" --Colliers, July 1929

Chicago, 1942

"One particular weekend, Charlie, little Josie [his daughter] and I were driven into the village of Vevey. From his car, Charlie looked at the swans on Lake Geneva; Josie went out playing. Charlie was suddenly recognized by a group of children. They all rushed to the car and handed in slips of paper for his autograph. He happily signed. Then he noticed Josie crammed in amongst the children, also wanting his autograph!" --Jerry Epstein, Remembering Charlie

Ischia, 1957

"A traffic jam at the rue de Presbourg brought a touch of romance—and the American kiss. Two girls, obviously new arrivals from America, rushed up to Mr. Chaplin and begged for autographs. One gazed soulfully into the merry, twinkling eyes of her idol, but the other suddenly put her arms around the little man and planted a kiss which a screen director could only pronounce as genuine. Mr. Chaplin took this osculatory tribute with extreme grace...His car drew to the curb, he raised his hat to the girls and left them with more of a thrill than Paris, perhaps, will give them later." --New York Herald Paris Edition, March 20, 1931

2 comments:

  1. Great collection of anecdotes! Well done, Jess!

    Phil

    ReplyDelete