Thursday, September 2, 2010

Vintage Halloween, 1940

From the Collection of Damian Blake.

Charlie Chaplin Jr.

Charlie Chaplin Jr. (1925-1968) as his famous father.

Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin

La Jolla Playhouse will present the world-premiere musical Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin, music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis, book by Christopher Curtis and Thomas Meehan and directed by Michael Unger, from September 7 - October 17, 2010 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre. Opening night is scheduled for Sunday, September 19 at 7:00 pm.
Playing the role of "Charlie Chaplin" will be Robert McClure, who recently starred as "Princeton" in the Broadway and national touring productions of Avenue Q. Ashley Brown, who originated the title role in the hit Broadway musical Mary Poppins, will portray "Oona."

New Years Day, 1916

Cavalry Band from El Paso Texas, 1916. Click on the photo to see it larger and spot the bizarre costumes, including a Charlie on the far right.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

David Lee Parsons

Click on the images to view them larger.

Unfortunately, the story of this Chaplin impersonator has a bittersweet ending. More can be read about his/her amazing life here and here.
When David Lee Parsons died of cancer in a Swiss hospital on September 23 2008, he was only 58 years old. But in his relatively short life, Parsons had ventured across three continents, switched his gender (and his name to Donna), helped popularize the electric ukulele, worked with the Charlie Chaplin Estate in Switzerland as a street performer/mime, given the Beastie Boys their first big push, and sweated through careers as an illustrator, skateboard builder, and magazine publisher.
In South Florida, Parsons was legendary for creating Mouth of the Rat, a handmade fanzine that virtually introduced this part of the country to punk rock.

Carlos Calderon

Salvadoran footballer who currently plays as a forward for Atlético Marte of El Salvador.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Charlie Chaplin/Charlot Sideshow - Paris 1920's

Chaplin in Veracruz

A Charlie Chaplin lookalike hawks soap "for your clothes and dishes" as he meanders through the crowd along the ocean's edge at the Villa del Mar beach.

Peladilla, the Spanish Chaplin

Benito Perojo (1894-1974) had a succeessful career as Spanish-language film director and producer for MGM, Fox, and his own company, Benito Perejo P.C.
His entry into cinema began when he co-founded the production company Patria Films in 1915. Through Patria, Perojo made a name directing and starring in five comedy shorts featuring his character Peladilla, a frolicsome wanderer clearly patterned after Charlie Chaplin.
A short (and rather violent) clip of Peladilla in action can be found here.

Spotlight on: Jeffrey Weissman

Jeffrey Weissman is an American actor. He has appeared in dozens of motion pictures and TV shows. Most notably as George McFly in Back to the Future Part II and III, as Teddy Conway in Pale Rider, Twilight Zone: The Movie, guest star spots on Scarecrow and Mrs King, Max Headroom, Dallas, The Man Show, Diagnosis Murder, and as Screech's Guru on Saved by the Bell.

He continues to act, on stage, film & television. He coaches and teaches, from the art of commedia dell'arte to film technique, with students including both professionals and newcomers to the arts. He recently got rave reviews as OCD winemaker Gerry Hannon in the feature mocumenary "Corked!". He has co-starred in dozens of indies since 2005. He teaches acting for film, directing, writing and improv at San Francisco School of Digital Film Making.

Jeffrey has made literally millions of people around the world relive the comic magic of Stan Laurel, Charlie Chaplin, Larry Fine and Groucho Marx through his on-screen and live work, which includes seventeen years at Universal Studios, Hollywood, as well as appearances at Six Flags, Disneyland, and corporate and international events.

In 1987, Jeffrey was "in between" television and film work, and fell into the unlikely job of playing Stan Laurel at Universal Studios. A year later he put together his tribute to Charlie Chaplin, and a year after that, Groucho Marx. The "unlikely job" stretched into 17 years at the theme park, allowing visitors from around the globe relive the magic of these great comedy icons.
Jeffrey has traveled the world as these beloved characters and rubbed elbows with entertainment greats from past to present. He performed as Groucho with and for the Marx family in a tribute to the Brothers for a City of Hope fundraiser in Beverly Hills.
He often performs for conventions and special events for the various tents of the Sons of the Desert", the official Laurel & Hardy fan club. He has been made an honorary member of the We Faw Down, Midnight Patrol, Call of the Cuckoos and Way Out West tents. He became friends with Stan Laurel's son-in-law, the late great Tony Hawes and his wife, Lois Laurel.

Through his live performances at the Chaplin Days celebrations in Niles, California, Jeffrey has come to symbolize the Little Tramp character in the town where Charlie Chaplin made his early films for Essenay Studios.
For more information on Mr. Weissman, visit his website.
Special thanks to Jeffrey for contacting me, and allowing the reposting of his photos.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Charles Amador, or 'Charlie Aplin'...

In 1916, Charles Amador, a Mexican actor, changed his name to Charlie Aplin, and copied Charlie Chaplin’s most successful routines, including the iconic tramp suit and derby hat. The most blatant of these imitations was a film called The Road Track, largely copied from the Chaplin movie The Kid Auto-Races. Chaplin sued, and obtained an injunction preventing the showing of films wherein Amador played Aplin.

A long trial ensued. Amador contended that neither Chaplin, nor anyone else, for that matter, is entitled to a monopoly of such a costume. Finally, on 11th July 1925, nearly a decade after Amador stole the Little Tramp, the Superior Court of the State of California decided in favor of Chaplin, stating that the case doesn’t depend on “use of the role, garb and mannerisms, etc.” but on the intent to cause “fraud and deception”.