On Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd Birthday

At the very beginning, in 1914, in “Making a Living.”

From a 1972 Candice Bergen article in Life magazine, on the occasion of Chaplin nervously returning to America to receive an honorary Oscar 20 years after he was denied entry into the country: “He boarded the plane to Los Angeles with great ambivalence. After agreeing in January to come for the Academy Awards, he felt–as the time grew closer–that he could not go through with it. The memories of what he was put through there were too painful. The thought of returning terrified him.

During the flight, he crossed to the other side of the plane to see the Grand Canyon. His face lit up. ‘Oh yes, this is the place where Douglas Fairbanks did a handstand on the precipice. He told me about it.’

As they got nearer Los Angeles, he grew more and more nervous, sure he shouldn’t have come.”