Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gypsy, Tramps, & Dreams

Gypsy, Tramps, & Dreams, originally uploaded by deanv41.

Was Charlie Chaplin a Gypsy?
The Guardian UK reports that a letter has turned up in a locked drawer of the greatest comic actor of the 20th Century informing him that his mother was the aunt of the sender, whose name matched Chaplin's maiden name, Hill. She was, as Mr. Hill reveals, the Gypsy Queen and that Chaplin was born on "The Black Patch in Smethwick near Birmingham." Even as he believed himself to be of obscured Jewish heritage, he may actually have been a further step outside settled society: Roma, the travelers, Gypsies. The idea makes sense, at least apocryphally, as it adds to the magnetic myth of a singular talent. It endears me to him only the more, though the man himself most likely found the fact an upsetting horror.
Here is my treasured Tramp figure, an icon to me of freedom, humor, resilience and grace under pressure.

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