Author(s): David Robinson
Charles Chaplin's Little Tramp is the supreme icon of motion pictures - still recognized and loved throughout the world, more than 90 years since he first burst on the screen. The shabby little figure - with derby hat, too-tight jacket, oversized boots and pants, dandified bow tie, and swagger cane - seemed to symbolize the hopes and fears, defeats and optimism of all humanity. Chaplin's own biography was a rags-to-riches story that saw the product of a destitute childhood in Victorian London become one of Hollywood's first millionaires and the owner of his own studio before he was 30. His supreme gift was to transform his experience and knowledge of the human lot into comedy, for which his invention and skill have never been surpassed. People talk about Hollywood glamour, about studios that had more stars than there are in heaven, about actors who weren't actors but were icons. Other people talk about these things, Taschen shows you. "Hollywood Icons" is a series of photo books that feature the most famous movie icons in the history of cinema. These 192-page books are visual biographies of the stars.