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Saturday, April 07, 2018

Was Charlie's Wife Worth A Ticket Purchase?


"Mrs. Charlie Chaplin's" Latest Comes To Cleveland

Mildred Harris was Charlie Chaplin's first wife. She may have wished later not to be. Mildred was a teenager when she wed, and the couple had a child that died in infancy. After the split, Mildred starred in movies, lots of them, which we can barely judge because most are missing. It's assumed Mildred was less an actress than mere ex-spouse of the eternal tramp, but who's to know with so much of evidence gone? Louis Mayer produced a few of her features. Charlie accused him of exploiting the Mildred Harris Chaplin name and L.B. gave him a sock in the chin. Interesting how often silent movie folk resolved issues with balled fist. So did Mayer and others trade on Mildred's married name? Well, if they didn't, showmen certainly would, as here when Cleveland saw The Inferior Sex at two theatres during April 1920. There's even Charlie himself on one ad, with speculation as to whether Sex's "Perfectly Acted Story" might reflect the estranged couple's private life. Wish we could see for ourselves, but I'd guess The Inferior Sex long ago went to nitrate heaven. For Mildred, there was stardom in silents, support and extra work with sound. She must have been liked (DeMille a notable support), because studios kept her in backgrounds right up to premature passing in 1944, age 42.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mike Cline said...

IN PERSON APPEARANCE

February 19 - 20, 1934 - MILDRED HARRIS CHAPLIN - CAPITOL THEATRE - SALISBURY, NC

7:32 AM  
Blogger Tommie Hicks said...

Unfortunately for Mildred, her best known work is with the Three Stooges' MOVIE MANIACS (1936).

8:52 AM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

Louis B. Mayer often used his fists it seems. He used them on John Gilbert and Erich Von Stroheim.

9:57 AM  

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