The very first actor to appear on the cover of 'Time' Magazine was Charles "Charlie" Chaplin (April 1889 – December 1977). He was one of the first to become a star and an icon on the movie screen.

Charles Spencer Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin) was born in London, England, on April 16, 1889. His father was a versatile vocalist and actor. His mother, known under the stage name of Lily Harley, was an attractive actress and singer. She gained a reputation for her work in the light opera field.

By the age of 10, Charlie was accustomed to being on his own. The early death of his father and the subsequent illness of his mother made it necessary for Charlie and his brother, Sydney, to fend for themselves. By 1916, he would be actively working in his third year in films. He was continuously able to be both creative and successful in his career until he died on Christmas day in 1977. But, prior to his death, he was the first, and to date the last, person to control every aspect of the filmmaking process.

He founded his own studio, United Artists, with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith. By producing, casting, directing, writing, scoring and editing the movies that he starred in, he made the world love him for his great acting skills.

In the first decades of the 20th century, when weekly moviegoing was a national habit, Chaplin more or less invented global recognizability. He helped to turn the film industry into an entity that made great art.

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