This Colorized Photo Will Change How You Look At Charlie Chaplin

For many today, Charlie Chaplin is a relic of a bygone era. Per The Vintage News, the legendary entertainer made his movie debut in 1914's "Making A Living." He starred as a tramp (as he would in many of his movies), and while aspects of his performance went on to define his style, there are a lot of details about "Making A Living" that would surprise those unfamiliar. For one thing, his character in this first movie actually had a name, Edgar English. After this, he would usually simply play "The Little Tramp," or be referred to as just Charlie.

According to Britannica, Chaplin starred in "Kid Auto Races In Venice" that same year, and this was the film in which his familiar hat and mustache combo first appeared. This was, apparently, an outfit that the performer threw together on the fly in response to the movie company's demands for a more recognizable and distinct look for the film star in the making.

Clearly, Chaplin chose well, as a true star and titan of popular culture was born — he starred in more than 80 movies, directing more than 70 of them himself. However, there's a huge difference between the larger-than-life character of Charlie Chaplin and the man Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin.

The man behind the brilliant comic performances

This colorized photograph of Charlie Chaplin is an arresting sight, especially for anyone who can only picture him in his Little Tramp getup. Away from his silly hat, mustache, and cane-twirling shenanigans, he looks every bit the debonair gentleman with his suit and tidy but slightly wavy hair.

According to The National Portrait Gallery, the original photograph was taken in 1921, the year that Chaplin returned to his birthplace, the United Kingdom. He had firmly established himself as one of the first movie stars at this point, and the people flocked to see their homegrown Hollywood hero. Despite this, he never forgot his humble roots: 1921 was also the year he released the movie "The Kid." The National Portrait Gallery goes on to suggest that the tale of his finding an unwanted child left in an alley was influenced by his sad childhood, growing up poor in London.

This photograph, and the context behind it, offers a fascinating snapshot of Chaplin's life. A beloved megastar he may have been, but he was also a controversial figure who suffered his share of sorrow. War History Online, for instance, reports that though his movies were a great comfort to wounded soldiers during World War One, some among the media and public were very spiteful to him because he didn't enlist to fight.