Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Autobiography” as Want to Read:
My Autobiography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Autobiography

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  7,052 ratings  ·  537 reviews
Chaplin’s heartfelt and hilarious autobiography tells the story of his childhood, the challenge of identifying and perfecting his talent, his subsequent film career and worldwide celebrity. In this, one of the very first celebrity memoirs, Chaplin displays all the charms, peculiarities and deeply-held beliefs that made him such an endearing and lasting character.

Re-issued
...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 24th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1964)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,052 ratings  ·  537 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of My Autobiography
Ahmad Sharabiani
My Autobiography, Charlie Chaplin

My Autobiography is a book by Charlie Chaplin, first published by Simon & Schuster in 1964.

Along with Chaplin: His Life and Art, it provided the source material for the 1992 feature film Chaplin. It provides a revealing look into the life of a 20th-century filmmaker and celebrity. The Chicago Tribune said the book was “The best autobiography ever written by an actor. An astonishing work.”

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفتم ماه جولای سال 1986میلادی

عنوان: سرگذشت من؛ نویس
...more
Stephen
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, film, memoirs
Funny, warm, and sad, like a Chaplin movie. One of the great humanists of all time. The great irony is that while he was being criticised for being behind the times for continuing to make silent films after everyone else had converted to sound, his anti-Nazi socialist views were simply too ahead of his time for America, the country that accused him of being a communist and eventually kicked him out after he had given them so much. The only minor criticisms of his autobiography are that he writes ...more
Simona
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history
I love it when books are more than a good read.This one is a fantastic journey where Charlie Chaplin takes you by the hand and drags you through his life from 1889 London to the 20's and 30's in America all the way to 1977 when he died in Switzerland. And this is no ordinary life...it's history revealing itself in front of your eyes, it's better than any history book on that era, better that any art album or gossip magazine because it's all these at the same time and you find yourself right ther ...more
Tess Burton
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is a fan of Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin's autobiography is a blatantly honest and beautifully written account of the most famous man in the world in the early 1900s. His ease with writing and the book's fantastic flow offer amazing juxtaposition with his account of the life of a pauper in 19th century London. You simply do not expect such eloquence from someone who was partially raised in a work-house and confessed he was mainly self-taught.
The stories of his youth were brilliantly told. They were moving, funny and alw
...more
Andy
This was a hard review to write because the cons add up as much to the pros. I'll start with the cons: Charlot perpetually waxes romantic about his royal friends (The Prince of Wales, The Marquis of Vienna, etc.), laden with so much elbow rubbing with blue bloods in an attempt to dispel his working class Little Tramp image.
He never once acknowledges his comedic peers in cinema at any point; you won't find anything about Harold Lloyd, Charley Chase, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, etc. The only men
...more
Barry Pierce
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is basically a guidebook on how to namedrop.

It starts off in late Victorian London and everything’s very… late Victorian. Then it’s a whole “star on the rise” story, very inspiring and whatnot. Then HOLLYWOOD, its trial and tribulations. Then fame. Then decline. Then Switzerland. The end. Did it teach me anything I didn’t already know about Charlie? No not really to be honest. You can tell that this is a severely edited version of Chaplin’s life. There’s some pretty big events and even movi
...more
Steve
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, film, favorites
I'm way late reviewing this, but I'm not really sure I wanted to give it the full review treatment anyway. It is an autobiography (a very good one), so you get the authentic voice of Chaplin himself. But, as to be expected, you get fudging as well, particularly when it comes to the various ladies in Chaplin's life. Personally, I didn't need that all aired out, but it's interesting how Chaplin keeps making the mistake of marrying or dating actresses. Eventually, late in life, he marries Oona O'Ne ...more
John Frazier
Mar 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Ultimately, this book was almost as frustrating as it was compelling. Perhaps most impressive is Chaplin's memory; I can't recall what I had for dinner last night, yet Chaplin is able to recall his youth and upbringing with startling clarity, especially given that there wasn't a whole lot worth remembering.

His plight and flight from the backstreets of London to his zenith as the biggest draw in movies is well articulated here, though what I found noticeably absent throughout was any real contemp
...more
Clarissa
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, warm, sad, and honest.

What I've come to expect from Charlie Chaplin and more.
...more
Aria
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the best auto-biography I've ever read. Definitely one of the best books I've read in a very long time. ---- Also, the U.S. is absurd. Some things never change. ...more
Pavel
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cinema, non-fiction
He divided this story of his life into three parts:
- First is the one about his childhood years in England. Years in total poverty, hunger and loneliness with his mother placed in mental health clinic, and his father never really played that role for him, he was living with another family and was a drunk. Nevertheless these years are depicted with the warmest humor and kindness, and it's becoming obvious where Chaplin was drawing his inspiration from for his all-time classic character - The Tram
...more
Angela Cuéllar
I love the power of comedy, the mystery of artists, and the ingenuity of early filmmaking. Charlie Chaplin is an icon for a reason and getting to read his autobiography, dive into who he was as a person beyond the performer and many characters he played on the silver screen, was fascinating. Definitely a recommend even if you don't normally read non-fiction! ...more
Rajat TWIT
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it


A work of extraordinary genius, ‘My Autobiography’ is a conclusive work by the great artist proving his position of being called a maestro. This wonderful compilation of memories will make sure that the creator of Tramp will be remembered by his admirers forever, but not just through cinema. His brilliance continues in his auto-biography and his amazing sense of recalling his childhood memories are simply marvellous. His writing has depth in not just remembering the past but in also the way he p
...more
Sue Pit
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this autobiography by Charles Chaplin (first published in 1964) to be engrossing, resulting in my regaling various tales from it to those standing near by my presence....beware! But truly, I did feel immersed with interest from his tales from his Dickensian childhood to fame and to exile. Chaplin does not tell all (selective in the telling) and one, if interested as I was, may have to google to glean further information; some stories from his life remain something of a mystery. There is ...more
Haneen Najeh
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
One of the best books I've ever read or even listened to .. I liked the style of writing and the way that Charley is talking about his story.. It is wonderful and I am happy to read it and to have that experience with such book :) ...more
Ben
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have a tremendous, unparalleled respect for Charlie Chaplin as an artist and filmmaker, having seen and loved most of his films and having read some biographies on him in the past. That said, I wavered between giving this work three stars at times and five stars at other times - four was a happy compromise. Parts of the book were very slow and dry and there was a good deal missing -- a bit too much about his boyhood in London, barely a mention of his marriage to Lita Grey, no discussion of "Th ...more
Victoria Klein
Anyone with a genuine interest in movies knows the name Charlie Chaplin. By any measurement, he had a very successful career, vibrant social life, and emotional personal life. In addition to being an actor, writer, director, producer, and composer, he was also an author. All of his books were about various aspects of his life & career, but the most notable is My Autobiography, published in 1964.

Written nearly 20 years before Charlie Chaplin passed away, the book is an engaging and passionate rec
...more
Hanadi
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Charlie Chaplin is such a lovable character and his autobiography made me like him even more and realize who was that genius behind the cameras
Who would've thought that the funny little man that we see on screen went through all that difficulty and hardship
...more
Vidur Sharma
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I do not know who recommended me this book or what made me read it, probably cos Mr Chaplin was a funny & dignified personality.
Im in unexplainable love with the book partially because how simply and with utter truthfulness he narrated his life which was rather a tough ladder to climb from being rags to riches and partially cos I never thought that behind all his humor and satire, he rather lived a life which demanded so many catechism.

His autobiography slides through many interesting occasio
...more
Emily
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you are any kind of fan of cinema and how it got it start this is an excellent read. You don't necessarily need to be a huge fan of Chaplin to enjoy this book. So many insights into the Golden Age of Hollywood. Truly made me wish I had lived during this time, but since I didn't I still try to find ways to imagine and enjoy what used to be. ...more
Alina Maria Cristea
The autobiography of a genius. Funny and sad, just like his movies...
Jessica
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For about the first ¾ of this book, I was enthralled. Chaplin’s ability to recall and relate his earliest memories astounded me. I mean, he told very detailed stories about his life when he was a wee lad of four, and I can’t even remember what I ate for dinner two nights ago? Impressive! (Side note: yes, I’m taking his memories at face value, as David Robinson’s Introduction asks readers to do. If Chaplin is claiming to vividly remember whole conversations from forty or fifty years past, and if ...more
Meg
FINALLY finished My Autobiography by Charlie Chaplin! (Checked it out in early March) I chose this book because I had always wanted to read it just because I’m a fan of Chaplin’s work. That being said, this book gave so many outside anecdotes about his life that I found myself not really caring towards the end. I wanted more about how he made his movies and ended up with just some of those anecdotes. (Thinking I may need to grab “My Life in Pictures” instead!) It dragged on mainly because he had ...more
Giovanni Monachello
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Why would one pore over an autobiography about someone who has never really been attracted to the reader. In the past, I have never had any inclination to watch any Chaplin performance or indeed read any material about him. It is only recently that having heard his wonderful speech in The Dictator, any form of interest has been sparked.

Nevertheless, I have read his autobiography and with hand on heart, I am able to report it has been an absorbing read. This is the traditional 'rags to riches' st
...more
Katheryn
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book years ago to start a thesis that I never finished. It may not be enough just to describe it as good or bad. I consider it as an interesting testimony of a difficult life through his own words, especially when he mentions his early years as a film artist. I think if you really want to know Chaplin, you just need to watch his movies. All of them.
Akshay Singh
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great to know the artist beyond the screen. Lived a full life and spoke his mind. Loved by millions, and a pioneer.
Blarion Sam
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a figure bigger than life explains the simplicity of himself and his life.
Todd Wilhelm
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Charlie Chaplin Conversation with his mother:

She paused. “If only you had put your talent in the service of the Lord - think of the thousands of souls you could have saved.”

I smiled. “I might have saved souls but not money.”

Charlie Chaplin, My Autobiography page 286
Joost
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written account of a life that spanned two world wars, the birth of cinema and an incredible career.
Tynan Rollo
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Learning about the man behind a character that I have embodied so many times was fascinating. His upbringing was and how he got started in film were incredibly well written, however in the middle of the book it felt a bit like a list of people he met along the way.

At one point he describes his view on theatre, on Shakespeare, and on art in general, and my take away from all of this was that he had a vision. A strong and clear idea of what he wanted art, theatre, and comedy to be.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please complete info - Charlie Chaplin 2 10 Nov 07, 2019 11:36PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #170 My Autobiography by Charlie Chaplin 1 4 Dec 02, 2016 01:40PM  
Silver Screen Boo...: FEB 2015: My Autobiography by Charles Chaplin 34 60 Mar 30, 2015 07:08PM  
Цитати 3 12 Dec 25, 2012 01:12PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • مذكرات الولد الشقي
  • America's Daughter (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #2)
  • الإنسان ذلك المجهول
  • Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild
  • Africa's Child (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #1)
  • Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child
  • More Than Love, A Husband's Tale
  • Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey
  • Love is the Answer, God is the Cure: A True Story of Abuse, Betrayal and Unconditional Love
  • Лудост
  • না-মানুষের পাঁচালী
  • سحر الكلمة
  • Losing Jon: A Teen's Tragic Death, a Police Cover-Up, a Community's Fight for Justice
  • Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography
  • Native Son
  • العالم كما أراه
See similar books…
762 followers
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comedian actor and film director. Chaplin became one of the most famous actors as well as a notable filmmaker, composer and musician in the early to mid Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. He was famous also for his great sense of humor and slapstick comedy skills. ...more

Related Articles

Anne Lamott, the beloved writer of memoirs including Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies, once said, “You own everything that happened to you....
61 likes · 22 comments
“Like everyone else I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of ancestral promptings and urgings; a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, all of which I am the sum total.” 279 likes
“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl.” 59 likes
More quotes…