Life is indeed a puzzlement. Sometimes we think we know what we know
and it turns out we don’t know what we thought we knew. At other
times we have no idea what we know while all along we knew it. And so
it is with Spence. Do you know who he is? No idea, you might say. Not
me, he might think. Nor I, she may decide. And yet. I am here to tell
you that there is not a living soul amongst you who does not know or
know of…“Spence”. Shall I proceed?
Once upon a time there was a company called Coro who–in the
seventies-- designed a series of figural pendants in base metal of
famous people. Ol’ Spence is one of them. A masterpiece of costume
jewelry then worth around $100.00. Spence is unsigned. One can only
imagine what that pendant is worth today if it is still around.
And now. ladies an’ gennulmen. the clues. Ah. Le grand moment. I have
to be very careful with my hints… for one small slip. and the
secret will out.
Okay. Spence was and is easily the most famous person to ever grace
the public eye. He was–in his own time–a global phenomenon. He was
born in poverty. He was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of
nine. His mother was committed to a mental asylum. While still young
he began touring music halls with a clog dancing troupe.
At 19 he signed up with Fred Karno company which led him to come to
this country. By age 29 he was one of the richest and most famous men
in the world. At 30 years old he co-founded a distribution company
called United Artists. Anybody out there ever hear of them? Hmmm?
He was an actor. He wrote, directed, produced, edited, scored, and
starred in most of his films. At 88 years old he received an Honorary
Academy Award for his work. Ol’ Spence was a doozie of the highest
Though Spence was indeed born. there is no official record of his
birth. He is-- among other things–the most famous unborn to have
ever lived. His stage career started at five years old when a manager
at a theatre told him to go on stage to replace his mother who had
been booed off. He was an instant success.
And now–of course–it’s time to give the game away. Spence was born
in 1889. He was an actor during the era of silent films. He was not
most famous for The Great Dictator in which he satirized Adolf
Hitler. He was not most famous for The Kid, or A Woman of Paris, or
The Gold Rush. No. Spence was most famous for his role as The Tramp
which to this day remains one of cinema’s most iconic images. As to
Spence’s full name. Why. it was Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie"
See. I told you you all knew him. even if you didn’t know you knew
what you knew.
And now. for the pendant. You know where to go. Home page. Menu.
Click on Tidbits. This will be changing in the near future. I will
let you know when.
And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.