Movies Way Back When: Walk Like Chaplin

Movies Way Back When: Walk Like Chaplin title=
Image: New York Public Library
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By Betsy J. Green

Charlie Chaplin first appeared on movie screens in Santa Barbara back in 1914, and by March of 1916, his famous duck-footed walk was seen both on the screen and on the dance floors in Santa Barbara! On March 9, 1916, the weekly dance at the Elks Hall at 1034½ State Street featured free lessons in how to dance the Charlie Chaplin Waltz (aka Charlie Chaplin Walk).

Instructions: “Walk forward beginning with the left foot two measures; balance forward and back, two measures; waltz forward two measures; make quarter turn and step, draw twice two measures, then repeat all.”

Okay, they lost me in the first sentence, and that was just the first half of the instructions. It ended with “Repeat all as long as your partner can stand up.”

Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at​.
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Lucky 777 Feb 24, 2021 11:22 AM
Movies Way Back When: Walk Like Chaplin

At the age of 29 he married a 16 year old actress he believed he had gotten pregnant. He repeated the pattern with a second 16 year old actress he got pregnant a few years later. The third was Paulette Goddard, 22 at the time, and then yes in his 50's he married the 18 year old daughter of Eugene O'Neill who stayed with him until his death.

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