Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) was a British comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry. His first screen appearance came in February 1914, after which he produced the popular features The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), and The Circus (1928). Chaplin refused to move to sound films in the 1930s, instead producing City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) without dialogue. He became increasingly political and his next film, The Great Dictator (1940), satirised Adolf Hitler. The 1940s was a decade marked with controversy for Chaplin, and his popularity declined rapidly. Accused of communist sympathies, he was forced to leave the United States. The Tramp was abandoned in his later films, which include Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952), and A King in New York (1957). Chaplin wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in, and composed the music for most of his films. His work is characterised by slapstick combined with pathos, and continues to be held in high regard.