The Clown Suicides: The Death and Cinematic Afterlife of Marceline Orbes and Francis “Slivers” Oakley, New York's Superstar Clowns, in Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight

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Abstract

A detailed exploration of the ways in which Chaplin coded his 1952 film, hitherto seen as a work of autobiography, with references to Marceline Orbes and Francis Oakley, a pair of earlier stage clowns who had inspired the film legend but who took their own lives after cinematic works by Chaplin helped to destroy their careers.

Publisher Statement: Copyright © 2017 by The Pennsylvania State University. All rights reserved.

This article is used by permission of The Pennsylvania State University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-177
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in American Humor
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2017 by The Pennsylvania State University. All rights reserved.

This article is used by permission of The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Keywords

  • chaplin
  • suicide
  • mime
  • comedy
  • performing arts
  • keaton
  • clowning
  • silent film
  • vaudeville
  • american studies

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