Touching Words: Helen Keller And Charlie Chaplin Share An Intimate Moment
Taken on the set of Charlie Chaplin's silent film Sunnyside in 1919, this powerful image captures an intimate moment of dialogue between the legendary comedic actor and world-famous author and activist Helen Keller.
Keller, blind and deaf since infancy, was in Hollywood on a speaking tour and stopped by First National Pictures studio to meet Chaplin while filming Sunnyside. Chaplin was already known for his support of the deaf, stemming from his work with hearing-impaired individuals to improve his pantomime skills during the silent film era.
During the hours they spent together, Keller received Chaplin's words in the manner shown above, but she also used her hands to give something back: in the photo below, Keller is seen teaching Chaplin the manual alphabet.
Fun Fact: Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.
Fun Fact II: In 1931, Chaplin would star in City Lights, considered by many critics to be the greatest film of his career, if not one of the greatest films ever made. Coincidentally, the movie is about a tramp (played by Chaplin) falling hopelessly in love with a blind girl.