Albert Austin

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Albert Austin
Austin and chaplin.jpg
Albert Austin with Charlie Chaplin
Born 13th December 1881
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, UK
Died (1953-08-17)17 August 1953
North Hollywood, California, US
Years active 1912–1930

Albert Austin was an English actor, film star, director, and script writer, noted mainly for his work in Charlie Chaplin films.

He was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England and was a music hall performer before going to the U.S. with Chaplin, both as members of the Fred Karno troupe in 1910.

Noted for his painted handlebar moustache and acerbic manner, he worked for Chaplin's stock company and played supporting roles in many of his films, often as a foil to the star and working as his assistant director.

After the development of sound films, he moved into scriptwriting, directing, and acting, chiefly in comedy short subjects. Among other things, he assisted Chaplin in developing the plot of The Adventurer (1917). However, he only received screen credit as a collaborator once, for City Lights.

As an actor, he appeared in Chaplin's comedies for the Mutual Film Corporation. Later he had two brief, uncredited roles in one of Chaplin's 'silent' comedies made in the sound era, City Lights (1931). Austin is also seen very briefly (as a cab driver) at the beginning of Chaplin's short film One A.M..

He also appeared in films starring Jackie Coogan and Mack Sennett.

Austin's best known performance may be in Chaplin's short The Pawnshop. Austin enters the shop with an alarm clock, hoping to pawn it. To establish the clock's value, Chaplin dissects it. Austin maintains a deadpan expression as Chaplin progressively destroys his clock, then hands the pieces back to Austin.

He had the leading role in Mary Pickford's Suds (1920), where he co-stars as a customer leaving his shirt at her laundry. In that film he appears without his comic moustache.

In his final years he worked as a police officer at the Warner Brothers studios, according to a The New York Times obituary.



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