Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks.
Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks.

Never-seen-before photos of Charlie Chaplin and ‘forgotten’ Manchester actor unearthed

Leslie Stuart, who was born in Manchester in 1888, was an early silent film star alongside the legendary Chaplin - but is not as well-remembered as his famous friend.

A treasure trove never-before-seen photos of historic silent film stars from the early days of Hollywood - including Charlie Chaplin - have been unearthed.

More than 200 previously unseen snaps give a candid behind-the-scenes glimpse of legendary actor Chaplin and ‘forgotten’ fellow stars, Leslie Stuart and Gloria Swanson.

Leslie was born in Manchester in 1888 and was known for early movies such as Mr Fix-It and Bonds of Love - but unlike his iconic pal Chaplin, he has largely been forgotten in the modern era.

Auctioneers say these snaps form an important record of movie history and life in Hollywood and Beverly Hills from more than a century ago up to the 1950s. Several of the photos, from Stuart’s personal photo album from a century ago, show Leslie and Charlie together in 1919 at Chaplin’s Studios in Los Angeles.

One photo is of the two of them arm-in-arm and Chaplin inscribed ‘To Leslie Stuart, from your sincere admirer Charlie Chaplin’ on the front of it. Stuart replied and inscribed ‘To Father, from Leslie.’

Leslie is also pictured with a young Gloria Swanson, who he starred with in the 1918 film The Secret Code. The stunning array of photos were owned by one of Leslie’s distant relative’s friends and have been passed down that same family for decades. The album is expected to sell for £800 - £1,000 when it goes under the hammer at Ewbank’s Auctioneers in Surrey on 24 February.

All photos are courtesy of Ewbanks via SWNS.

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