good friend to the biggest star of the era

The photo and caption above appeared in Melbourne’s ‘Table Talk’ theatre newspaper in 1930. It was one of the very few photos and images of Bert Levy that appeared on the internet when I first started researching Bert life early this year. Bert’s friendship with Charlie Chaplin certainly predates this, as the following clip shows.
This photo and article was published in Melbourne’s short lived ‘The Winner’ newspaper (1914-1917) in May 1917. Link below.

Their friendship may have gone back to Bert’s early touring of London which started 1908 when Chaplin was first appearing on the Vaudeville stage. Chaplin did not go to America till early 1914 to work for Keystone Studios. Below, Bert writes of their friendship and Chaplin’s character in a Hollywood Filmograph in 1929 (link below for larger copy) The sketches of Chaplin again demonstrate Bert’s skill of caricature.

Their friendship and collaboration on projects seems to have lasted an incredible length of time by Hollywood standards as we read in another Hollywood tabloid ‘The Legitimate’ in May 14 1930. Bert did release a book in 1921, however there is no evidence of another book ‘Twenty years Around the World with an Entertainer’ in the 1930s. Given the reference in the final paragraph in the article there may have been a stumbling block with the publishers. I’m unsure at this stage what Bert needed to tone down? Others who follow the blog may have insight.

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