Tuesday, January 24, 2012
After a 20-year exile in Europe, Charlie Chaplin returned to Hollywood to receive an honorary Oscar on April 10, 1972, for such comedies as "The Kid," "The Gold Rush," "City Lights," "Modern Times" and "The Great Dictator." Chaplin, then 82, received probably the longest standing ovation in the history of the Oscar telecast as he walked slowly to the podium to pick up his Academy Award for his "incalculable effect in making motion pictures the art form of the century." Chaplin was quite literally speechless as he looked at the throng of stars whose cheers kept getting louder. He finally uttered "thank you so much," referring to the audience as "sweet people." And there wasn't a dry eye in the house when Jack Lemmon gave him his famous Little Tramp hat and cane.