“Footlights,” the only prose fiction ever written by the legendary actor, will soon be made public after remaining unpublished for almost 66 years. The 1948 34,000-word novella, which Chaplin later turned into a script for his 1952 film “Limelight,” depicts a once famous-turned-washed up stage clown named Calvero, who saves a dancer from suicide — an act that inspires him to attempt a comeback with her encouragement.
Chaplin’s Calvero — written during a time when the U.S. government accused the comedic actor of being a communist sympathizer — reflected Chaplin’s state of mind as his film career was dwindling and the American public had turned against him.
Charlie Chaplin's only novel published for the first time
Footlights, the screen legend's unseen prequel in prose to the film Limelight, reflects his sadness at declining stardom