André Charlot Archive

Scope and Content

The archive consists of a series of folders arranged chronologically containing autobiographical notes, photographs, drawings, manuscript letters, programmes and other material relating to Charlot's life and career. There are also several boxes of oversize material including photographs, audio recordings, autobiographical notes, original sketches, posters etc.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charlot, (Eugene) André Maurice (1882-1956). From 1899 to 1905 he worked in a variety of theatrical jobs in Paris including writing news and spotting talent. In 1905 he became assistant manager of the Palais Royal and in 1908 business manager of the Folies-Bergère. In 1910 he opened a theatrical agency to supply revue and music-hall artists, principally to the Alhambra in London, of which he soon became manager. His spectacular shows from 1912 to 1914 combined elements of French and American revue for London audiences, and were highly influential. His subsequent smaller scale revues, notably at the Vaudeville, introduced performers such as Jack Buchanan, Gertrude Lawrence and Jessie Matthews, and composers such as Ivor Novello and Noel Coward. By the mid-1920s Charlot's long successful run had ended, although he did manage to take his leading stars to New York in 1924 and to start a successful radio revue for the BBC in 1928. After some film work for Alexander Korda he went bankrupt in 1931. His comeback in the mid-1930s was characterised by non-stop semi-nude revue and in 1937 he moved to southern California, where he enlisted Hollywood stars to fundraising revues for the war effort and worked both as a teacher and a compere. From 1941 he acted in over 30 Hollywood films, often uncredited. Charlot married the English dancer Florence Gladman in 1909 and they had two children. He died in Hollywood in 1956.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the estate of Joan Midwinter, 2006.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Material relating to André Charlot, as well as the twentieth century theatre in general may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.