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Chevy Chase Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (6)  | Trivia (102)  | Personal Quotes (16)  | Salary (7)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameCornelius Crane Chase
Height 6' 3½" (1.92 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Chevy Chase was born Cornelius Crane Chase on October 8, 1943 in Lower Manhattan, New York, to Cathalene Parker (Browning), a concert pianist and librettist, and Edward Tinsley "Ned" Chase, an editor and writer. His parents both came from prominent families, and his grandfathers were artist and illustrator Edward Leigh Chase and Admiral Miles Browning. His recent ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, and German.

His grandmother gave him the nickname "Chevy" when he was two years old. Chase was a cast member of Saturday Night Live (1975) from its debut until 1976, and then embarked on a highly successful movie career. He scored in the 1980s with hits such as Caddyshack (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and its sequels, Fletch (1985) and Fletch Lives (1989). All his films show his talent for deadpan comedy. Sadly, his career generally worsened through the 1990s, starring in disappointments such as the mediocre Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), and Cops and Robbersons (1994). More recently, Community (2009) marked a return for him, as he played a regular role for the first four seasons.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: David Wilcock <david.wilcock@btinternet.com>

Family (4)

Spouse Jayni Chase (19 June 1982 - present)  (3 children)
Jacqueline Carlin (4 December 1976 - 14 November 1980)  (divorced)
Susan Hewitt (23 February 1973 - 1 February 1976)  (divorced)
Children Chase, Cydney Cathalene
Caley Chase
Chase, Emily Evelyn
Parents Parker (Browning), Cathalene
Chase, Edward Tinsley
Relatives Pamela Cederquist (half sibling)
Chase, Cynthia (sibling)
Chase Jr, Edward (sibling)
Cederquist, John (half sibling)

Trade Mark (6)

Pratfalls on Saturday Night Live (1975)
Saturday Night Live (1975) Weekend Update newscast skit with the opening line, "I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not".
Deadpan delivery
Deep baritone voice
Towering height
Often plays fathers and family men

Trivia (102)

Prefers to do family-oriented movies and has turned down roles in several films including the lead in American Beauty (1999).
His now-famous "Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not" opening line on the "Weekend Update" segments of Saturday Night Live (1975) was a takeoff of New York news anchor Roger Grimsby's "Here now the news" opening line.
Sat in as drummer with the college band The Leather Canary a couple of times. He refers to it as "a bad jazz band". The band also included Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, later of the rock band Steely Dan.
Winner of Harvard Lampoon Lifetime Achievement Award. [1996]
Convicted of drunk driving. [1995]
His short-lived television talk show was billed as a Cornelius Production, Cornelius being Chevy's real first name.
Was nearly killed (electrocuted) during the filming of Modern Problems (1981) when, during the sequence in which he is wearing "landing lights" as he dreams that he is an airplane, the current in the lights short-circuited through his arm, back, and neck muscles. The near-death experience caused him to experience a period of deep depression.
Was valedictorian of his high school class.
Has perfect pitch: a rare ability to identify the pitch of musical notes without a point of reference.
His parents divorced when he was four. His father remarried into the Folger coffee family. His mother's third marriage was to Juilliard School professor/composer Lawrence Widdoes.
Has one son with his ex-wife, Jacqueline Carlin, named Bryan Perkins (born October 24, 1979) and three daughters with his current wife, Jayni Chase, named Cydney Cathalene Chase (born January 4, 1983), Caley Chase (born January 19, 1985) and Emily Evelyn Chase (born September 29, 1988).
Chevy was actually a childhood nickname -- possibly based on the Washington, D.C. suburb -- bestowed by his grandmother. The Chase family was affluent and distinguished, and Chevy was listed in Social Register at early age. His paternal grandfather was painter/teacher Edward "Ned" Leigh Chase; his father, Ned Chase, was a prominent Manhattan book editor and magazine writer. His mother was descended from the Crane plumbing-fixture family.
Paul Simon is one of his best friends. He appeared alongside Simon in the music video "You Can Call Me Al", in which he lip-syncs all of Simon's lines. Because of that video's remarkable success, Chase was asked to return when Simon released his follow-up album. In the music video for "Proof", Chase was accompanied by another of his best friends, Steve Martin.
Was a long-time class clown expelled from private schools like NYC's Dalton but did well at Stockbridge School in Massachusetts. Expelled from Haverford College after bringing a cow into the third floor of a campus building. Transferred to Bard College, where he dated actress Blythe Danner and graduated (1967).
His middle name, Crane, is from his mother's family. He spent childhood vacations at Crane Castle, his mother's family's vacation home in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Roasted into the New York Friar's Club on September 28, 2002.
Has a fear of snakes.
Chevy Chase is the name of a 16th century ballad about the battle between Earl Douglas and Earl Percy, as well as the name of a city in Maryland.
He was the first member of the original cast of Saturday Night Live (1975) to leave the show (after only one season), a decision he later said he regretted. He was replaced by Bill Murray.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 102-103. New York: Facts on File (1992). ISBN 0816023387.
At the height of his career, he received around $7 million per film.
Is a huge fan of jazz; plays piano, drums and saxophone.
Used to run five miles a day to stay fit and healthy.
Admitted in an interview that making Three Amigos! (1986) was the most fun he has had on a film.
Helped campaign for John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Election.
Attended Riverdale Country School in New York City.
His big break was performing on Saturday Night Live (1975). Ironically, he was never signed as a cast member. He signed a one year writer contract and became a cast member during rehearsals.
Chase is a member of the exclusive Hollywood Gourmet Poker Club. Members included fellow card players Martin Short, Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, Barry Diller, Neil Simon and the late Johnny Carson.
In a 1975 New York magazine cover story, NBC executives referred to Chase as "The first real potential successor to Johnny Carson" and claimed he would begin guest-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) within six months of the article. It never happened.
At 6' 4", he was the tallest original cast member of Saturday Night Live (1975) and was the first "tall guy" on the show. Cast members over six feet usually dwarfed the rest of the cast. Among the other tall guys to follow were Dan Aykroyd, Dean Edwards, Will Ferrell, Bill Hader, Anthony Michael Hall, David Koechner, Norm MacDonald, Finesse Mitchell, Bill Murray, Kevin Nealon, Randy Quaid, Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis, Charles Rocket, Damon Wayans and Fred Wolf. Only Nealon, Quaid and Rocket equaled Chase in height.
The role of Eric 'Otter' Stratton in National Lampoon's National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) was originally written with him in mind. John Landis didn't want the film to be a Saturday Night Live (1975) film, so he met with Chase and persuaded him not to take the film by telling him it was an ensemble piece. He starred in Foul Play (1978) instead. Tim Matheson was cast as Otter.
His brother roomed across the hall from Ted Kaczynski "The Unabomber" at Harvard University.
Has streets named after him in Cochranton, Pennsylvania; Brea, California; Port Charlotte, Florida; and New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 2003, he appeared in two television commercials for Cola Turka, a soft drink developed to be in direct competition with both Coca-Cola and Pepsi, while keeping the money in the Turkish economy. The commercials, which were both comic and nationalistic in theme, feature Chase playing a confused American who notices his friend and family using Turkish idioms and exhibiting Turkish customs after consuming the drink. The commercials, exclusively shown in Turkey, were filmed in New York in English, but have Turkish subtitles.
Wanted to be a doctor when he was younger.
Fans often imitate his famous, straight-faced, "I like it!" (from Modern Problems (1981)).
After joking about Cary Grant being gay in a 1980 television interview, the Hollywood legend sued him for slander, but they later settled out of court.
Before his breakthrough as a comedian, he worked as a cabdriver, truck driver, motorcycle messenger, waiter, busboy, construction worker, audio engineer, produce manager in a supermarket, salesman in a wine store and theater usher.
Received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (1967).
Born to Edward Tinsley Chase, a Manhattan book editor and magazine writer, and his wife Cathalene Parker Browning, who both died in 2005.
Won an amateur orchestral conducting contest in Los Angeles, where he and other celebrities (such as Alan Rachins) competed to inspire appreciation for classical music.
Was a favorite comedian of the students in Head of the Class (1986).
His mother Cathalene Parker Browning was the only daughter of Captain Miles R. Browning, Admiral William Halsey's Chief of Staff for much of World War II.
Turned down the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story (1995) because his agent greatly advised him against doing the project. He didn't want to turn it down, as he was interested in the project. The role went to Tim Allen.
Turned down the role of Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters (1984), which went to Bill Murray. According to Chase, the finished film is nothing like the script that he read, adding that the script was much scarier than the film. He did visit the set at least once, as a picture of him on the temple steps can be seen in Don Shay's book "Making Ghostbusters".
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on September 23, 1993.
Had back surgery shortly after his time with "SNL" as a result of all the comedic falls he had taken on-stage.
Was the first person to say "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" on Saturday Night Live (1975).
Would say "toy boat" after every time he stumbled over his words during Weekend Update.
Moe's Southwest Grill, a fast-food chain, has menu items named after characters from three of his films: Three Amigos! (1986) (the in-famous El Guapo sauce), Caddyshack (1980) (Billy Barou nachos with chicken), and Fletch (1985) (John Coctostan quesadilla with steak).
Daughter Caley Chase is also an actor.
Met Saturday Night Live (1975) producer Lorne Michaels while in line to see a Monty Python movie.
His ancestry includes English, as well as Scottish, Irish, and smaller amounts of German, Swedish, and Dutch, roots.
He once wrote the back page of a Mad Magazine (issue #134, April 1970.) A satire of Mission: Impossible (1966) titled "A TV Scene We'd Like to See".
Admitted in an interview that the comments and jokes directed at him during his 2002 roast legitimately hurt him. As soon as the roast was over, he returned to his hotel room and was so depressed about it, he was sobbing most of the night and had to be consoled by roast master Paul Shaffer. Chase's roast was noted by fans and critics alike for being particularly mean-spirited, even by the standards of a roast.
He was considered for the role of Harry Sultenfuss in My Girl (1991), but was known at the time for acting only in comedies, not dramas and the role was given to Dan Aykroyd instead.
He was offered the role of Scott Calvin/Santa Claus in The Santa Clause (1994), which he had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts. The role went to Tim Allen.
He turned down the lead role in Forrest Gump (1994), which went to Tom Hanks.
He named Oh Heavenly Dog (1980) as the worst film he appeared in.
He was considered for the role of Cardinal Glick in Dogma (1999), which went to George Carlin.
He was banned from hosting Saturday Night Live (1975) in 1995 due to his abusive behaviour to the cast and crew when he guest-hosted, although he has made cameo appearances since.
He was considered for the role of Jimmy in Thelma & Louise (1991), which went to Michael Madsen.
He turned down the role of Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) because, due to his rule of appearing in family films, he disliked the idea of him hooking up with a cartoon character.
He was unhappy with how National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) turned out.
He was considered to star opposite Bill Murray in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989).
He came tenth in Rolling Stone Magazine's ranking of every cast member of Saturday Night Live (1975).
He was considered for the lead role in Arthur (1981), which went to Dudley Moore.
He was considered for Han Solo in Star Wars (1977) and Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Both roles went to Harrison Ford.
He hated making Caddyshack II (1988) so much that after a take, he said to the director, "Let me know when you're going to install a laugh track" before walking away in disgust.
He left Community (2009) due to criticisms of the quality of the show, not getting on with creator Dan Harmon and disliking his character's bigotry.
He was interested in starring in The Player (1992), but was turned down. His father helped get the original book published.
He was considered for the role of Jack Butler in Mr. Mom (1983), which went to Michael Keaton.
He was considered for the role of Dan Gallagher in Fatal Attraction (1987), which went to Michael Douglas.
He was the original choice to star in So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), which went to Mike Myers.
He was considered for the role of Ted Striker in Airplane! (1980), which went to Robert Hays.
He was considered for Tom Hanks's roles in Splash (1984) and Turner & Hooch (1989).
He was considered for Bill Murray's roles in Where the Buffalo Roam (1980) and Groundhog Day (1993).
He named Irwin Fletcher in Fletch (1985) as his favourite role because it allowed him to play several different characters and work with props.
Was great friends with Robin Williams.
He turned down John Ritter's role in Problem Child (1990) due to scheduling conflicts with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989).
Went to elementary school together with Vegas Vacation (1997) co-star Wallace Shawn.
He was considered for the role of Dave Seville in Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), which went to Jason Lee.
He was considered for the role of Stan Podolak in Space Jam (1996), which went to Wayne Knight.
He was considered for the role of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), which went to Johnny Depp.
He was considered for the lead role in Tootsie (1982), which went to Dustin Hoffman.
He was considered for the role of Dr. Leo Marvin in What About Bob? (1991), which went to Richard Dreyfuss.
He was was considered for John Goodman's roles in The Flintstones (1994) and The Borrowers (1997).
He was considered for the role of Alan Parish in Jumanji (1995), which went to Robin Williams.
He was considered for the role of Peter Mitchell in Three Men and a Baby (1987), which went to Tom Selleck.
He was considered for the role of the Master in the television movie Doctor Who: The Movie (1996), which went to Eric Roberts.
He turned down the role of Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks (1992), which went to Emilio Estevez.
He was considered for the role of Phillip Brainnerd in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), which went to Rick Moranis.
Is a descendant of William Brewster (c. 1566-1644), a noted Pilgrim, and wife Mary, who came over to Massachusetts, America, as Mayflower passengers.
He turned down the role of Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas in Midnight Run (1988), due to his commitment to Caddyshack II (1988) and Funny Farm (1988).
He entered Minnesota's Hazelden Clinic in September 2016 for treatment of an alcohol-related issue.
In 1986, he was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment of an addiction to prescription painkillers. His use of these drugs began after he experienced ongoing back pain related to the pratfalls he took during his Saturday Night Live (1975) appearances. In 2010, he said that his drug abuse had been "low level".
In 2002, he was criticized by right-wingers for his trip to Cuba and support of Fidel Castro, in which, upon returning, touted "Socialism works".
Has appeared in a number of television commercials, including Dollar Rent-a-Car (1996), Doritos (1996), History Channel (1999), a series of commercials for AAMI Insurance (Australia, 1999), AFLAC (2003), Cola Turka (2003), T-Mobile (2009) and Chase Manhattan Bank (2010).
Although he has starred or co-starred in several comedies that are considered comic classics by today's standards such as the National Lampoon's Vacation films, Fletch (1985), Caddyshack (1980) and Three Amigos! (1986), as of May 2021, he has yet to star in a film to gross $100 million or more at the North American box office.
Has gained a reputation for being exceptionally difficult to work with as well as controversial in general.
Regretted appearing in Caddyshack II (1988) and Nothing But Trouble (1991) both of which co-starred Dan Aykroyd. He said he only accepted the lead in the latter film because it marked the directorial debut of his friend Aykroyd and he wanted to support him by starring in it, but was very unhappy with the finished film.

Personal Quotes (16)

On his reaction upon hearing of the death of Saturday Night Live (1975) co-star John Belushi): I was so angry I didn't cry for five years.
On the outcome of impersonating former U.S. President Gerald Ford on Saturday Night Live (1975): "I did hear ultimately from one of Ford's sons that some of the things had hurt his feelings, and that was a shocker to me. But I figured, 'Oh well, he's the President, he can take it. I mean, he has to, he's a public figure.' Of course, now my feelings have been hurt so much, I know exactly what he means."
Once I got married and had kids, I moved away from romantic roles, because it seemed wrong to have my three-year-old wondering why Daddy was kissing someone else.
I guess I look so straight and normal nobody expects me to pick my nose and fall.
[on John Landis] He's a bit of a bully, to say the least, with the wrong people, the easy shots. He's got a crassness about him. Anybody who can pick on a set decorator or an extra in front of everybody else in a very mean way is lacking something. I would think that an experience like Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) would put some humility into your life. But it didn't.
You can't observe as much if you're observed by others.
[on his professional regrets] I turned down Forrest Gump (1994), I turned down American Gigolo (1980), there are many films - like Ghostbusters (1984) - that I turned down... the first one I did was Foul Play (1978) with Goldie Hawn, but I turned down National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) - I turned that down. So all those I regret only because they made huge amounts of money and I would be very wealthy, but I don't regret working with Goldie, I don't regret the projects that I did do.
[on working on Community (2009)] The hours are hideous, and it's still a sitcom on television, which is probably the lowest form of television. That's my feeling about it. I think the reason I have stuck around is because I love these kids, the cast - they are very good. It's not like I am working with the great innovators of all time, but at the same time, they are my friends.
[on Community (2009)] It was a big mistake! I saw this pilot script, thought that it was funny, and I went into the room where they were casting and said, "I would love to play this guy." Then they mulled it over. Then they hired me and I just sort of hung around because I have three daughters and a wife, and I figured out I might as well make some bread, every week, so I can take care of them in the way they want.
[on his first return to Saturday Night Live (1975)] I'm not sure exactly why or how, but [during that episode] suddenly I got into a fight with Bill Murray. I discovered later it was with the instigation of John Belushi, who apparently was a little bit jealous that I had become the standout guy the first year, when John [felt he] deserved to. And he did; John was our ringer. But television doesn't care too much about ringers who are short and have a beard. Somehow they took to the tall, thin, handsome guy.
[on leaving Saturday Night Live (1975)] It has been portrayed over the years as there being "lucrative deals" awaiting me in Hollywood. But if you look at the record, I didn't make a movie for two or three years. There were no lucrative deals awaiting me. I left because I was in love with a girl in L.A. I missed it very much. I should have hung around for years. And I feel bad about it now.
[on his fight with Bill Murray] Billy Murray and I came to fisticuffs, but we never really ended up hitting each other. We tried, but Belushi got in the middle and we both ended up hitting John. And if anybody deserved to be slapped in the forehead it was John, for instigating it all.
[re growing up on NYC's Park Avenue] I had to get into fights all the time, because we were at the cusp of Spanish Harlem and they didn't like a crew-cut white kid. They were always chasing me, stealing my wallet. I was sent to the grocery store on Second Avenue by my mother on a Saturday, and these two Spanish kids were walking behind me, and in front of me was a little kid, smaller than me, and he kept punching me in the face the whole way to the grocery store. I came back from the grocery store with a bloody nose, and my mother sent me back for something else! And there they were again. And when we got to the corner, I'd had it. I just took the little kid out, and of course the other two, the big ones, jumped me. I really had a hold on one of them, like a headlock, and the other one yelled, "Hey! No fair! You're choking him!" No fair, he said. What do you mean, no fair? You guys have been kicking the crap out of me! They had these rules. One of those guys stabbed me in the back three times when I was running away. I still have these knife-wound scars.
[on Robin Williams] Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease, depression. I never could have expected this ending to his life, and to ours with him. I cannot believe this. I am overwhelmed with grief. What a wonderful man/boy, and what a tremendous talent in the most important art of any time - comedy! I loved him.
[on how his rough childhood shaped his path to become a comedian] I think, if you speak to many comedians they'll say the pain, the fear. It comes from their childhood somewhere. [My stepfather] was violent toward my mother. He hit me too. I was afraid all the time growing up and I still have a lot of that fear in me.
[advice for young actors] Well, my advice is always 'write'. Your imagination is the most important part of you in show business. And you also write best for yourself in many ways, when you're starting out.

Salary (7)

Saturday Night Live (1975) $750 /week (1975 season)
Saturday Night Live (1975) $800 /week (as writer)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) $6,000,000
Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) $6,000,000
Cops and Robbersons (1994) $4,000,000
Man of the House (1995) $2,000,000
Vegas Vacation (1997) $4,000,000

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