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Cornelius Crane Chase

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, New York County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ned Chase and Cathaline Parker Widdoes
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Private and Private
Father of Private; Private and Private

Managed by: Peter Louis Corbasson, III
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Chevy Chase

American comedian, writer, and television and film actor, Chevy Chase rose to fame as a key cast member in the inaugural season of Saturday Night Live, where his Weekend Update skit soon became a staple of the show. Chase is also well-known for his portrayal of the character Clark Griswold in four National Lampoon's Vacation films, and for his roles in other successful comedies such as Caddyshack (1980), Fletch (1985), and ¡Three Amigos! (1986). He has hosted the Academy Awards twice (1987 and 1988), briefly had his own late-night talk show, The Chevy Chase Show. Currently, he appears as Pierce Hawthorne on the NBC comedy series Community.

He was born Cornelius Crane Chase on October 8, 1943 in New York to Edward Tinsley "Ned" Chase and Cathalene Parker (née Browning), a prominent entertainment industry family. His grandmother nicknamed him Chevy Chase after the wealthy Maryland community. His father was a Manhattan book editor and magazine writer. His mother was a concert pianist and librettist. Chase’s maternal grandfather was Miles Browning, who served a critical role at the Battle of Midway in World War II. Cathalene Browning was adopted as a child by Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane, and took the name Cathalene Crane. Chase's maternal grandmother was an opera singer who performed several times at Carnegie Hall. Chase's paternal grandfather was artist/illustrator Edward Leigh Chase, and his great-uncle was painter/teacher Frank Swift Chase. His parents divorced when he was four; his father remarried into the Folgers coffee family, and his mother was remarried twice. Both his parents died in 2005. Chase has stated that he grew up in an upper middle class environment and that his maternal grandfather did not bequeath any assets to Chase's mother when he died. Chase has made recent claims that he was abused as a child by his mother and stepfather, John Cederquist.

Chase spent his twenties at various odd jobs with the hope of pursuing a career in comedy. During this time, he wrote for the Smothers Brothers and National Lampoon, the latter of which eventually led to a lucrative franchise of Vacation movies. Chase's first stint as a performer was with the New York comedy video workshop Channel One, which evolved into the 1974 film Groove Tube. After seeing the film, producer Lorne Michaels hired Chase for the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975.

Though hired as a writer, Chase soon began appearing in front of the camera as the anchor of the show's popular Weekend Update segment. With the catchphrase opening "Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not," and a bumbling impersonation of President Gerald Ford, the actor quickly assumed breakout status, earning Emmys for both his writing and acting. He left after a single season to pursue film opportunities, but did not strike gold until Caddyshack in 1980, in which he played a golf pro who oozed confidence and deadpan humor. These would become Chase's trademarks.

In 1983, Chase starred in National Lampoon's Vacation, the first of four popular films chronicling the comic misadventures of the Griswold family, which included European Vacation in 1985, Christmas Vacation in 1989 and Vegas Vacation in 1997.

Chase's next box-office hit came in 1985, when he starred in the cult classic Fletch, a film widely considered to be the actor's best. As undercover newspaper reporter I.M. Fletcher, Chase created a classic comic hero with a genius for confusing his adversaries. He reprised the role in 1989 with Fletch Lives, but the film lacked the comedic genius of the original.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Chase achieved moderate success in such films as Spies Like Us (1985) and Three Amigos! (1986). But despite an all-star cast in 1988, Caddyshack II received the same mixed-to-mediocre reviews as the Fletch sequel. The panned follow-ups, Nothing But Trouble (1991) and Cops and Robbersons (1994) did nothing to jump-start the comedian's flagging reputation. In addition, his Fox comeback variety show was canceled two months after it premiered in 1993.

In recent years, Chase has chosen to work in family films, such as Man of the House (1995) and Snow Day(2000). His roles have gradually shifted from starring to supporting, including Dirty Work in 1998 and Orange County in 2002.

Chase has also made several television cameos—in 2006, he guest-starred as an anti-Semitic murder suspect in an episode of Law & Order, and as Sally Field's former love interest in the television drama Brothers & Sisters. In 2009, Chase appeared as a recurring villain in the spy sitcom, Chuck.

Chase has been married three times. He is the father of three girls, Cydney Cathalene (born January 4, 1983), Caley Leigh (born January 19, 1985), and Emily Evelyn (born September 29, 1988). He lives with his wife, Jayni (née Luke), in Bedford, New York.,_Chevy/Biography/

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Chevy Chase's Timeline

October 8, 1943
New York, New York County, New York, United States