Chevy Chase is a world-famous American actor and writer, mostly known for his comedy roles since he is not only a great actor but also a great comedian. Many people know him, but most are not sure where from since Chevy is one of those people that just seem familiar.
He got famous through a franchise of movies called “Vacation” which turned out to be very successful and extremely lucrative for him and the production house. He said that he can probably thank this franchise for his whole career, which is sort of funny.
He was born as Cornelius Crane Chase on October 8, 1943, in Downtown Manhattan, the most important borough of New York City, situated in the United States. He said that back in the day, it was much more pleasant to live in the Big Apple. The town was much calmer and everything was more soothing than it was before.
He has spent his childhood in a town in Ulster County named Woodstock, also a part of New York. This part of the town always brings out the best memories, he says.
His father Edward was a prominent and successful book editor and a skilled writer who worked on Manhattan. It was easy for Chevy to find a role model because his dad was truly an interesting person with many different hobbies.
His mother was also a very creative woman and was a skilled concert pianist. You could say that his genes were just perfect for becoming a special person in the media industry.
His mother was named Cathalene Browning by birth but was later adopted by Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane so she changed her name into Cathalene Crane.
Chase himself gained his name by his grandad, Cornelius Crane. He was always very connected to him.
His granny gave him his nickname “Chevy” and it soon stuck to him. He didn’t like it at first but he soon got used to it. After his grandmother had passed away, he said that this nickname was one of those things that always made him laugh.
Chevy belongs to a 14th generation of New Yorkers since his ancestors came there in the 17th century so his family is very respectable.
He spent a lot of time in his family’s house in Castle Hill but had to stop going there when he was four because his parents divorced. This was a hard time in his life, although he didn’t truly understand what was going on. He said that most of the time he had been confused and torn between them.
His father married a woman from the Fegels family and his mother had two more marriages before she died.
He never had a happy childhood because his parents fought a lot but later he even was abused by his mother while she was married to her new husband John Cederquist. His stepfather John also abused him and he shared this later in life.
A lot of people who know him claim that he had drug and alcohol problem later in life because he was very unhappy as a child and wasn’t loved by his parents as he supposed to have been.
His parents died in 2005 and he released an autobiography in which he spoke about his childhood and everything that happened to him. His autobiography was released in 2007 and it is named “I’m Chevy Chase…and You Are Not”.
He revealed in the book that his mother who was a concert pianist had often depression and panic attacks which triggered her abusive mood.
Once when he was asked in his interview did he ever forgave his abusive parents he stated that some things in life a man cannot forgive.
He was a pupil at Riverdale County School but he was soon expelled from the school. He said that he couldn’t study anymore and that he just wanted to become an actor or a media person.
He did manage to graduate after he went to Stockbridge School in the same named town.
He enrolled Haverford College which was a private art college. He went there from 1962 to 1963 where his humor was first noticed.
Because of academic reasons he had to transfer to a new college called Bard College from which he graduated in 1967 and received his degree of Bachelor of Arts in English. Since heat, the end never made it to the medical school.
This meant that he would be drafted in the military but he managed to avoid it by convincing the committee that he was homosexual. This was a huge scandal back in the day, but it was discovered way too later for the military to do anything.
Chase also had a natural talent for music so he played drums in college. His band was named “The Leather Canary”. He said that anything that had to do with art made him happy and that he was beyond excited when he got his first offers in the world of movies.
They played jazz and Chase was soon recognized for having a perfect pitch. His band colleagues were named Walter Becker and Donald Fagen and they later formed a band named “Steely Dan” which was quite successful.
Chase was also the keyboard player and a drummer for Chamalean Church band who even recorded one album. He said that it was very interesting to get into music a bit more professionally and that he would maybe like to get invested in it more, but now he has to take care of his career.
Chase had.no problem in working anywhere and anything so before becoming a successful actor and a comedian he workes on several workplaces.
He was a truck driver, waiter, he worked at construction, as a fruit picker, salesman and even as a busboy. No job was hard for him.
In 1967, Chase decided to enter the world of comedy by co-founding a comedy troupe “Channel One”.
He also started writing for magazines. He wrote the screenplay for a TV shie titled “Smothers Brothers”.
In 1973 he gained a job as a writer for the National Lampoon Radio Hour and even became the member of the cast. It was a popular radio satire series.
Some of the other popular comedians who worked in the same series were Bill Murray and John Belushi. He was very excited to meet all of these people and learn something from them.
Chevy Chase and John Belushi starred in Lemmings, an off-Broadway show. In 1975, he became a regular member of “Saturday Night Live” comedy TV show.
He became very popular and was especially praised for his pratfalls and for his skills in physical comedy.
One of his most popular sketches was the one where he portrayed President Ford who was known for his clumsiness. He later became friends with Ford who stated that he always liked his sketches.
He became known for his catchphrase which was “I’m Chevy Chase, and you are not”. It was when he worked for the Weekend Update, a news program at SNL.
Chevy was very good at comedy writing so he received three awards for it: two Emmy’s and one Golden Globe award. He was ranked on the 10th place by the Rolling Stone in the category of comedy.
Chase was influenced by Ernie Kovacs a lot and he thanked him for his help while working at Saturday Night Live.
In 1976 Chase has left the SNL. In 1980 he starred in an American comedy movie called Caddyshack which was directed by Harold Ramis.
His first roles were in “Foul Play” which was a huge hit and in “Tunnel Vision”.
In 1980 he starred in a fantasy comedy movie named “Modern Problems” which was directed by Ken Shapiro. He almost died in the set when he was electrocuted by the lights.
This was a reason for Chevy’s entering depression especially since he was divorced a little earlier.
In 1983 he starred in “National Lampoons Vacation”. Two years later, he starred in “Fletch” which was also a huge hit.
In 1986 he starred alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short in “Three Amigos”.
His world success came with his role in a music video of his best friend and a famous musician Paul Simon. It was for his hit single “You Can Call Me All”.
He was a host at two Academy Awards events. In 1991, he joined Paul Simon at his concert in Central Park where he played the saxophone.
He was also involved in supporting U.S. troops in 1992, by appearing in the single “Voices That Care”. He was also involved in the work of the Red Cross.
In 1990s Chevy’s career went the wrong path after he had made three movies which were non-profitable.
In 1993, he became a host of his own show named “The Chevy Chase Show” which aired on Fox but the show lasted a little over a month.
In 1994, he was honored with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1995 he starred in a comedy movie with Farrah Fawcett. It was called “Man Of The House”.
In 1996 he had received an award for lifetime achievement.
In 2014 he had a cameo appearance in a comedy film named “Vacation”. It earned over $100 million.
In 2006 he appeared in an episode of a popular crime TV series called “Law & Order”. He also appeared in a very popular drama series named “Brothers and Sisters” which aired for five years.
In 2006 he appeared in a comedy titled “Zoom”, a superhero comedy movie with Tim Allen and Courtney Cox. This movie also didn’t fulfill the expectations.
He was praised for his role of a villain in a spy-comedy “Chuck” aired by NBC.
He also gave his voice to an episode of the “Family Guy” in 2009.
He starred in “Community”, a sitcom aired on NBC and left the show in 2012, after three years.
In 2010 he had a role in a short movie named “Hot Tub Time Machine”. His last appearance on TV was in 2019 in “The Last Laugh”, a movie aired on Netflix.
Chevy Chase has earned a lot of money by appearing in a lot of commercials. The most popular were commercials for Doritos History Channel, T-Mobile, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
Chevy Chase is also the winner of a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy which was his reward for working on Saturday Night. It was in 1976.
He also received an award for his contribution to Paul Simon Special in 1978.
One year later he became a nominee for Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – in the genre of comedy or musical.
He has written a book: “The Ancient and Modern Ballads of Chevy Chase” and released an audio CD titled “Greatest Hits of The National Lampoon”.
As for his personal life, he married his first wife Susan Hewitt in 1973 in NYC. Their marriage lasted only three years, until 1976. It was the same year he married his second wife Jacqueline Carlin but it lasted only four years. They divorced in 1980.
Two years later he married his third wife and they are still together.
In 1986, he filled the news lines after he was admitted to a clinic.
He was an addict, addicted to painkillers.
In 2016 he entered the clinic for the 2nd time but this time because of addiction of alcohol.
Chevy Chase never hid his liberal views and his care for the environment. He supported John Kerry and Bill Clinton.
He was against George W. Bush.
Chevy Chase is remembered as a very stubborn colleague and was known for his bad temper. He made racial remarks towards his colleague.
Once he even had a fist fight with the producents of his show.
He has two brothers and sister and he is in good relations with them.
They are called Pamela, Cynthia, John, and Edward.
Chevy has three daughters: Caley Leigh, Cydney Cathalene and Emily Evelyn.
Caley became an actress like her dad.
He has a son Bryan Perkins, born in 1979, from his marriage to Jacqueline Carlin.
As for religion, it seems that he is non-religious.
His favorite genre of music is jazz and he especially likes to play the saxophone.
Chevy has an irrational fear of snakes which made him a problem when they were shooting films outside or in nature.
Full name: Cornelius Crane Chase
Date of birth: October 8, 1943
Birthplace: New York, United States
Profession: actor, comedian, author, TV host
Height: 192 cm
Weight: 96 kgs
Net Worth: $50 million