|Born||April 8, 1905|
New York City, U.S.
|Died||February 15, 1978 (aged 72)|
Mexico City, Mexico
(m. 1926; div. 1927)
(m. 1935; div. 1946)
Norton Sager Brown
|Parent(s)||Edna Woolman Chase|
Ilka Chase (April 8, 1905 – February 15, 1978) was an American actress, radio host, and novelist.
Born in New York City and educated at convent and boarding schools in the United States, England, and France, Chase was the only child of Francis Dane Chase, a merchant mariner who became a dry goods salesman and then the general manager of New York's Hotel Colonial, and the former Edna Woolman Allaway, known as Edna Woolman Chase, an editor. Her mother, who became the editor-in-chief of Vogue, described Chase's father, whom she married in 1902, as "a lovable, good-looking, irresponsible young man from Boston. His father had been a banker, and depending on when you met them, the family had money." After her parents' divorce, her father married artist Theodora Larsh (1887–1955). Her mother's second husband was engineer Richard Newton.
After graduating from France's Château de Groslay boarding school, Chase made her society debut in December 1923 at a large dinner and dance, held in her honor and hosted by her mother at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York City. The 250 guests included her mother's employer, Condé Nast, Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Frank Crowninshield, artist Abram Poole and his wife, Mercedes de Acosta, interior decorators Ruby Ross Goodnow and Nancy McClelland, artist Albert Sterner, future Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Carmel Snow, British nobleman and pilot Viscount Holmesdale, architect Harrie T. Lindeberg, and fashion designer Adrian.
Chase's Broadway debut occurred in 1924 in The Red Falcon. Her stage appearances included roles in Days Without End, Forsaking All Others, While Parents Sleep, Small Miracle, On to Fortune, Tampico, Co-Respondent Unknown, Keep Off the Grass, and In Bed We Cry, an adaptation of her novel of the same name. She was in the original Broadway cast of Clare Boothe Luce's play The Women (1938), and many years later appeared in Neil Simon's Broadway hit Barefoot in the Park.
Her films included Fast and Loose (1930), The Animal Kingdom (1932), Now, Voyager (1942), Once a Sinner (1950), and The Big Knife (1955). Her last motion picture was in Ocean's 11 (1960) as Mrs. Restes.
In the early 1940s, Chase was the hostess for Penthouse Party on CBS and Luncheon Date With Ilka Chase, on NBC Red. For several years, she hosted the radio program Luncheon at the Waldorf.
Chase appeared as a panelist on several programs in the early years of television, including Celebrity Time (1949-50), Who Said That? (1950-55), and Masquerade Party (1952-56). She hosted the 1950-51 TV series Fashion Magic.
In 1957, Chase performed the role of the Stepmother in the television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which starred Julie Andrews. In 1963, she made a rare television sitcom appearance as Aunt Pauline on The Patty Duke Show.
Chase was a regular in Trials of O'Brien on CBS in the mid-1960s.
Chase was married to:
Her novel In Bed We Cry appeared in 1943 and was adapted for the stage, with Chase in the leading role.
Her autobiography Past Imperfect (volume I), in which she wrote, "Those who never fail are those who never try," was published in 1942, and Free Admission (volume II) was published in 1948. She also wrote more than a dozen other books, including The Care and Feeding of Friends, a guide to lighthearted entertaining with over 80 recipes and 20 menus.
Chase died in Mexico City, Mexico, aged 72.
Chase's personal papers, as well as those of her mother, are in the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library.
|1929||Paris Bound||Fanny Shipman||based on the 1927 play Paris Bound, in which Chase was a member of the cast|
|1929||Why Leave Home?||Ethel|
|1929||The Careless Age||Bunty|
|1929||Red Hot Rhythm||Mrs. Fioretta|
|1929||Rich People||Margery Mears|
|1929||South Sea Rose||Maid|
|1930||Let's Go Places||Mrs. Du Bonnet|
|1930||The Big Party|
|1930||Her Golden Calf||Comedienne|
|1930||Born Reckless||High Society Customer at Beretti's|
|1930||The Florodora Girl||Fanny|
|1930||On Your Back||Dixie Mason|
|1930||Fast and Loose||Millie Montgomery|
|1931||Once a Sinner||Kitty King|
|1931||The Gay Diplomat||Madame Blinis|
|1932||The Animal Kingdom||Grace|
|1936||Soak the Rich||Mrs. Mabel Craig|
|1936||The Lady Consents||Susan|
|1939||Stronger Than Desire||Jo Brennan|
|1942||Now, Voyager||Lisa Vale|
|1943||No Time for Love||Hoppy Grant|
|1948||Miss Tatlock's Millions||Cassie Van Alen|
|1954||It Should Happen to You||Guest Panel #2|
|1954||Johnny Dark||Abbie Binns|
|1955||The Big Knife||Patty Benedict|
|1960||Ocean's 11||Mrs. Restes|