Charley Chase

Charley Chase


Charley Chase
Film: South side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Comedian | Director | Producer | Screenwriter | Singer
Born Oct. 20, 1893 in Baltimore, Md.
Died June 20, 1940 in Hollywood, CA

Producer Hal Roach hired Charley Chase as a writer-director in 1921.

By 1924, Chase — who started with Mack Sennett a decade earlier — was back in front of the camera, playing shy or intimidated types who finally gather the courage to assert themselves. Chase never quite attained the heights of the classic silent clowns, perhaps because he was a little too similar to Harold Lloyd—both were slim and handsome, although Lloyd deliberately played down his good looks by wearing his trademark nerdy glasses. More significant, surely, is that Chase never got to do full-length features until the advent of sound. For a while Chase flourished in the early talkie era, but died in 1940 of a heart attack.

At his best, however, Chase could hold his own with the competition. Two of his shorts are virtually classics of inspired silent comedy, and all of them were directed by Leo McCarey, soon to become a major director. "Mighty Like a Moose" asks us to believe that a husband (Chase) who has had his buck teeth fixed and a wife (Vivian Oakland) who's had a nose job no longer recognize each other. "Mighty Like a Moose" is such fun it's easy to suspend disbelief as these two people find themselves attracted to each other to the extent of being tempted to overlook the fact that both are already married.

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