Ilka Chase (1905 - 1978)

1
A photo of Ilka Chase
Ilka Chase
1905 - 1978
updated April 25, 2019
Ilka Chase was born on April 8, 1905. She died on February 15, 1978 at Mexico City, Mexico at 72 years old.

I had read her book, I Love Miss Tilli Bean, and it was one of my favorite books. At the time I was about 30 years old and sitting alone in Sardi's when Ilka and her male companion were seated across from each other but she was about 3 feet away to my right. She barely sat down when she announced, "I discovered the most amazing thing today. I once had an Italian character." And I added, "Giovanni Rechetti in "I Love Miss Tilli Bean!" She was dumbfounded and her jaw dropped and she said, "Good Lord! How would you know that?" And without looking at her and speaking to her date, I said, "When Ilka Chase creates a character . . ." and spent the next five minutes laying out the meeting of this character, the General store at dusk in a Pennsylvania town, the Quaker widow, and her 8 year old daughter, this pasta salesman who wants to cook dinner with his pasta and his sauces. And ended this with, "So it doesn't matter that I read this book when I was eight years old, when Miss Chase creates a character like Giovanno Rechetti, it will live in your heart forever!" With that she said, "I think I'm in love with you! Will you have lunch with us?" And that is how I met my idol and had lunch with her too. Amanda S. Stevenson, writer.
Biography
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 (1873-1949), 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, aka Edna Woolman Chase, an editor. Her mother, who became the editor-in-chief of Vogue, described Chase's father, who 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.
Stage
Ilka Chase (left) in the Broadway stage production Small Miracle (1934)
Chase's Broadway debut occurred in 1924 in The Red Falcon.[4] 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.
Films
Her films included Fast and Loose, 1930, Animal Kingdom, 1932, Now, Voyager, 1942, No Time For Love, 1943, Once a Sinner, 1950 and The Big Knife, 1955. Her last motion picture appearance came in Ocean's 11, 1960 as Mrs. Restes.
Radio
In the early 1940s, Chase was the hostess for Penthouse Party on CBS and Luncheon Date With Ilka Chase, on NBC Red.[7] For several years, she hosted the radio program, Luncheon at the Waldorf.
Television
Chase was a regular on The Masquerade Party and in Trials of O'Brien on CBS in the mid-1960s.[8] In 1957, she performed the role of the Stepmother in the television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which starred Julie Andrews. Chase made a rare television sitcom appearance as "Aunt Pauline" on The Patty Duke Show.
Personal life
Chase was married to:
Louis Calhern (1895-1956), the stage and movie actor. He and Chase met while performing in summer stock with the George Cukor Company in Rochester, New York, married in June 1926, and divorced six months later, in February 1927.
William Buckley Murray (1889-1949), a former music critic of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and onetime executive of the National Broadcasting Company; he also had been a concert manager for the Baldwin Piano Company and became the head of radio and television at the William Morris Agency. In 1932 Chase and Murray adapted We Are No Longer Children, a play by French playwright Leopold Marchand. They married on 13 July 1935, Greenwich, Connecticut, and divorced in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 4 December 1946.[9] By this marriage she had one stepson, William Buckley Murray Jr., a crime novelist and writer for The New Yorker, who was Murray's only child by his previous wife, Natalia Danesi, an opera singer and lover of Janet Flanner. Murray's third wife was interior decorator Florence Smolen.
Norton Sager Brown (1904-1995), a physician. He and Chase divorced their respective spouses so they could be married on 7 December 1946, in Las Vegas, Nevada.[10] They remained married until her death in 1978. By this marriage, Chase had a stepson, James Brown.
Autobiography
Her autobiography Past Imperfect (Volume I), which said "Those who never fail are those who never try," was published in 1942, with Volume II, Free Admission, being 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, copyright 1973, Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Death
Chase died in Mexico City, Mexico, aged 72. She is interred at Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Her epitaph reads: "I've finally gotten to the bottom of things."
Reference materials
Chase's personal papers, as well as those of her mother, are in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library.
Partial filmography
Paris Bound (1929) (based on the 1927 play Paris Bound, in which Chase was a member of the cast)
Rich People (1929)
South Sea Rose (1929)
Born Reckless (1930)
Free Love (1930)
On Your Back (1930)
The Gay Diplomat (1931)
The Animal Kingdom (1932)
Stronger Than Desire (1939)
Now, Voyager (1942)
Ocean's 11 (1960) - Mrs. Restes
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Ilka Chase Biography

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Ilka Chase

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Jul 26, 2017 · Reply

Ilka Chase Obituary

This obit of Ilka Chase is maintained by Ilka's followers. Contribute to her obituary and include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Ilka Chase
Ilka Chase was in Now Voyager (1942).
Born April 8, 1905
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: February 15, 1978 (aged 77)
Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation Actress, radio host, novelist
Years active 1923–1972
Spouse(s)
Louis Calhern
(m. 1926; div. 1927)
William Murray
(m. 1935; div. 1946)
Norton Sager Brown
(m. 1946; her death 1978)
Parent(s) Edna Woolman Chase
Francis Dane Chase
Ilka Chase (April 8, 1905 – February 15, 1978)[1] was an American actress of stage, television and film, radio host and novelist.

Biography
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 (1873-1949), a merchant marine who became a dry goods salesman and then the general manager of New York's Hotel Colonial, and the former Edna Woolman Allaway, aka Edna Woolman Chase, an editor. Her mother, who became the editor-in-chief of Vogue, described Chase's father, who 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.

Stage
Ilka Chase (left) in the Broadway stage production Small Miracle (1934)
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.

Films
Her films included Fast and Loose, 1930, Animal Kingdom, 1932, Now, Voyager, 1942, No Time For Love, 1943, Once a Sinner, 1950 and The Big Knife, 1955. Her last motion picture appearance came in Ocean's 11, 1960 as Mrs. Restes.

Radio
In the early 1940s, Chase was the hostess for Penthouse Party on CBS[6] and Luncheon Date With Ilka Chase, on NBC Red.[7] For several years, she hosted the radio program, Luncheon at the Waldorf.

Television
Chase was a regular in Trials of O'Brien on CBS in the mid-1960s.[8] In 1957, she performed the role of the Stepmother in the television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, which starred Julie Andrews. Chase made a rare television sitcom appearance as "Aunt Pauline" on The Patty Duke Show. She was on Masquerade Party.

Personal life
Chase was married to:
Louis Calhern (1895-1956), the stage and movie actor. He and Chase met while performing in summer stock with the George Cukor Company in Rochester, New York, married in June 1926, and divorced six months later, in February 1927.
William Buckley Murray (1889-1949), a former music critic of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and onetime executive of the National Broadcasting Company; he also had been a concert manager for the Baldwin Piano Company and became the head of radio and television at the William Morris Agency. In 1932 Chase and Murray adapted We Are No Longer Children, a play by French playwright Leopold Marchand. They married on 13 July 1935, Greenwich, Connecticut, and divorced in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 4 December 1946.[9] By this marriage she had one stepson, William Buckley Murray Jr., a crime novelist and writer for The New Yorker, who was Murray's only child by his previous wife, Natalia Danesi, a opera singer and lover of Janet Flanner. Murray's third wife was interior decorator Florence Smolen.
Norton Sager Brown (1904-1995), a physician. He and Chase divorced their respective spouses so they could be married on 7 December 1946, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
They remained married until her death in 1978. By this marriage, Chase had a stepson, James Brown.

Autobiography
Her autobiography Past Imperfect (Volume I), which said "Those who never fail are those who never try," was published in 1942, with Volume II, Free Admission, being 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, copyright 1973, Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Death
Chase died in Mexico City, Mexico, aged 72. She is interred at Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Her epitaph reads: "I've finally gotten to the bottom of things."

Reference materials
Chase's personal papers, as well as those of her mother, are in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library.

Partial filmography
Paris Bound (1929)
Rich People (1929)
South Sea Rose (1929)
Born Reckless (1930)
Free Love (1930)
On Your Back (1930)
The Gay Diplomat (1931)
The Animal Kingdom (1932)
Stronger Than Desire (1939)
Now, Voyager (1942)
Ocean's 11 (1960) - Mrs. Restes

Followers & Sources
Other Records of Ilka Chase

1905 - 1978 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Ilka's lifetime

In 1905, in the year that Ilka Chase was born, the Niagara Falls conference was held in Fort Erie, Ontario. Led by W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter, a group of African-American men met in opposition to racial segregation and disenfranchisement. Booker T. Washington had been calling for policies of accommodation and conciliation and these two men, along with the others who attended the conference, felt that this was accomplishing nothing. The group was the precursor to the NAACP.

In 1914, by the time she was only 9 years old, in August, the Panama Canal opened to traffic. Begun by the French in the 1880's and abandoned, the United States undertook further construction in 1904. After 10 years, and the elimination of malaria carrying mosquitoes (which caused immense delays for the French and the Americans), the 48 mile long artificial waterway - a series of locks - created a shortcut for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

In 1959, she was 54 years old when on January 3rd, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and the first state not a part of the contiguous United States. The flag was changed to display 49 stars.

In 1964, at the age of 59 years old, Ilka was alive when in June, three young civil rights workers - Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi - were kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi. Working with "Freedom Summer", they were registering African-Americans to vote in the Southern states. Their bodies were found two months later. Although it was discovered that the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office and the Philadelphia, Mississippi Police Department were involved, only 7 men were convicted and served less than six years.

In 1978, in the year of Ilka Chase's passing, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

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