20 October 1893 - 20 June 1940
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Chase began performing in vaudeville as a teenager and started his career in films by working at the Christie Comedies in 1912. In 1920, Chase began working as a film director for Hal Roach Studios; among his notable early works for Roach was supervising the first entries in the Our Gang series. Chase moved with ease into sound films in 1929, and became one of the most popular film comedians of the period. He continued to be very prolific in the talkie era. His younger brother, comedy writer-director James Parrott, had personal problems resulting from a drug treatment; his diet medications were actually pep pills and he developed a dependency, which led to his death in 1939. Charley was devastated. He had refused to give his brother money to support his drug habit, and friends knew he felt responsible for Jimmy's death. He coped with the loss by throwing himself into his work (one of his last comedies, The Heckler, is one of his funniest) and by drinking more heavily than ever, despite doctors' warnings. The stress ultimately caught up with him; only months after his brother's death, Charley Chase died of a heart attack in Hollywood, California in 1940 and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Chase was 46. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Charley Chase has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6630 Hollywood Boulevard.