Ilka Chase

Active - 1929 - 1960  |   Born - Apr 8, 1903   |   Died - Feb 15, 1978   |   Genres - Romance, Comedy, Drama, Musical

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The daughter of the editor of the fashionable Vogue magazine, Ilka Chase was the recipient of a high-priced European education. Deciding to become an actress, Chase made her first Broadway appearance in the 1924 production The Red Falcon; she later appeared in such long-running hits as The Animal Kingdom and The Women. In 1929, she made her talking picture debut in Paris Bound. Though her film roles were few, they were always worthwhile and eminently watchable. She was at her very best as the casually cruel Lisa Vale in Now Voyager (1942) and as a Hedda Hopperesque gossipmonger in The Big Knife (1955). In addition to her acting assignments, Chase was a widely read newspaper columnist, essayer, and novelist. An early arrival on the TV scene, she was a panelist on such series as Celebrity Time (1949-51), Masquerade Party (1952) and Keep Talking (1959); she also hosted Glamour Go Round (1950), wherein she was billed as "a recognized authority on style and beauty," and the syndicated gabfest The Ilka Chase Show (1959). Her last regular TV assignment was as Margaret in Trials of O'Brien (1965). The first of Chase's three husbands was actor Louis Calhern, to whom she was wed for less than a year. Ilka Chase died in Mexico City of complications after a fall.

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