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Chevy Chase Fast Facts

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CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Emmy-winning actor and writer, Chevy Chase.

Personal

Birth date: October 8, 1943

Birth place: New York, New York

Birth name: Cornelius Crane Chase

Father: Edward Tinsley Chase, book editor

Mother: Cathalene (Crane) Chase, concert pianist

Marriages: Jayni (Luke) Chase (1982-present); Jacqueline Carlin (1976-1980, divorced); Susan (Hewitt) Chase (divorced)

Children: with Jayni (Luke) Chase: Emily Evelyn, 1988; Caley Leigh, 1985; Cydney Cathalene, 1983

Education: Attended Haverford College, 1962-1963; Bard College, B.A., 1968

Other Facts

Nominated for five Primetime Emmy awards and won three. He was also inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2017 as a member of the original cast of “Saturday Night Live.”

His grandmother nicknamed him Chevy.

During college, played drums in a jazz-rock band called the Leather Canary with Donald Fagan and Walter Becker, who later formed Steely Dan.

Turned down leading roles in “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “Ghostbusters,” “American Gigolo,” “American Beauty” and “Forrest Gump.”

Began his writing career penning articles for Mad Magazine and National Lampoon.

Met “Saturday Night Live” creator, Lorne Michaels outside a screening of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” The chance meeting led to a job as a writer and occasional performer on “SNL” during the show’s first season. Chase developed the satirical news segment, “Weekend Update,” replete with the catchphrase, “I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not.” He was also well-known for precision pratfalls and a bumbling Gerald Ford impersonation.

Danced in the 1986 video for the Paul Simon hit, “You Can Call Me Al” and joined the singer onstage at a 1991 concert in Central Park to reprise his role in the video.

Timeline

1967-1974 – Co-founds and performs with New York comedy troupe called Channel One and works day jobs as a trucker, tennis pro and bartender.

1973 – Co-stars with Christopher Guest and John Belushi in an off-Broadway rock revue, “National Lampoon’s Lemmings.”

1974 – The Channel One comedy troupe produces a low-budget feature film, “The Groove Tube,” featuring Chase and standup comic Richard Belzer in skits mocking children’s shows, network newscasts and sports spectacles.

1974-1975 – Writes for “The Smothers Brothers Show” and makes appearances on “The National Lampoon Radio Hour,” a syndicated show featuring Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.

October 11, 1975 – “Saturday Night Live” debuts on NBC. In the opening sketch, Chase portrays a stagehand and delivers the signature line, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.”

May 17, 1976 – Wins two Primetime Emmy awards for outstanding writing for a variety series and outstanding continuing or single performance by a supporting actor in variety or music for “Saturday Night Live.”

1978 – Makes his debut as a Hollywood leading man in “Foul Play,” an Alfred Hitchcock spoof co-starring Goldie Hawn.

September 17, 1978 – Wins a Primetime Emmy award for outstanding writing for a variety special for “The Paul Simon Special.”

1980 – Portrays a philosophical golfer with a mischievous streak in “Caddyshack.” A sequel, “Caddyshack II” is released eight years later.

1983 – Stars as a hapless family man on a single-minded quest for theme park fun in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” The hit spawns three sequels and a 2015 reboot.

1985 – Plays a muckraking crime reporter who wears disguises to get scoops in “Fletch.” A sequel, “Fletch Lives” is released in 1989.

1986 – Checks into the Betty Ford Center for addiction to painkillers.

1988 – Hosts the Academy Awards. He greets the audience, “Good evening, Hollywood phonies.”

1990 – Delivers the commencement speech at his alma mater, Bard College. He tells the students, “Avoid fatty foods. Avoid smoking, drugs, Bensonhurst, the Gaza Strip, bungee jumping, humorless people, bad music, fashion, weight training and hair care products. Oh, and one more thing: Never tell the truth…Also, never call me.”

1993 – A late night TV series, “The Chevy Chase Show” debuts. The low-rated talk show is canceled after six weeks.

2006 – Appears on “Law & Order” as an actor who makes anti-Semitic statements after being arrested for drunk driving.

2009-2014 – Makes a TV comeback on “Community,” playing an eccentric millionaire who enrolls in community college courses, seeking personal growth later in life.

2010 – Reprises his role as Gerald Ford in a “Funny or Die” video advocating the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The skit features former “SNL” presidential impersonators, Fred Armisen (Barack Obama), Will Ferrell (George W. Bush), Dana Carvey (George H.W. Bush), Dan Aykroyd (Jimmy Carter) and Darrell Hammond (Bill Clinton), plus Jim Carrey as Ronald Reagan.

March 9, 2013 – Appears on “Saturday Night Live” as a member of the show’s “Five Timers Club,” an exclusive group of entertainers who have hosted the show at least five times. He co-stars in the skit with Paul Simon, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Candice Bergen and the newest member, Justin Timberlake.

September 5, 2016 – Chase’s publicist confirms that Chase has checked into a treatment center in Minnesota for an alcohol-related issue.

November 15, 2017 – Chase is inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame with his “Saturday Night Live” costars during a ceremony in North Hollywood, California.

September 19, 2018 – The Washington Post publishes a profile of Chase, in which he says he is sober and wants to work.

March 22, 2021 – Chase says that he is recuperating at home after a five week hospital stay due to an undisclosed heart issue.

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