Chase performing on a Fred Astaire television special, 1961.
October 20, 1933 |
Kings Point, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress and dancer|
|Spouse(s)||Gene Shacove (19??-19??; divorced)
Jan Malmsjö (1966-1968; divorced)
Dr. James Kaufman (present); 1 child
When she was six, her father, writer Borden Chase, moved the family to California so he could begin a career as a screenwriter. She grew up in Encino and studied ballet. She abandoned her intention to become a ballerina in New York to stay in Los Angeles and help support her mother, pianist Lee Keith, after her parents' divorce.
She danced on such live TV programs as The Colgate Comedy Hour and The Chrysler Shower of Stars. It was while she was working as Jack Cole's assistant choreographer at MGM that Fred Astaire asked her to be his dancing partner on An Evening with Fred Astaire. She made four television appearances as Astaire's partner in his television specials between 1958 and 1968. The two danced on Hollywood Palace in 1966. During this period, she dated Astaire, a widower at the time.
She appeared on the syndicated talk show version of The Donald O'Connor Show. Chase worked in the chorus of many Hollywood musicals, including Hans Christian Andersen (1952), Call Me Madam (1953), Deep in My Heart (1954), Brigadoon (also 1954), Kismet (1955), Pal Joey (1957), Les Girls (also 1957), and two Fred Astaire films, Daddy Long Legs (1955) and Silk Stockings (1957). She appeared in White Christmas (1954) as the chorus girl who speaks the line, "Mutual, I'm sure."
Chase's other film roles included The George Raft Story (1961); the beating victim of a sadistic Robert Mitchum in the thriller Cape Fear (1962); and the dancing, bikini-clad girlfriend of Dick Shawn's maniacal character, Sylvester Marcus in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). She played Farida in the film The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), starring James Stewart and Richard Attenborough, in a dream sequence. The same year she appeared on an episode of the Bonanza television series, playing a saloon dancer who longed to be a ballerina.
In 1972, Chase retired from performing to devote herself to her own family. Twice divorced, she is currently married to James Kaufman; the couple has one child.