Ilka Chase

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Ilka Chase
Ilka Chase in Now Voyager trailer.jpg
from the trailer for the film Now, Voyager (1942).
Born (1900-04-08)April 8, 1900
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died February 15, 1978(1978-02-15) (aged 77)
Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation Actress, radio host, novelist
Years active 1923–1972
  • Louis Calhern
    (married 1926–1927)
  • William Murray
    (married 1935–1946)
  • Norton Sager Brown
    (married 1946–1978)

Ilka Chase (April 8, 1900 – February 15, 1978) was an American actress and novelist.


Born in New York City and educated at convent and boarding schools in the United States, England, and France, she was the only child of Francis Dane Chase and Edna Woolman Chase. Her mother was editor-in-chief of Vogue.


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

Chase made her society debut in 1923 and her Broadway debut a year later, in The Red Falcon.[1] 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.[2]


Her films included Now, Voyager,[3] Fast and Loose, Once a Sinner, The Animal Kingdom, The Big Knife, and No Time For Love. Her last motion picture appearance came in Ocean's 11 (1960) as Mrs. Restes.[4]


In the early 1940s, Chase was the hostess for Penthouse Party on CBS[5] and Luncheon Date With Ilka Chase, on NBC Red.[6] For several years, she hosted the radio program, Luncheon at the Waldorf.


Chase was a regular in Trials of O'Brien on CBS in the mid-1960s.[7] 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[edit]

Ilka Chase was married three times.

  • Actor Louis Calhern, 1926–27 (divorced)
  • William B. Murray, a radio executive, 1935–46 (divorced)
  • Dr. Norton Sager Brown, 1946–78 (her death)

All of the unions were childless.


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.[citation needed]


Chase died in Mexico City, Mexico, aged 77. 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."[8]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Ilka Chase's 'Penthouse Party' New WHP Summer Program". Harrisburg Telegraph. June 7, 1941. p. 26. Retrieved May 5, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  2. ^ Ilka Chase at the Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ "New Role For Miss Davis Is Noted in Film". The Waco News-Tribune. October 30, 1942. p. 13. Retrieved May 5, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  4. ^ Ilka Chase at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "Ilka Chase 'Penthouse Party' Heard Half-Hour Earlier". Harrisburg Telegraph. June 21, 1941. p. 26. Retrieved May 5, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  6. ^ Burr, Eugene (February 14, 1942). "Program Reviews: 'Luncheon Date With Ilka Chase'" (PDF). Billboard. p. 8. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "EX-Mother-in-Law Is OK!". The Berkshire Eagle. October 9, 1965. p. 19. Retrieved May 5, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  8. ^ Ilka Chase at Find a Grave

External links[edit]