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Charley Chase
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Comedian
    (October 20, 1893-June 20, 1940)
    Born in Baltimore, Maryland
    Birth name was Charles Joseph Parrott
    Wrote, directed and starred in short films for Mack Sennett, Hal Roach and Columbia Pictures
    Titles included ‘Dog Shy’ (1926), ‘Mighty Like a Moose’ (1926), ‘Crazy Like a Fox’ (1926), ‘Call of the Cuckoo’ (1927), ‘Limousine Love’ (1928), ‘The Pip from Pittsburgh’ (1931), ‘On the Wrong Trek’ (1936) and ‘The Heckler’ (1940)
    For most of his career, he used his birth name when directing and his stage name when acting.
    He shares his name with an adult film actress.
    He never made the transition from shorts to starring in feature films. (His most prominent role in a feature is as a practical joking conventioneer in Laurel and Hardy’s ‘Sons of the Desert.’ [1933])
    He was depressed and an alcoholic.
    He went prematurely grey and dyed his hair jet black for his pictures.
    At age ten, he had to work odd jobs to help support the family after his father died of a heart attack.
    He auditioned for Hal Roach by declaring he could play any role, then performing his impression of a lighthouse by turning his head and pausing with his eyes wide open when he faced forward during each rotation.
    He had no trouble making the transition from silent films to talkies.
    In addition to his own films, he directed several early entries in the ‘Our Gang’ series and the Three Stooges short ‘Violent Is the Word for Curly.’
    His short film ‘Mighty Like a Moose’ was added by the Library of Congress to the National Film Registry of ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically significant’ movies (2007).

Credit: C. Fishel


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