Smile when the raindrops fall: the story of Charley Chase
At the age of ten, Charley Chase was singing and dancing on the street corners of Baltimore. Charley eventually became a local vaudeville attraction, but Baltimore could not contain the ambitious young man. After a brief, but memorable, stint in New York, Chase finally landed in Los Angeles in 1912. His timely arrival coincided with the birth of the film industry, and Charley Chase became a major force in the shaping of motion picture comedy. A human dynamo, Charley's talent and creativity seemed inexhaustible. As a writer/director/actor, Charley started out at Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios. Working with Fatty Arbuckle and Charlie Chaplin, Chase quickly became one of Sennett's top directors. Later, at other studios, he directed, then starred in his own series of funny and inventive two-reelers. Behind the scenes, Charley Chase was instrumental in shaping the careers of both Laurel & Hardy and The Three Stooges. Chase's personal life paralleled his film work. At first he was energetic and optimistic--as was the infant film industry itself. As the movie grew up, Charley got older too. Chase's career, marred by family problems and alcoholism, mirrored the decline of the short film. Includes photographs and a detailed filmography.