Chevy Chase is an actor and comedian who has achieved success as both a television and film actor. He is particularly well known for his comedic performances, and most people associate him with Saturday Night Live and the National Lampoon series of films. Due to his success as a performer, this talented man has achieved an estimated net worth of $50 million. So, how did Chevy Chase become so rich and successful?
This actor was not born as Chevy Chase, as Chevy is a nickname that his grandmother gave him when he was two years of age, says IMDb. He was born in New York as Cornelius Crane Chase. Although he grew up in an affluent family, he had a somewhat troubled childhood. He has claimed that both his mother and his stepfather abused him as a child. His parents both died in 2005. Chase attended an independent day school in Riverdale until he was expelled, and he eventually graduated from Stockbridge School. By the time he was at Haverford College, he had already developed a talent for slapstick comedy. He was expelled for hiding a cow in his room.
Following his expulsion, he transferred to Bard College to study a pre-med course. However, he did not pursue his medical studies further. Although this meant that he was subject to the military draft, he was never drafted as he convinced the board that he had ‘homosexual tendencies’. During his time at college, Chase began to make the first steps towards a career as a performer. He appeared on ‘The Pat Sajak Show’ and began playing drums with his college band, which was called The Leather Canary. He went on to play in several more bands and also had several jobs before becoming an actor, including working as a waiter, truck driver, cab driver, busboy, motorcycle messenger, theater usher, wine store salesman, supermarket produce manager, audio engineer, construction worker, and fruit picker.
Chevy Chase’s Television Career
At the beginning of his career, Chase did some work as a writer while also working with an underground comedy ensemble called ‘Channel One’. He appeared on television several times as a comedian, before making comedy his full-time career in 1973. It wasn’t until 1975 that he got his big break when he was cast as one of the original members of ‘Saturday Night Live’. Originally, he was the anchor for the ‘Weekend Update’ section of the series.
Appearing in this iconic series launched his career. For his work in SNL, he won a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards. It also led to him having his short-lived series that was simply called ‘The Chevy Chase Show’. He left SNL in 1976, which made him the first member of the original cast to leave, and he was replaced by Bill Murray. However, he did return to make a few brief appearances during the second season of SNL. He returned in 1997 to host the show on eight occasions, and again in 1999 for the 25th anniversary of the show and the 40th anniversary special in 2015. Throughout his career, Chase has appeared in many television commercials. Some of the brands for which he has appeared in advertisements include Doritos, Dollar Rent-a-Car, AAMI Insurance, the History Channel, Cola Turka, Alfac, Chase Manhattan Bank, and T-Mobile.
His Career in Film
Chase appeared in films before he landed the role on SNL. He had small roles in films such as ‘Walk… Don’t Walk’, ‘The Groove Tube’, and ‘Tunnel Vision’. His first major film role came after he left SNL when he played the role of Tony Carlson in the 1978 film ‘Foul Play’. For this performance, Chase was nominated for two Golden Globes. Chase had chosen to appear in ‘Foul Play’ over the first National Lampoon film. The lead role in ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House had been written for him, but the role went to Tim Matheson instead. He went on to have roles in films including ‘Caddyshack’ and ‘Seems Like Old Times’.
However, it is the National Lampoon films for which Chase is best known, and he appeared in ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ in 1983. This led to the 1980s being the highlight of Chase’s career. He appeared in two further National Lampoon films during this decade, and some of his other films included ‘Fletch’, ‘Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird’, ‘Three Amigos’, ‘Funny Farm’, ‘Caddyshack II’, and ‘Fletch Lives’. His career took a bit of a downturn during the 1990s, although he did resume his role as Clark Griswold from the National Lampoon films in the 1997 film ‘Vegas Vacation’. He has resumed this role on several occasions since.
Although his career slowed down from the 1990s onwards, Chevy Chase has continued to work in both television and film. His most recent film roles have included playing Al Hart in ‘The Last Laugh’ and King Karoth in ‘Panda vs Aliens’, both in 2019. The last time he appeared on television was in the 2016 television film ‘A Christmas in Vermont’.
The Net Worth of Chevy Chase
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Chevy Chase has an estimated net worth of $50 million. He has predominantly earned this money through his work in films. However, he has also earned money from being in the cast of SNL, several other television appearances, and his appearances in television commercials. During the height of his career, which was the 1980s, Chase was earning around $7 million per film.
His Personal Life
In his personal life, Chevy Chase has been married three times. He married his first wife, Sharon Hewitt in 1973 and their marriage ended three years later. He was then married to Jacqueline Carlin from 1976 to 1980. Chase is now married to his third wife, Jayni Luke. Their wedding took place in Los Angeles in 1982. The couple has three children together. Throughout his career, Chase has battled addictions to prescription painkillers and alcohol, for which he has been admitted to rehabilitation centers for treatment on two occasions.
Written by Allen Lee
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