Chase was born in Lower Manhattan, New York City. His mother is of English descent and his father is French-Canadian. Early in life Chase's parents moved to Woodstock, New York, where they worked for the United Nations. He attended the exclusive Dalton School on Manhattan's Upper East Side but dropped out at age 17 when he saw that most of his classmates "had no interest in being there". On a dare from one of his friends, he participated in an amateur night at the comedy club Catch A Rising Star on Broadway where Jay Leno was headlining. This led to appearances with Bill Murray on "Saturday Night Live", which brought Chase national recognition while still a teenager. As part of a musical act called The White Shadow with friend Brian Doyle-Murray (son of comedian/actor Bill Murray), he toured nightclubs while attending Yale University during the late 1960s and early 1970s—though never receiving a degree .
Chevy Chase began acting professionally before graduating high school, appearing off-Broadway and eventually landing roles alongside Jane Fonda ("Fun City") and Donald Sutherland ("The Baby Maker"), both released in 1970). At 21 years old, Chevy landed lead role as college student Clark Griswold son who sets out to find America by driving across country along with his family members played by Beverly D'Angelo & Randy Quaid) in 1983 National Lampoon film hit franchise Vacation(1983). Following this success Chevy had many leading roles including Caddyshack(1980), Fletch (1985), Three Amigos! (1986) starring Steve Martin & Martin Short & Christmas Vacation (1989).
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