Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chris Chase (Irene Kane)

The actress Chris Chase, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss (1955), died last October. I don’t know how I missed that sad news. The New York Times published an obituary. As did The Hollywood Reporter. Neither obituary mentions the screen role that might have gained Chase more views than any other — as host of the public-television broadcasts of the 1972 Fischer-Spassky chess match. Chase introduced each broadcast, and her beauty and pizzazz made a wonderful contrast to the dorky all-male doings that followed.

Chase also appeared in two episodes of Naked City. As in Kubrick’s film, she was credited as Irene Kane.

Related posts
Naked City Mongol (Irene Kane and a pencil)
Scriptos in Times Square (from Killer’s Kiss)

comments: 6

Adair said...

I had no idea that she had moderated the chess match. Was video of this kept?

Irene Kane is unforgettable in Killer's Kiss. With Candace Hilligoss, she is my favorite "unknown" actress. I am amazed that more directors did not seek out these hypnotic, strikingly beautiful women. It is sad that they each starred in so few films, though it is interesting that both appeared in Naked City.

Michael Leddy said...

If there is footage, it’s probably in private hands. But this was live television, hours per game; perhaps nothing was kept. Chris Chase did a brief intro to each game — that was all. Her husband, Mike Chase, produced the broadcasts.

I too wish there were more films with Candace Hilligloss and Irene Kane/Chris Chase. I was going to write unforgettable and just realized that you already did.

Adair said...

I find that both of these actresses were great not so much for their delivery of lines (although who can beat the way Irene Kane tells her would-be assailant: "You smell bad!" or Hilligloss's "Thank you, but I'm never coming back!")as much as for their wordless presence---Kane just crossing Broadway at night amid the neon signs, or Hilligloss walking through an abandoned amusement park. Treasures, both of them.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, especially in black and white.

Anonymous said...

J'ai beaucoup de peine en apprenant le décès de Irène Kane.Elle restera pour moi la merveilleuse interprète de Gloria Price dans le baiser du tueur.Sa grâce ,son élégance naturelle,sa démarche nonchalante ,sa beauté nous éblouissent tout autant que son courage,sa franchise,sa ténacité dans l'adversité .Dans mon panthéon des stars ,elle aura la place qu'elle n'a pas eue dans sa vie. Alain

Michael Leddy said...

Merci pour votre commentaire, Alain.