Mary Coyle (later Chase) was born February 25, 1907, in Denver, Colorado, to Irish immigrant parents. The youngest of four children, she grew up in an environment rich with Irish folklore and mythology, which later influenced her plays and children’s stories. A brilliant student, she was graduated from West Denver High School at the age of fifteen and studied classics at the University of Denver and later at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
On graduation, she began writing for the Rocky Mountain News and, in 1928, married fellow reporter Robert L. Chase. When a practical joke she devised got her fired, Chase concentrated on raising a family and writing plays for the regional theaters in Denver. In 1936, her first play, Me, Third, was produced in Denver, where it was such a success that producer Brock Pemberton was convinced it could succeed on Broadway. In March and April of 1937, retitled Now You’ve Done It, it played forty-three performances at the Henry Miller Theatre in New York—not a hit by Broadway standards. Her next play, Sorority House, did not tempt Broadway but interested Hollywood: It was filmed by RKO-Radio in 1939, starring Veronica Lake. After two more Chase comedies did not play beyond Boulder, Chase and Pemberton tried Broadway once more with Harvey and hit it big.
Not only was Harvey one of the biggest hits of the 1944-1945 season, but also it won the 1945...
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