b. 20 October 1936, New York, New York, USA
Appeared with Fred in Daddy Long Legs, Silk Stockings;
Co-starred with Fred in An Evening With Fred Astaire, Another Evening With Fred Astaire, Astaire Time, Think Pretty, The Hollywood Palace, The Fred Astaire Show
For years, Fred Astaire refused to be drawn into the question of who his favourite partner was. When pressed, in order to avoid offending any of the wonderful women he danced with, he would reply, "Bing Crosby." But in a 1973 interview, he finally broke down and admitted: of all the women he had danced with, he did have a favourite: Barrie Chase.
Fred Astaire: Barrie Chase is the best partner - she's the latest partner that I've had, and believe me, that girl has got it - that girl can dance. Oh, I think we had all that we could possibly get out of what we were doing, because age wasn't any... matter, you didn't care whether I was much older than she was, or anything; she was just a sophisticated mover - she's the best... mover... and I was always disappointed that she couldn't go anywhere, particularly, after that. Of course, she's happily married now - and she should be a performer, because she's a very dedicated performer; God, she's tough to get along with... she doesn't think anything is good.
Carol Saltus: Oh, she's like you!
FA: Oh, I do - I think things are good, when I'm doing them; I mean, if I didn't think so I wouldn't be doing them. But she never thinks anything she's done is good.
- Interview Magazine, June 1973
(Thanks to Luann Wilkins Abrahams of the Fred Astaire Mailing List for the above)
If Chase had been around for the Golden Era of the Hollywood Musical, it seems certain that she would have been a star. As it was, she danced with Fred on television throughout the 60s, working with him in his groundbreaking and award winning television specials. At the same time, she made a number of movie appearances, most notable in Cape Fear and It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
After Barrie's fourth TV special with Fred in 1968, she made the decision to devote her time to her husband, Jim Kaufman, and their son, retiring from the performing world.
Recently, the Kaufmans recently moved from a large home in Beverly Hills to a smaller place on one of the canals in Venice, California. Her husband Jim is a retired businessman. In addition, all three members of the family are avid cyclists and recently returned from a 9-month cycling tour of Europe, which was a once in a lifetime experience.