(1913–1987) comic actor; born in New York City. Dropping out of school at age 13, he began as a comic in the "Borscht Circuit" in the Catskills, then worked as a singer and dancer in nightclubs and vaudeville until he made his Broadway debut in 1939. With his genius for mimicry, controlled slapstick, and patter song delivery, he appeared in a series of successful films from Up in Arms (1944) through The Court Jester (1956), all concocted primarily as vehicles for his versatility. He continued to appear in movies through 1969, and he had a popular variety show on television (1963–67), but increasingly he gave his energies to charitable causes, especially as a fundraiser for UNICEF, and often by appearing as a mock guest conductor of symphony orchestras. He received a special Academy Award in 1954 for "his service… to the motion picture industry and the American people."
Chaney received four Emmy Awards for outstanding achievement in electronic camera work for covering the 1960 Winter Olympics, ``The Danny Kaye Show,'' ``Playhouse 90'' and a Neil Diamond special, ``Hello Again.