Ilka Chase, an actress and author who was widely admired for her [TEXT ILLEGIBLE] American-British-Canadian Hospital in Mexico City Wednesday of complications resulting from a fall. She was 72.
Miss Chase's husband, Dr. Norman Sager Brown, said she had fallen while shopping Monday night. He said the cause of death was internal hemorrhaging. The couple had lived at Cuernavaca, a resort 50 miles south of Mexico City, since 1976.
Dr. Brown said his wife was working on what would have been her 19th book at the time of her death. Her first book, published in 1942, was an autobiography called "Past Imperfect." She also wrote several travel books, novels, and other books about herself. With her mother, Edna Woolman Chase, she wrote "Always in Vogue," which was published in 1954. Her mother was the editor of Vogue magazine for many years.
Miss Chase began her theatrical career at Stuart Walker's Portmanteau Theater in Baltimore in "The Proud Princess" in 1935. She also had her own radio show in the 1940s and made numerous television appearances in later years. Her film credits included "Miss Tatlock's Millions." Big Knife and "Ocean's 11."
In 1975, she appeared at the Kennedy Center with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Jane Alexander in Noel Cowand's "Present Laughter," a comedy about an aging actor.
Miss Chase's best-remembered stage role was her portrayal of the acid-tongued Sylvia Fowler in the 1936 Broadway production of "The Women," by Clare Booth Luce. Brooks Alkinson, drama critic of The New York Times, said. "Ilka Chase presides over the proceedings like the mother of all vultures . . . she leaves no bone unpicked."
Miss Chase commented in an interview in The Washington Post in 1975 that Atkinson seemed to have found the play, which ran for 18 months, shocking and even "odious."
"And now everybody's stark naked and using four-letter words all over the place," she said. "At least, they're stark naked in 'Equus.' Do they have to be?Oh well, I suppose there's no harm done."
Miss Chase was born in New York City. She was educated at a convent and a private schools in this country and in France. She married Dr. Brown in 1946. Two previous marriages ended in divorce.
Miss Chase and Dr. Brown maintained a residence on Long Island in addition to their house in Cuernavaca.