Trials of O'Brien
EX-Mother-in-Law Is OK! By MARY DUNN Â·Mothers-in-law of the world, don't just sit there. Vote an award to "Trials of O'Brien." on the CBS Television Network. Long t!-D butt of bad jokes, mothers-in-law can take heart from Ilka Chase's role in this new series. Not that the elegant Miss Chase plays a likeable mother-in-law. The millcnium still hasn't come. But Miss Chase docs play a likeable ex- mother-in-law and that, the actress insists, "is progress. Heaven knows, you have to start somewhere." * * * In "O'Brien," Miss Chase appears as the glib former mottier- in-Jaw of Peter Falk, who has the title role of Atty. Dan 6'- . Brien. "On-screen, just as off, Peter and I adore eacli other, and I think this is news," Miss Chase says. "Oh, I know it's not unusual for in-laws to get along, although you'd never know it from most fictional accounts of the situation." Miss Chase suspects that the fact that, in the script, she's supposed to come from Philadelphia, "the city of brotherly love," may account for the benign nature of her role. But she's making no bets. "My dear," she confides, darkly, "Ilka Chase has known many mothers-in-law in Philadelphia . . . " In "Trials of O'Brien," Miss Chase frequently visits her d a u g h t e r , Katie (Joanna Barnes), "who lives in New York. Ilka Chase "I find this dramatically pleasant," the actress says, "because I ]ike New York. I've lived here all my life. No wonder I'm a 'good' mother-in- law!" * * * Miss Chase, indeed, is not only a native New Yorker, she has lived all her life in the same neighborhood. Her current and longtime residences is situated only two blocks from where, she was born. When she isn't acting,, Miss Chase writes books which' her husband, Dr. Norton Brown, illustrates with his own photographs. The Browns collaborated on "Elephants Arrive at Half-Past Five," Miss Chase's recent about their African safari, and on "Second Spring and Two Potatoes," her latest one. An account of travels in the "South Pacific, the book takes its title from the second spring the Browns enjoyed on their trip and the New Zealand custom serving two kinds of potatoes every meal. This fall, Miss Chase will time off from "Trials of O'Brien" to gather material for still another book. She and Dr. Brown have their sights set on the Balkans. "The producers are very kind to give me leave," Miss Chase says, "which is another reason enjoy working for them." But there's still another satisfaction. She and Elaine Slritcli (Miss G., O'Brien's secretary) are a pair of New York actresses who work in a television series filmed in their own hometown. "Poor Joanna Barnes," Miss Chase laments. "Joanna lives in Beverly Hills and had to move to New York. Not all of Uie 'trials' belong to O'Brien." Funny Special One of Danny Thomas' new NBC-TV specials is to be called "What Makes People Laugh?" HG has already signed some pretty good laugh getters in Bill Cosby, Tim Conway, Martha Raye, the Three Stooges and Spike Jones Jr.