Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chet R. Allen -- Meet Me at the Morgue

Allen was a 12-year-old soprano with the Columbus Boychoir when Gian Carlo Menotti chose him to sing the title role in the opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" broadcast by NBC-TV in December 1951.  On the strength of that performance, Allen was signed by Universal-International to co-star with Dan Dailey in the 1952 Douglas Sirk-directed musical Meet Me at the Fair.  Unfortunately for Allen, when his voice changed to a baritone immediately after the film, it dealt a duel death blow to his singing and motion picture career.  Depressed, the former child star returned to Columbus, Ohio, and held a variety of jobs including a decade long stint as a stock boy at a Lazarus department store.  Through his own treatment for depression, Allen became involved with volunteer work at Town House, a "drop-in" center operated by a local community health center.  On June 7, 1984, Allen took five times the lethal dose of an anti-depressant medication he had been secretly hoarding.  The 44 year old died ten days later in Riverside Hospital.  A family member summed up Allen' life, "He had a better singing voice than most of the people you see on television, but he wouldn't sing....  He couldn't reconcile himself to the use of his talent."

1 comment:

  1. This blog is abhorrent. There is neither the understanding nor the respect for those who are discussed here. You should be utterly ashamed, but I seriously doubt you have any clue what I'm talking about. Chet Allen was a kind and gentle soul, someone with eminent talent, and you want to "sum up" his life. How sad for you.