Biography

Chris Wallace has worn a number of creative hats in three principal cities:
New York, Hollywood and Melbourne, Australia.




But it all began on the banks of the Olentangy River in Delaware, Ohio, where as a first-grader he played Santa Claus in a school play and as a fourth-grader, he wrote two plays. He wrote his first song in high school.

His introduction to show business was in St. Louis where he sang on a Jif Peanut Butter commercial. He performed at various venues during the heyday of Gaslight Square, including The Laughing Buddha and Smokey Joe's, which then led to performing in several shows at the famed Crystal Palace, including Letta Ripp and Winners and Losers.


In New York, he began writing and producing on-air promotion at both NBC and Channel 5. In the meantime, he would slip off to Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and across town to perform original songs on several children's television shows including The Patchwork Family, Lorenzo & His Friends and The Lorenzo Show.
Wallace soon began producing shows at Channel 5, including the highly acclaimed Harlem Cultural Festival series, which featured Count Basie, Mahalia Jackson, Tito Puente and others.

The wildlife documentary, In the Balance, which Chris wrote, narrated and scored, won the Silver Award at the New York International Film and Television Festival.

Wallace then began producing other live events. New York: A Great Place to Live at Lincoln Center's Avery Fischer Hall, was the kick-off event of New York City's Diamond Jubilee, hosted by Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara and featuring Billy Taylor's big band, Ben Vereen, the cast of Godspell and the first public appearance by Oscar the Grouch.

The next gala benefit was A Valentine's Day Tribute to Woman, produced for NOW, the National Organization for Women, at Town Hall. Wallace was the only man involved.

Mayor Lindsay's office then asked Wallace to produce the event that named West 46th Street as Restaurant Row. This gigantic block party was hosted by Gwen Verdon.

During this time of free-lancing around, a dream job dropped out of the sky: associate producer of the biggest televised heavyweight fight of the decade.  It was called THE FIGHT and was the first meeting of two undefeated champions, Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier, from Madison Square Garden.  Chris found himself at ringside with the official photographer, Frank Sinatra, and the official color commentator, Burt Lancaster.

Wallace got involved in several political campaigns as a creative consultant for Referendum 70. He wrote and produced pamphlets, radio, television and newspaper ads for Jerry Springer's and Paul Sarbanes' congressional campaigns, Bill Vanden Heuvel's run for District Attorney, Howard Samuel's primary race for Governor of New York and Ramsey Clark's senate race.

Wallace then produced Uptown Sunday Afternoon at Harlem's famed Apollo Theatre. The show was hosted by Harry Belafonte and featured the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis big band, Bill Withers, Richard Pryor, Flip Wilson, Marlon Brando and others.

Time for a new hat. Wallace attended H-B Studios for three months and immediately began working as an actor in New York. He created the role of "The Half-Per-Center" in Joe Papp's production of Mondongo. He then became a regular on All My Children, creating the role of Sgt. Mel Jacobi.

Wallace pulled up stakes and moved west. Within two weeks he was a working actor in Hollywood and guest starred on many television series, including The Incredible Hulk, Trapper John, MD, The Mary Tyler Moore Hour and the holiday horror classic, New Year's Evil.

Wallace continued to entertain children in the Los Angeles area. He created a musical revue for kids at the Los Angeles Children's Museum, which he performed with the museum's children's chorus titled A Special Thing to Be.

He continued writing songs, creating a topical cabaret show titled: Greatest Hits, that had several incarnations in venues around Los Angeles, including The Back Lot in West Hollywood and Carlos and Charlie's on Sunset Strip.

As a member of the Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild, Wallace co-managed Patty Duke's successful campaign for president and then produced a fund-raiser for the 1992 Clinton-Gore ticket in Santa Monica.

Two more children's theatre productions featured his songs at Storybook Theatre in the San Fernando Valley: Hooray, Here Comes the Circus and Sleeping Beauty.

Within a few months of arriving in Australia, the Victorian Arts Centre produced Nothing to Wear at the Fairfax Studio Theatre, a musical based on The Emperor's New Clothes, for which Wallace wrote the book, music and lyrics.

Guest roles on major Aussie television programs followed, including Stingers, Blue Heelers, Wilfred, Lowdown, The Slap and the features, Rats and Cats, Who Wants to be a Terrorist and Mother, Mary, Sex and Death, selected for its initial screening at the Vladivostok International Film Festival in 2012. Chris has also appeared in several television ads, including the iconic ad, The Woman Whisperer which became a YouTube phenomenon.

Wallace produced a gala benefit for Quadriplegic Hand Foundation, A Helping Hand, at Hamer Hall, featuring Australian artists from across the entertainment firmament, including Beccy Cole, John Wood, Steady Eddy and many others.

His first one-man show was titled A Thing of Shreds & Patches: Wanderings of a Modern Day Minstrel. It premiered during the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2000. It consisted of songs and stories from Wallace's experience and observations.

The Mark Twain You Don't Know began in Ballarat in 2004 at The Mechanics Institute, the same venue where Mark Twain lectured in 1896. This was another one-man show consisting of little known works by the famous American author, plus a mini-musical of Huckleberry Finn. It went on to play in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Bendigo before it was taken overseas to Los Angeles in 2009 and ending in New York for the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain's death in 2010.

In 2011, The Butterfly Club in Melbourne beckoned. What had been Greatest Hits in Hollywood became Tall Poppy Blues in Melbourne. Two seasons at The Butterfly Club led to playing at Trades Hall during the 2011 Fringe Festival.

Les Femmes premiered at The Butterfly Club in October 2013.  It featured an all female cast and wall-to-wall Chris Wallace songs.  It was also selected for Melbourne’s Cabaret Festival in 2014.  (watch video in Gallery)

Story & Song was a one-man show that opened at The Butterfly Club in May 2015. It was unprecedented in its concept. As a natural story teller, Chris told the stories behind his songs, how they came to be written. In partnership with Point Cool Productions, it was then turned into an online series. Here’s the link. Enjoy!



Olentangy Music
olentangymusic@gmail.com