Chet Allen was a child singer and actor in the early 1950's. His defining moment came on Christmas Eve, 1951, when at the age of 12 he starred in the title role of Amahl in Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, broadcast live on NBC TV. Following that transcendent performance, Chet starred in the movie Meet Me at the Fair, and was also in the cast of a TV sitcom called Bonino, starring famed opera singer Enzio Pinza. Throughout this time, Chet continued his studies at the prestigious Columbus Boychoir School (today known as The American Boychoir School) in Princeton, NJ, and attended until the end of 11th grade.
At that point, he moved back to Columbus, Ohio, where his family lived, and graduated from Mifflin High School. Upon graduation, he took on various jobs over the years, but never returned to professional acting.
For much of his adult life, Chet battled depression, until he finally took his own life at the age of 45. Despite his struggles, though, Chet always maintained his love for music and the arts, frequently writing poetry that was published in a local newspaper. He married in 1965, and gave the world another gift, his daughter, Margaret Rose Allen. He also helped others in his community who suffered from similar afflictions to his own through his volunteer work at a drop-in center.
Chet's story is undeniably sad in that his early success probably contributed to his later challenges. Like so many artists, he seems to have been beset by self-doubt and sadness. In the end, though, it is his art and what he gave to the world that he will be remembered by, and that is at the heart of this website.
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