Actor Chevy Chase has a permanent reminder of his tough upbringing on the streets of New York after he was knifed by a gang of thugs.

The Fletch star reveals he was stabbed while visiting his local market on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

In a New York Magazine column about his childhood, the funnyman writes, "I had to get into fights all the time, because we were at the cusp of Spanish Harlem and they didn't like a crew-cut white kid. They were always chasing me, stealing my wallet.

"I was sent to the grocery store on Second Avenue by my mother on a Saturday, and these two Spanish kids were walking behind me, and in front of me was a little kid, smaller than me, and he kept punching me in the face the whole way to the grocery store.

"I came back from the grocery store with a bloody nose, and my mother sent me back for something else! And there they were again. And when we got to the corner, I'd had it. I just took the little kid out, and of course the other two, the big ones, jumped me... One of those guys stabbed me in the back three times when I was running away. I still have these knife-wound scars."