Christopher Jarman Morley was born in 1951 and was the older of two sons born to William Jarman Morley II and Audrey Mary Farmer. His paternal family originated in St. Mary's Parish of Nottingham, England but came to America in 1843, settling first in Dillsboro, Indiana and later in Carrollton, Kentucky. His great-grandfather, William Jarman Morley I, moved to Austin, Texas in the 1870s and was a co-founder of Morley Brother's Drug Company. The company invented and patented many popular old remedies and gradually grew to include locations in several states.
Christopher's parents divorced and he and his brother, David Morley, were raised by their mother and allowed little contact with their father, a prominent veterinarian in El Paso, Texas.
Christopher Morley was accepted to UCLA in 1969 with a major in mathematics. Once at UCLA, he changed his major to dance and studied ballet with Mia Slavenska. He also studied ballet with Stanley Holden at the Los Angeles Music Center. He performed with the Santa Monica Ballet Co. at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in their production of 'The Nutcracker.'