Billy Chapin

Born Dec 28, 1943

Billy Chapin is an American former child actor, known for a considerable number of screen- and TV-performances from 1943 to 1959 and best remembered for both his roles as the “Diaper-manager” Christie Cooper in the 1953 family feature The Kid from Left Field, starring Dan Dailey, Anne Bancroft and Lloyd Bridges and little John Harper in Charles Laughton's 1955 Film Noir classic The Night of the Hunter, opposite acting legends Robert Mitchum and Lilian Gish.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Billy Chapin.


1943 Birth Born William McClellan Chapin on December 28, 1943, in Los Angeles, he was the second of three children of Roy Chapin, a bank manager, and Marquerite Alice Barringer, who later became a kind of personal coach for all of her children's acting careers. His sister Lauren later told about alcohol problems and sexual abuse in the troubled family. Chapin debuted on the screen at the age of only a few weeks, uncredited as Baby Girl in Casanova Brown, 1944, starring Gary Cooper, and just five months later had another uncredited baby role in Marriage Is a Private Affair, starring Lana Turner.
1946 2 Years Old He had another bit role in The Cockeyed Miracle in 1946.
1951 7 Years Old He started acting professionally in 1951 in a supporting role in the Broadway stage musical Three Wishes for Jamie, which, while passably successful, toured the West Coast in the summer of the same year. … Read More
1952 8 Years Old This stage success might have earned him his role as the grandson in the 1952 TV adaption of Paul Osborn's 1938 Broadway play, On Borrowed Time at the Celanese Theatre, but his first real screen role he landed just one year later as the "Diaper Manager" Christie Cooper, the lead role of the 1953 family release The Kid from Left Field, starring Dan Dailey, Anne Bancroft and Lloyd Bridges.
1954 10 Years Old He then did three successive episodes of Jack Webb's Dragnet and two other television shows before he portrayed Brian "Gadge" Robertson, the bright grandson of a fictive astroscientist in the science fiction B-flick Tobor the Great, 1954. … Read More


1955 11 Years Old When Charles Laughton personally cast Billy Chapin for the role of young John Harper in his 1955 film classic The Night of the Hunter, the boy was already considered an "acting technician" among the child performers of his time. … Read More


1992 48 Years Old Nevertheless, in 1992, the United States Library of Congress selected the picture for preservation in the National Film Registry. … Read More
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