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From right: Chapin and Robert Young. Father Knows Best, 1957
|Born||Lauren Ann Chapin
May 23, 1945
Los Angeles, California
Lauren Chapin, (born May 23, 1945) in Los Angeles, California, is an American former child actress, most remembered for her role as the youngest child "Kathy Anderson" (nicknamed "Kitten") in the television show Father Knows Best, which was produced between 1954 and 1960. Chapin was awarded five Jr. Emmy's for Best Child Actress. Her co-stars in the series were Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, and Billy Gray.
Before, during and after the show was in its run, Chapin had a troubled childhood. Her father sexually abused her and her mother battled alcoholism. Following the cancellation of Father Knows Best, Chapin married at age 16, was divorced at 18, became a drug addict, turned to prostitution to secure her habit, and was sent to a mental institution after she attempted suicide. After these troubles, Chapin turned to religion in 1979, which she credits with saving her life.
She currently manages singers and actors; and performs in a live inter-active version of Father Knows Best for cruise lines, conventions, and other events. She is the co-author of Father Does Know Best—The Lauren Chapin Story (1988) with Andrew Collins.
She is the younger sister of former child star Billy Chapin.
- Lauren Chapin at the Internet Movie Database
- "E! True Hollywood Story: Lauren Chapin" at TV.com
- Official site
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