|Born||January 23, 1973|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Lanei Chapman (born January 23, 1973) is an American actress. She has appeared primarily in guest appearances on episodes of various television series, and may be best known for the leading role as Lt. Vanessa Damphousse in the single 1995–96 season of the series Space: Above and Beyond.
Chapman first appeared on television at the age of 13 in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial. She went on to appear in a number of films and television shows, including White Men Can't Jump, Seinfeld, The Wonder Years and China Beach. She made her science fiction television debut in Star Trek: The Next Generation as Ensign Sariel Rager, a recurring character who served as a conn officer in numerous episodes, though she only received an on-screen credit for speaking parts in four episodes.
She made her debut in the series Space: Above and Beyond during the pilot episode, playing main cast character Lt. Vanessa Damphousse. While filming the pilot and the early part of the series, Chapman was on a leave of absence from a post-graduate film production program at the University of Southern California.
She initially auditioned with Randy Stone, senior vice-president of talent and casting at Twentieth Century Fox Television, and then two days later with David Nutter, the director of the pilot. By her own admission, the character did not have a great deal to do in that initial two-part episode, so much so that when she was required to audition, the lines she read were from a different character as they had not yet developed Damphousse. The writers took elements of Chapman's own experiences and backstory and wrote it into the new character's as they were developing her. The series was cancelled after one season, despite an organized fan campaign to renew it.
Chapman is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in Spanish. She had originally chosen to major in Drama, but switched part-way through after discovering the extent of the foreign language program at the college. She also wrote a short play while there, called Home Run, which she sent to actress Chip Fields to appear in and assist Chapman in directing. She is also a qualified teacher in California, and for a short time taught kindergarten until she chose to pursue acting full-time.
- episode "In the Wind" (as Lanai Chapman) ...
- episode "No Direction Home" (as Lanai Chapman) ... as Sheronda Jones
- Dense (2004) ... as Yvette
- The Division
- episode "Wish You Were Here" (as Lanai Chapman) ... as Prosecutor
- episode "Beyond the Grave" (as Lanai Chapman) ... as District Attorney
- The District ... as Jenny McClure
- episode "Goodbye, Jenny"
- episode "Drug Money"
- Judging Amy ... as Winnie Van Exel
- episode "The Frozen Zone" (as Lanai Chapman)
- episode "Between the Wanting and the Getting (as Lanai Chapman)
- episode "Everybody Falls Down" (as Lanai Chapman)
- Rat Race (2001) ...as Merrill Jennings
- C-16: FBI ... as Angela Robinson
- episode "My Brother's Keeper"
- episode "The Art of War"
- The Pretender
- episode "Under the Reds" ... as Julie Thorton
- Space: Above and Beyond ... as Lt. Vanessa Damphousse
- episode "...Tell Our Moms We Done Our Best"
- episode "And If They Lay Us Down To Rest..."
- episode "Sugar Dirt"
- episode "Stardust"
- episode "R&R
- episode "Pearly"
- episode "Dear Earth"
- episode "Toy Soldiers"
- episode "The Angriest Angel"
- episode "Never No More"
- episode "Level of Necessity"
- episode "Who Monitors the Birds?"
- episode "The River of Stars"
- episode "Choice or Chance"
- episode "Hostile Visit"
- episode "The Enemy"
- episode "Eyes"
- episode "Ray Butts"
- episode "Mutiny"
- episode "Pilot"
- The Secrets of Lake Success ... as Melanie Jones
- Seinfeld ... as Sid Fields' Housekeeper
- The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992) TV Mini Series... Played Katherine's sister, name is unknown.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation ... as Ensign Sariel Rager, a conn officer of the Enterprise-D
- episode "Things I Do for Love" (voice) ... as Caller #1
- White Men Can't Jump (1992) ... as Lanei
- The Wonder Years
- episode "Kodachrome" ... as Miss Shaw
- The Importance of Being Earnest (1992) ... as Cecily
- China Beach
- episode "Souvenirs" ... as Glitter
- A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story (1989) ... Mary (16 years)
- Eramo, Steve (June 15, 2011). "Sci-Fi Blast From The Past - Lanei Chapman (Space: Above And Beyond)". SciFiandTvTalk. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- Nazzard, Joe (February 1996). "Fighter Pilot". Starlog (223): 71–73.
- "Rager, Ensign". Star Trek.com. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- Alexander, Jesse (August 25, 2009). "Why Space: Above And Beyond Blazed New Trails". io9. Retrieved September 14, 2014.