Leigh Chapman

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Leigh Chapman (March 29, 1939 – November 4, 2014) was an American actress and screenwriter. Chapman began her career in acting during the 1960s, notably in a recurring role as Sarah Johnson, a secretary in the NBC television series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 1965.[1] Chapman transitioned to a career in screen and scriptwriting from the 1960s to the 1990s.[1] She focused on writing for action-adventure films, an unusual genre for women scriptwriters in Hollywood during the 1970s.[1] The Hollywood Reporter called Chapman "a pioneering female screenwriter in the action-adventure genre."[2] Her screenwriting credits included Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry in 1974 and The Octagon in 1980.[2]

Chapman was born Rosa Lee Chapman in 1939 in Kannapolis, North Carolina.[1] She graduated from Winthrop College (now called Winthrop University), located in Rock Hill, South Carolina.[1] She relocated to Los Angeles during the early 1960s, where she initially hired for her first job as a secretary for the William Morris Agency, a major Hollywood talent agency.[1] She copied scripts for William Morris at night to earn extra income.[2] Her secretarial position led to her early acting roles.[1] The William Morris Agency eventually represented Chapman as a screenwriter.[1]

She picked up underwater photography during her later life. An exhibition of her aquatic photographs was held at Calumet Photography in Hollywood in 2011.[1]

Leigh Chapman died at her home in West Hollywood on November 4, 2014, at the age of 75. She had been diagnosed with cancer eight months before.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Burlingame, Jon (2014-11-07). "Leigh Chapman, Actress and Screenwriter, Dies at 75". Variety. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  2. ^ a b c Barnes, Mike (2014-11-13). "Leigh Chapman, Screenwriter on 'Dirty Mary Crazy Larry,' Dies at 75". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-11-30.

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