William McClellan “Billy” Chapin was born on December 28, 1943, and died on December 3, 2016.
He was an American former child actor.
Billy was 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 actors Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish.
He was the brother of former child actors Lauren Chapin, known as Kathy “Kitten” Anderson from the TV series Father Knows Best (1954–60) and Michael Chapin, another successful child performer of the 1940s and 1950s.
Billy 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.
Chapin’s sister Lauren later told about alcohol problems and sexual abuse in the troubled family.
Billy Chapin passed away at 72 years old.