Who is Lauren Chapin?
Born on May 23, 1945 in Los Angeles, California, USA, Lauren Ann Chapin is a former actress, probably best known for her work in the 1950s television series ‘Father Knows Best’ where she is the youngest child of the family played. Kathy “Kitten” Anderson. She stayed with the show throughout its run, but eventually left the entertainment industry, usually attributed to numerous problems she encountered after the show.
Lauren Chapin’s net worth
As of early 2020, Lauren Chapin’s net worth is estimated to be over $6 million, earned in part due to her success as a child actress.
Later in life, she started working as a real estate agent, a teacher and also wrote a book, all of which added to her current wealth.
Lauren rose to fame when she was cast in the television series ‘Dad knows best— the sitcom starred her alongside names like Robert Young, Billy Gray, Jane Wyatt, and Elinor Donahue, and aired for six seasons. It only ran on CBS for one season and then was used by NBC for a few years before returning to CBS. It tells the story of a middle-class family, the Andersons, and the life they lead in a US Midwestern city.
The show originated on radio, although there were major differences in the personalities of the characters compared to the television show. The show was popular for its comedic interactions, although the lead actor – Robert Young – wanted the show to be more homely and warm. He reprized his role in the television adaptation, which represented a change for many of the characters, and also became famous for taking an idealistic view of family life at the time.
Life after father knows better
Lauren had one very troubled childhood during her time on the show, including with her family in general.
Her parents did not have a good relationship because her father was sexually abused. She admitted to being abused by her father and a friend referred to as Uncle while staying in their household. Her mother knew, but she was an alcoholic, so she left Lauren to fend for herself. It was acting that helped her get away from her home situation, but after ‘Father Knows Best’ she couldn’t find any further roles as she was typecast as the character.
She later returned to reprise her role in a reunion movie.Dad knows best: home for Christmas‘, in which the family shows what happened to their respective characters, with most of the kids starting their own families.
Due to problems at home, Chapin became rebellious and started running away from home regularly. In the end, she decided to make it on her own, leave home for good and look for work in other fields. During this period, she took on many odd jobs to make ends meet, as the money she had from acting would not last forever.
Lauren found work as a cocktail waitress for a while, also took jobs as a dog groomer and briefly worked as a flight attendant. She also worked for an insurance company and investigated various claims. She fell in love at age 16 and married Jerry Jones, with many crediting the decision as a way for her to truly escape her parents.
The marriage did not last long as they separated two years later, leading to a divorce after five years.
To cope with her problems, she turned to drugs and eventually became addicted. In a desperate need to get more drugs, she began selling and making deals while living in San Francisco, California. Her first arrest came when she tried to forge a check while in Hollywood. She was arrested several more times for drug offenses and was committed to a mental health facility due to her drug problems after attempting suicide. Then things went quiet for a few years as she tried to kick her addiction.
After her release, she moved further away from Hollywood life and lived a quiet life.
Other Known Efforts
A few years after her release, Lauren looked into a teaching career and began learning more about natural childbirth. In the 1980s, there was a particularly strong movement to promote natural childbirth, as many felt it was meant to be, and assisted childbirth in hospitals was not natural. While working as a teacher, she also found employment with a brokerage firm, a financial institution that helped act as a go-between for those looking to buy or sell financial securities.
Lauren again gained some attention in 1989, when she started promoting the book “Father Does Know Best: The Lauren Chapin Story”, co-written with Andrew Collins. She went on several talk shows including ‘Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee,” in which she described her troubled past and experiences in even more detail. She then reconnected with the entertainment industry and became a manager for events and talents related to “Father Knows Best”. She manages singers, dancers, actors working on a live version of the popular television program. This version is often performed on cruise lines and at live events and conventions.
It is not known if Lauren remarried after her divorce, although it is likely. Her stance on natural childbirth is a good indication that she also had children, and probably went with that form of birth. She later converted to Christianity, the beginning of her life changed and was ordained evangelist in the U.S. Lauren was previously addicted to diet pills, heroin and speed. She even experienced working as a prostitute to fund her addiction. After her experiences, she became an advocate for keeping children away from show business.
She remained estranged from her parents even until their deaths. Things escalated in their household when her mother sued her and made about $90,000 from her trust funds.