Lauren Chapin – life after ‘Father Knows Best’

Lauren Chapin became a superstar after appearing on the classic television series Father Knows Best where she appeared on almost every episode and played the role of Kathy.

The series was a success and Lauren ended up awards and became pretty famous. Her life was what most of us dreamed, that’s if we didn’t know the in-depth of all she has been through.

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Lauren Chapin was born in Los Angeles, California, on May 23, 1945, and got to be part of the classic television series Father Knows Best when she was nine years old.
Lauren alongside her oldest sibling Michael was auditioning for the same series.
Lauren’s mother recalled, In fact, one day when he and Lauren were both reading [producer] Mr. Rodney told me you might hit the jackpot and have two of your children in this series.” It turned out, however, that Michael looked too mature for the part.”

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Chapin got the role, and the show ran for over nine years and Lauren won five Children’s Emmy Awards.

“I grew up in a make-believe fairyland,” Lauren said. “It was the most wonderful time for me.”
During her 12th birthday she got the best gift ever, as she was sent to Disneyland with her friend and that was by her producers.
During their visit they came to meet Elvis Presley who presented her with a cake.

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Chapin recalled, “We were so enamored with him. It was just amazing, I think the both of us were running fevers.”
She was definitely having fun and living her best life, but not until she was being forced to live like Kathy Anderson. Her mother always made her dress and look like Kathy and that was very intoxicating for her.

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Lauren recalled, “My mother always made me dress like Kathy Anderson. She would never let me look like Lauren Chapin. She’d always put this pigtail on, and bobby sicks. I’d take off my socks and roll up my jeans. I’d say I want to be me, but my mom would say, ‘how could you shame me like that. You can’t be you. You’ve got to be Kathy Anderson.’”

After the show was cancelled in 1960, Lauren’s life and development took another turn. She dropped out from school, couldn’t get jobs, her mother became drank a lot and she married her classmate at the age of 16.

At 18, she divorced and replaced her depression medication with drugs, started handing with th wrong crowd and that dealt with her mental health a lot.

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She had to move to a rehabilitation center.

She said in a 1983 interview with Reading Eagle, “I saw these people walking around wearing diapers and baby bonnets and sucking from bottles, and I thought, “OH my God, I’m in the nuthouse, and I’ll never get out, but they train you to give up all your identity and go back to the beginning. A lot of people don’t make it, but the ones who do, make it for life.” 


Lauren was able to find the path that she was meant to follow and went on to become an evangelist.
She’s 76 years old today and is doing so great at restoring the same values we saw in Father Knows Best.

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