Billy Chapin, who as a child actor held his own against Robert Mitchum’s murderous preacher in Charles Laughton’s brilliant The Night of the Hunter, died Friday following a lengthy illness. His death was announced by his sister Lauren Chapin, the former child actress who costarred in TV’s classic family sitcom Father Knows Best.
“It is with a saddened heart that I say ‘Good Bye’ to my precious brother Billy Chapin, wonderful Star of Movies, Television and Radio,” Lauren Chapin posted on Facebook. “He passed away last night after a long illness but now is in the arms of his Savior.”
In addition to Hunter, Billy Chapin (born William McClellan Chapin) starred in The Kid From Left Field and Tension At Table Rock, among many other films. His many TV credits include Leave It To Beaver and The Millionaire.