Born in Greenville, S.C., to a “Southern belle” and a military officer, she was raised along with older sisters Patricia and Harriet on Air Force bases stretching from Texas, to Spain, England and back again. With cool parents deeply into the art, Chapman’s childhood was a fairy tale in many respects as she was educated in small private schools in the English and Spanish countryside. She relished family vacation time when the whole gang piled into a VW van to explore various European nations up close and personal.
She stumbled into acting in Madrid, Spain, at the age of 13, through Patricia, the first professional actress in the brood.
“Patty had gone to modeling and finishing schools in London, then returned to Spain,” Chapman explained. “One day her agent called and asked if I could take an extra part in a TV commercial. I skipped school the next day, made a couple of bucks and the rest is history.”
The budding actress had several commercials under her skinny belt by the time she co-starred in her first feature film, a “god-awful spaghetti western with a ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ story line,” she recalled, squelching a giggle.
“Playing the youngest sister, my opposite was a pimply-faced 14-year-old Italian boy who spoke no English. I have no idea how they dubbed the picture later.”
She moved back to the States pretty soon after appearing in Up the MacGregors, which I think remains her only European performance (although she was in Roger Vadim’s remake of And God Created Women, a US production).