Despite a long list of film and television roles, Lonny Chapman is most often regarded for his contributions to stage acting. Chapman first pursued the performing arts after completing his degree at the University of Oklahoma, though his studies were put on hold when the attack on Pearl Harbor inspired him to sign up for the Marine Corps. After five years, his tour of duty in the South Pacific ended, and Chapman returned home with a meddlesome case of malaria but nevertheless graduated with a BFA in Drama by 1947 and headed to New York. Within a year, he was on Broadway and studying his craft with the Actors Studio. By the mid-1950s, Chapman was a bona fide Broadway star, and began earning one-off roles on anthology series and small parts in films by fellow Actors Studio alum Elia Kazan. While theater was still his first love, Chapman moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s to better pursue screen roles. The deep-voiced Midwesterner was typecast as a blue-collar man and went on to work regularly in television, garnering the occasional film role. Though he earned more than 150 screen roles, Chapman never acquired a part that proved star making. He went on to establish the Group Repertory Theatre in 1973, and served as its artistic director on more than 350 stage productions until his death in 2007.