When looking at the amazing cast from Leave it to Beaver we certainly see a vast array of talent. This show was the launch pad for several careers being that it dealt with several child actors. Some of these stories have happy endings and some are a little harder to understand...Stanley Albert Fafara was a child actor, best known for his role as Hubert "Whitey" Whitney in the original Leave It to Beaver television series. His older brother, Tiger, played "Tooey Brown" in the series also. Let's learn a little about Stanley!
Fafara was born in San Francisco, California. In 1957, at the age of 7, his mother took him to an open casting call for a new family television series titled Leave It To Beaver. Maybe you've heard of it?! He had been working in commercials and television westerns since the age of 4 and clearly had a certain flare for the camera at a very early age! He earned the part of "Whitey" Whitney, one of the Beaver Cleaver's best friends.
Up to and during the original run of Leave it to Beaver Fafara had landed sever roles but most were really small parts or "uncredited" parts. This was something that many aspiring child actors went through and continue to go through today. Some of these roles included Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955) where he played the role of Fred Makepeace, Casey Jones(1957), The Millionaire(1958), The Lost Missile(1958), Wanted: Dead or Alive (1959), Man Without a Gun (1959) and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962)...
After the show's cancellation in 1963, he attended North Hollywood High School. It certainly was tough for any child actor to balance the school work-load and their budding career. Shortly after his school "career" ended he became friendly with the pop-rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders and reportedly moved in with the band for a time. The stigma of a "rock-n-roll" lifestyle began to take over in Stanley's life. He developed an alcohol habit and began to use drugs.
At his parents' suggestion, Fafara went to live with his sister in Jamaica, where he tried his hand at painting; however, he continued to drink and use narcotics. He then returned to Los Angeles at the age of 22 where he was married briefly. Fafara later developed an addiction to heroin and was in and out of rehabilitation centers for many years. He did, however, become sober in 1995...
'Whitey' actor Stanley Fafara of 'Leave it to Beaver' finally gets gravestone at Redland Cemetery
(Written by Ellen Spitaleri for the Portland Tribune *excerpt*)
(PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Father Jim Kolb, second from left, officiated at Stanley Fafara's funeral and here at the blessing of his gravestone. Also in attendance were, from left, Elizabeth Duncan, Beverly Jeppesen and Margie Tosi.)
The rainclouds parted and the sun shone as a mourning dove called from a nearby tree and nine people gathered at the Redland Pioneer Cemetery last week to watch the blessing of a gravestone for Stanley Fafara, a man none of them ever knew.
The blessing on June 14 was a long time coming, since Fafara died on Sept. 19, 2003, at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital; the cause of death was complications from hernia surgery. He was 53 years old.
A few people came to his funeral service at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Portland, but only the Rev. Jim Kolb, from St. Elizabeth’s, and Ron Threadgill, at that time the funeral director and owner of Family Mortuary, came to the burial.
In 1995 Fafara moved to Portland. He lived in a subsidized apartment in downtown Portland and survived on Social Security checks of $475 per month. Right before his death in September 2003, Kolb administered the last rites, and subsequently found out there was no money for a funeral for Fafara. But “one of the works of mercy is to bury the dead,” Kolb said, adding that his parishioners at St. Elizabeth of Hungary came through with the funds for Fafara’s burial. Kolb and Threadgill then contacted the Redland Cemetery to see if they could find a place to bury Fafara, and Jay Eisele, the cemetery caretaker and contractor, dug the grave where Fafara rests today. There was no money left over for a headstone, so for 13 years the grave was unmarked.
Then, several years ago, Susan Eisele, wife of Jay and a trustee of the cemetery board, was helping to fill in a grave, when she encountered two men who were looking for Fafara’s plot.
“She looked on the chart of graves and found Whitey’s for them. They were upset there was no stone,” said Margie Tosi, secretary of the Redland Cemetery board.
The unmarked grave and Fafara’s story caught Tosi’s attention, and she asked the board if she could contact St. Elizabeth of Hungary to see whether the same priest was there, and if something could be done about getting a headstone. “Father Jim was still there and very pleased that we were pursuing the matter and wanted to be involved. With board approval, Susan contacted [Affordable Family Memorial]” and the design process began, Tosi said.
“Father Jim wanted a cross etched into the stone and, in fact, a special design. I believe he calls it a Benedictine cross. We went back and forth with proofs before the final approval,” Tosi said. The gravestone was paid for by anonymous donors and parishioners at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, she said. In addition to Kolb, Threadgill, Susan Eisele and Tosi, in attendance for the blessing of the gravestone were Elizabeth Duncan, parish assistant at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Redland Cemetery Board trustees Ron Tosi and Beverly Jeppesen and her husband, Al, and cemetery neighbor Betty Armstrong.
So...do you remember Whitey?
~one of "Beaver" Cleaver's best friends, Hubert "Whitey" Whitney was in the original Leave It to Beaver television series. His older brother, Tiger, played "Tooey Brown" in the series. Whitey appeared in 57 episodes!
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