Born in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, the oldest of six children of immigrant parents, Tafuri earned his first screen credit in 1934 on the Popeye cartoon The Two-Alarm Fire. He also contributed to the studio's feature films and the ambitious Superman cartoon series. When Paramount ousted the Fleischers from their Florida studio, Tafuri returned to New York and worked on Casper the Friendly Ghost and Little Lulu cartoons. He was one of the last animators still involved with the studio when it closed in 1967. His career concluded in the 1970s. Two of his most notable projects were the 1939 animated version of Gulliver's Travels and the screen adaptation of Robert Crumb'sFritz the Cat.