Stanley Fafara

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Stanley Fafara
Stanley Fafara (right) as "Whitey" in Leave it to Beaver with Jerry Mathers (center) as "the Beaver" and Stephen Talbot (left) as Gilbert, c. 1962.
Born Stanley Albert Fafara
September 20, 1949
San Francisco, California, USA
Died September 20, 2003(2003-09-20) (aged 54)
Portland, Oregon
Cause of death
Complications from hernia surgery
Alma mater North Hollywood High School
Children One daughter

Brother Tiger Fafara

Nephew Dez Fafara

Stanley Albert Fafara (September 20, 1949 – September 20, 2003) was an American actor, best known for his role as "Whitey" Whitney in the original Leave It to Beaver television series. He appeared in 42 of the 234 episodes of the series. His older brother, Tiger, played "Tooey Brown" in the series.

Early life and career[edit]

Fafara was born in San Francisco, California. By 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. He had been working in commercials and television westerns since the age of 4. He earned the part of "Whitey" Whitney, one of the title character's best friends.

Fafara remained with Leave It To Beaver for six years.[1] After the show's cancellation in 1963, he attended North Hollywood High School. He became friendly with the pop-rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders and reportedly moved in with the band for a time. He developed an alcohol habit and began to use drugs.[2]

At his parents' instigation, 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. He married briefly. He supported himself by dealing narcotics. In the 1980s he was convicted of breaking into pharmacies and sentenced to a year in jail. After his release from jail, Fafara tried several jobs but eventually returned to dealing drugs.[2]

He was in and out of rehabilitation centers for many years but achieved sobriety in 1995.[2]

Later years[edit]

Fafara reportedly spent the final eight years of his life clean and sober, initially living in a house for recovering addicts and alcoholics, then in a subsidized apartment near "skid row" in Portland, Oregon, where he lived on Social Security checks of $475 per month until his hospitalization in 2003. He had maintained his sobriety since 1995; however, he had already contracted hepatitis C.[2]

Eventually Fafara re-established a relationship with a daughter he had not seen since she was six months old (she was thirty-four at the time of their reunion), and became close to his nephew, Coal Chamber and DevilDriver vocalist Dez Fafara, son of Tiger Fafara. He also kept in contact with other child actors who were in recovery, and helped fellow addicts to stay clean and sober. He started a business designing web sites, and was beginning to have some success. At the time of his death he had a flat in Portland's Mark Hatfield Building, an apartment complex created for people in recovery from addiction.


Fafara died September 20, 2003, on his 54th birthday, in Portland, Oregon, of complications from hernia surgery. Stanley Fafara was given two funerals and was buried at Redland Pioneer Cemetery in Redland, Oregon. His grave is unmarked.[3]


  1. ^ Norman Chance (2011). Who Was Who on TV. Xlibris Corporation. p. 290. ISBN 978-1-4568-2164-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d Dennis McLellan (September 27, 2003). "Stanley Fafara, 54; 'Whitey' on 'Beaver'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Stanley Albert Fafara". Retrieved November 19, 2013. 

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