Stanley Fafara, a child actor on the TV show, ”Leave It to Beaver,” died on Sept. 20 from complications of hernia surgery. He was 54.
When he was four years old, Fafara’s mother got him an agent who placed him in vitamin and milk commercials. After appearing in an episode of “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin,” Fafara and his brother Tiger answered an open casting call for “Leave It to Beaver.” They were both hired. From 1957 to 1969, Fafara played Hubert “Whitey” Whitney, and Tiger played the character, “Tooey.”
After the show ended, Fafara attended North Hollywood High School, where he developed a drug and alcohol habit. He played music in Hollywood clubs and befriended members of the rock band, Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Drug addiction was eventually Fafara’s downfall. In the 1980s, he was arrested and jailed for breaking into pharmacies. When he was released, he worked several odd jobs and then became a drug dealer to support his habit. Fafara finally got clean at a detox center in 1995 then spent the rest of his life in a Portland apartment, where he survived on Social Security checks.