Saturday, March 12, 2022

Saints Preserve Us!


Stafford Alois Repp was born in San Francisco on April 26, 1918.  From an early age, he wanted to become an actor.  Following his high school graduation, he began appearing in a number of stage productions on the West Coast, but world events would soon intervene in his career.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Repp, like many of his generation, opted to serve his country.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where, in addition to his service on the field, he also produced shows to entertain his fellow troops.

After the war, Repp returned to the States and began his acting career.  His first credited role was in the 1954 Spike Jones film Fireman, Save My Child.  He also appeared on many popular television series of the 1950s, including Playhouse 90, The Real McCoys and Dragnet.

Repp was also no stranger to The Twilight Zone, making three appearances in the Rod Serling anthology series.  The most famous of these is the 1962 episode "Nick of Time," which stars an unknown William Shatner as a man obsessed with a fortune telling machine.  Look for Repp as Shatner's auto mechanic.

In 1966, Repp was cast in the role he is most famously remembered for, that of Police Chief O'Hara on the Adam West Batman TV series (right).  It ran for three seasons and 120 episodes, featuring a slew of guest actors who would one day be profiled in this blog, including Cesar Romero as The Joker and Frank Gorshin as The Riddler.

When Batman concluded its run in 1968, Repp continued making guest appearances on television, on such series as I Dream of Jeannie and My Favorite Martian. He also returned to the silver screen, with one of his final acting roles being the 1973 exploitation film Cycle Psycho, also known as Savage Abduction (left).

Repp's final acting role was in a 1974 episode of M*A*S*H entitled "White Gold."  Unfortunately, he'd never see the show himself.  On November 5th of that year, Repp paid a visit to the Hollywood Park Racing Track in Inglewood. The odds were not in his favor that day however, as Repp suffered a fatal heart attack. 

Stafford Repp was laid to rest at Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster, California.

Inscription: Beloved Husband
Location: Block #56 (Remembrance), Section C, Plot #279

Rest in peace.


  • Despite dying in 1974, Repp's final credited role is the 2018 Orson Welles film The Other Side of the Wind.  Welles began production of the film in 1970, intending it to mark his Hollywood comeback.  He would face several setbacks however, and the film remained unfinished following his death in 1985.  It finally premiered on Netflix in 2018.  You can watch the trailer on YouTube.

  • Though seldom used in the series, O'Hara's first name was Clancy.

  • Following Repp's death, his sister established the Stafford Repp Memorial Scholarship for students of his alma mater, Lowell High School, in San Francisco.

  • Though best remembered for his acting roles, Repp's personal fortune actually came from an unrelated business partnership, as he was co-owner of a successful car wash chain.

  • While Repp portrayed Chief O'Hara and other lawmen throughout his career, his brother was a police officer in real life.

  • The Irish brogue that Repp used on Batman was not his normal speaking voice, rather, it was something he brought to the role.

No comments:

Post a Comment