Joey D. Vieira

Joseph Douglas Vieira, known as Joey D. Vieira (born April 8, 1944), is an American film and television actor. He began as a child actor using the professional name Donald Keeler playing chubby, beanie-wearing farm boy, Sylvester "Porky" Brockway in the first several seasons (1954–57) of TV's Lassie (retitled Jeff's Collie in syndicated reruns and on DVD). Vieira borrowed the professional surname from his aunt, Ruby Keeler, star of numerous Warner Bros. musicals in the 1930s.[1] Lassie won two Emmys during his run on the series. Vieira and costar Tommy Rettig jointly accepted the show's second Emmy at the awards ceremony in 1956.[2]

Vieira infuriated producers of Lassie by showing up for work one day with his hair trimmed in the then popular buzz style. Max Factor quickly crafted a wig for Vieira and writers concocted a storyline in less than two hours. In a 1956 episode "The Haircut", Keeler enters a barber shop wearing the wig and exits with his buzz cut. He was given orders to never change his appearance again.[2]

Other early TV appearances include The Pride of the Family, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Shirley Temple's Storybook, and My Three Sons. Film appearances include The Private War of Major Benson (1955) with Charlton Heston and The Patriot (2000) with Mel Gibson in which he played as Peter Howard. Vieira has also written, produced and directed.[3]


In addition to being the nephew of Ruby Keeler, he was the half-brother of actor Ken Weatherwax (now deceased), best known for portraying Pugsley Addams on the 1960s television sitcom The Addams Family.[1]


  1. 1 2 Lamparski, Richard (1982). Whatever Became Of ...? Eighth Series. New York: Crown Publishers. pp. 230–31. ISBN 0-517-54855-0.
  2. 1 2 Collins, Ace. Lassie: A Dog's Life. Penguin, 1993.
  3. Biography for Joey D. Vieira. IMDb. Accessed January 23, 2009

External links

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