He couldn't leave his past entirely behind him, though, and ended up moonlighting as a masked vigilante fighting justice.
It's this true story that's the subject of local production company Hideaway Pictures' latest film, "A Masked Saint."
“I just came back from LA — I was there to see the directors' cut,” said Hideaway CEO David Anselmo. “I have to say, it's looking really good.”
The film was shot in Sault Ste. Marie in the fall, marking the first time Hideaway — which has shot several movies in Sudbury and North Bay — has used the Sault as a backdrop.
“We're really excited to be able to utilize all the resources up in Northern Ontario,” Anselmo said.
The movie, directed by up-and-coming Toronto director Warren P. Sonoda, stars Brett Granstaff as Pastor Chris Samuels, the character in the film based on Whaley's life.
Real-life 1980s WWF wrestler Roddy Piper also appears in the movie, along with well-known actors Diahann Caroll and Patrick McKenna.
Anselmo said the movie is slated to be released in theatres across Canada and the United States this fall.
Meanwhile, he encourages the public to come out to the Sudbury screening of "Ice Soldiers", which Hideaway filmed in the city last year.
The movie, which stars Dominic Pursell and Adam Beach, will be screened Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. in the College Boreal amphitheatre.
Tickets are $20, and are on sale at Fromagerie Elgin, Speakeasy and the Northern Ontario Film Studios. For more information phone, 705-885-1660.