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Tony Dow Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (20)

Overview (4)

Born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Died in Topanga, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameAnthony Lee Dow
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tony Dow was an American actor, film producer, television director, and sculptor from Los Angeles, California. His most famous role was that of athletic adolescent Wallace "Wally" Cleaver in the popular sitcom "Leave It to Beaver" (1957-1963). Dow played the older brother to the series' protagonist Theodore "The Beaver" Cleaver (played by Jerry Mathers). Bow returned to the role of Wally in the sequel series "The New Leave It to Beaver" (1983-1989), which featured the Cleaver brothers as married adults with children of their own.

In 1945, Dow was born in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. He aspired to an acting career since childhood, but he only had a few theatrical roles until the late 1950s. He went to an open casting call for the upcoming sitcom "Leave It to Beaver., and he was cast in the regular role of Wallace "Wally" Cleaver. He replaced child actor Paul Sullivan, who played Wally in the series' pilot. Wally was depicted as a talented track and field athlete, basketball player and baseball player. He was well-liked by his teachers and popular with his peers, but his friendships with dimwitted bully Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford and untrustworthy schemer Edward Clark "Eddie" Haskell repeatedly landed him in trouble.

As the television series progressed, Dow received more screen-time for his character. He was often featured in "heartthrob"-type magazines for teen girls, and he was regarded as more popular than his co-star Jerry Mathers. "Leave It to Beaver" ended in 1963, after 6 seasons and 234 episodes. At 18, Dow was a bit too old to keep playing a high school student, while Mathers was considering an early retirement from acting. Dow then started appearing regularly at guest-star roles in television, until cast in a regular role for the short-lived soap opera "Never Too Young" (1965-1966). It was the first soap opera primarily aimed at an adolescent audience.

During the 1970s, Dow was mostly limited to guest star roles in television. To supplement his income, he found work at the construction industry. He also pursued studies in both filmmaking and journalism, thought they did not lead to an immediate change in his career. Dow played a parody of Wally Cleaver in the comedy film "The Kentucky Fried Movie" (1977), where his character caused trouble in a courtroom trial.

In 1983, Dow played Wally Cleaver in the reunion television film "Still the Beaver". He reunited with several of his former co-starts. The film served as a pilot for the sequel television series "The New Leave It to Beaver", which aired from 1984 to 1989. The series lasted for 4 seasons and 101 episodes. Dow played Wally as a skilled lawyer, who represented Beaver in a custody battle for his children. Meanwhile, Wally had to deal with marriage to his former sweetheart Mary Ellen Rogers (played by Janice Kent) and raising his daughter Kelly Cleaver (played by Kaleena Kiff). In 1987, Dow received a "Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award" for his role as Wally Cleaver.

In 1989, Dow made his debut as a television director. His first work in the field was an episode of the drama series "The New Lassie" (1989-1992), a sequel series to "Lassie" (1954-1973). He subsequently directed episodes of (among others) "Harry and the Hendersons", "Swamp Thing", "Coach", "Babylon 5", "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show", and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". In addition, Dow served as the visual effects supervisor for "Babylon 5". He provided the special effects for the television film "Doctor Who" (1996), a sequel to a long-running British television series.

In 1995, Dow produced the science fiction comedy film "The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space". In the film, aliens from the planet Pangea attempt to recruit the heroic Captain Zoom to help them in a war. The hero does not actually exist, and they have instead recruited the arrogant actor who was playing him on a television. The actor decides to use old science fiction script as inspiration for his strategies. The film was intended as an affectionate parody to both Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon.

In 1996, Dow produced the television film "It Came from Outer Space II". It was a remake (rather than a sequel) to the classic science fiction horror film "It Came from Outer Space" (1953). Both films feature shape-shifting aliens who have crash-landed on Earth, and who attempt to blend in with the human population. However, they manage to copy human appearance, but not human behavior and personalities. The remake was poorly received, and this was Dow's final effort as a producer.

During the 1990s, Dow admitted to the press that he had been diagnosed with clinical depression. He subsequently appeared in self-help videos concerning ways to struggle with the condition, such as "Beating the Blues" (1998). He also placed more efforts in his side career as a sculptor. He specialized in creating abstract bronze sculptures. In 2008, he was one of the artists representing the United States at the "Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts" exhibition in Paris. He displayed his sculpture of a warrior woman.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dimos I

Family (2)

Spouse Lauren Carol Shulkind (16 June 1980 - 27 July 2022)  (his death)
Carol Marie Theresa Marlow (14 June 1969 - 10 March 1980)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Parents Muriel Montrose

Trivia (20)

His mother was Muriel Montrose, a stunt woman in early Westerns, Clara Bow's double and a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty. His father was John Stevens Dow, Jr., a designer and contractor.
Son Christopher Dow, with Carol Marlow, born March 26, 1973.
Joined the US Army National Guard in 1965.
Was a junior Olympics diving champion.
In the 70s he attended journalism school while working in contracting and construction.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he re-teamed with his Leave It to Beaver (1957) co-star Jerry Mathers and performed in dinner theatres.
Involved in building luxury condominiums.
Is a modern-art sculptor and represented exclusively by Karen Lynne Gallery in Beverly Hills, California, USA. One of his bronze pieces was on display in the backyard garden of his one-time TV mom Barbara Billingsley. Now a grandfather, he and his wife Lauren lived close to Billingsley before her 2010 death at age ninety-four.
In 2007 the 62-year-old Dow, the 59-year-old Jerry Mathers and 91-year-old Barbara Billingsley celebrated the 50th anniversary of Leave It to Beaver (1957) by reuniting and inaugurating the 24-hour TV-Land marathon.
One of his bronze sculptures was accepted at 2008's Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, a 150-year-old art show staged annually at the Louvre in Paris, France.
His acting mentor was the late Barbara Billingsley.
He is best known by the public for his role as Wallace "Wally" Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver (1957).
Topanga Canyon, California: living and working as a sculptor. [September 2012]
He has played the same character (Wally Cleaver) on three different series: Leave It to Beaver (1957), The Love Boat (1977) and The New Leave It to Beaver (1983).
Profiled in the 2016 book "X Child Stars: Where Are They Now?" by Kathy Garver and Fred Ascher.
Appeared in the The Kentucky Fried Movie as Wally, based on his character Wally Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver.
Appeared as a witness in a case in the 1980s version of The People's Court.
In May 2022 it was revealed his cancer returned.
On July 26, 2022, his death was erroneously reported on Facebook by one of his managers. He died the next day.
His paternal grandmother was Swedish. His mother had Colonial American roots in Massachusetts.

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