Dow, Tony 1945-

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DOW, Tony 1945-

(Anthony Lee Dow)


Born April 13, 1945, in Hollywood, CA; son of John Stevens (a designer and general contractor) and Muriel Virginia (Montrose) Dow; married, 1969 (divorced, 1978); married second wife, Laura (some sources say Laurel) Shulkind, June 16, 1980; children: (first marriage) Christopher T. Education: Attended University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, Columbia College, and Sherwood Oaks Experimental College; trained at Film Industry Workshop.


Agent—Phil Gittelman, Phillip B. Gittelman Management, 1221 North Kings Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90019.


Actor, producer, and director. Owner of a construction firm; also professional painter.

Actor in television series, including Leave It to Beaver, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1957-58, then American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), 1958-63; Never Too Young, 1965; and Still the Beaver, Disney Channel, 1985-86, retitled The New Leave It to Beaver, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), 1986-89. Has made guest appearances in Mr. Novak, My Three Sons, Dr. Kildare, Murder She Wrote, and Eleventh Hour. Actor in television movies, including A Great American Tragedy (also known as A New American Tragedy, 1972; Death Scream (also known as Streetkill and The Woman Who Cried Murder), 1975; The Ordeal of Bill Carney, 1981; High School, U.S.A., 1983; Still the Beaver, Disney Channel, 1983; and The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space, Starz!, 1995. Guest actor in episodes of television series, including Square Pegs, CBS, 1982; Mickey Spillanes's Mike Hammer, CBS, 1984; Freddy's Nightmares, syndicated, 1989-90; Mod Squad, ABC; Knight Rider, National Broadcasting Company (NBC); The Love Boat, ABC; Quincey, M.E., NBC; General Hospital, ABC; Merv Griffin Show, CBS; Today, NBC; and Good Morning America, ABC. Also appeared in the television special The 12th Annual Circus of the Stars, 1987, as well as (host) Weekday Heroes and Four Feet in the Morning.

Director of episodes of television series, including (with others) Coach, ABC, 1989-96; Lassie, 1989; Babylon 5, syndicated, 1993; The High Life, 1994; Blue Heaven, 1994; Ain't Misbehavin', 1994; Get a Life; Star Trek-Deep Space 9; The New Leave It to Beaver; and Harry and the Hendersons. Contributing director, The Coach Retrospective: Mary Hart Goes One-on-One with "Coach" (television special), ABC, 1994; producer, with Peter V. Ware, The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space (television movie), Starz!, 1995; visual effects producer, Doctor Who (television movie; also known as Doctor Who and the Enemy Within), Fox, 1996; director, Over Here, 1996; producer, with Roger Duchowny, It Came from Outer Space II (television movie), Sci-Fi Channel, 1996;

Actor in films, including The Kentucky Fried Movie, United Film, 1977; Back to the Beach, Paramount, 1987; and Kill Crazy, Media Home Entertainment, 1990. Director of film U.F.O., Polygram, 1993. Actor in stage productions, including Lovers and Other Strangers, Barefoot in the Park, Come Blow Your Horn, The Chesterfield Woman, and The Nerd. Toured in production of So Long, Stanley. Military service: Served in National Guard, beginning 1965.


"Slumber Party," (television episode), Still the Beaver, Disney Channel, 1984.

Also wrote (un-credited) and produced remake of It Came from Outer Space, Universal Studios. Author of two episodes of Harry and the Hendersons (television program).


Tony Dow played Wally Cleaver, the erstwhile and sincere older brother of Beaver—played by actor Jerry Mathers—in the long-running television program Leave It to Beaver. Airing from 1957 to 1963, Dow was a familiar face to many generations, tending to a lovable yet mischievous younger brother who often got into trouble. Leave It to Beaver was popular in its initial run and has played almost perpetually in re-runs for nostalgia-starved fans ever since.

Dow started playing Wally when he was twelve years old. Of the experience, he recalled to People writer Maria Ciaccia: "My parents were level-headed and the producers on the show treated us as non-special as possible. The business in general is a very difficult one, for kids especially because they get thrown into it the same way that adults do. It can be very hard on them." After the show's run Dow worked periodically in other television shows and in dinner theatre, but he also joined the National Guard in 1965 and he even tried his hand at contracting, his father's occupation. He also acted in small roles in a number of movies, a few of which—including 1977's Kentucky Fried Movie and 1987's Back to the Beach—capitalized on his image as a small-screen icon. Along with Mathers, Dow reprised his role as Wally in the made-for-cable-television series Still the Beaver—later retitled The New Leave It to Beaver—in which the Cleaver boys are presented as grown up and raising families of their own. In addition to acting on the updated series, Dow also penned the script to one of the show's episodes, titled "Slumber Party."

In recent years Dow has turned to directing and producing, particularly movies in the science-fiction genre. He has also directed many episodes for the 1990s television science fiction show Babylon 5. His involvement with the show led to an interest in special effects, and he became the show's visual effects supervisor. He told Ciaccia: "The reason I got into it was because of the digital revolution coming on strong and I thought as a director, it was important to understand that part of the business."



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 18, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1998.


People, May 20, 1996, Maria Ciaccia, interview with Dow, p. 17.

TV Guide, August 23, 1997, p. 32.


Hollywood Online, (May 12, 1999).