Born: April 13, 1945
Birthplace: Hollywood, California, US
Tony Lee Dow (born April 13, 1945) is an American film producer, director, sculptor, and television actor. He is best known for his role in the television sitcom Leave It to Beaver, which ran in primetime from 1957 to 1963. Dow played Wally Cleaver, the elder son of June (played by Barbara Billingsley) and Ward Cleaver (played by Hugh Beaumont) and the brother of Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver (played by Jerry Mathers).Dow was born in Hollywood, California, to John Stevens Dow, Jr. (1908-1987), a designer and general contractor, and Muriel Virginia Dow (née Montrose) (May 27, 1906 - April 30, 2001), a stunt woman in early Westerns and Clara Bow's movie double in Hollywood. In his youth, Dow was a Junior Olympics diving champion. He won the role of Wally Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver in a casting call with almost no previous acting experience.
Dow continued to perform on Leave It to Beaver for six years, until the series ended in 1963. After that, he appeared on other television shows, including My Three Sons, Dr. Kildare, The Greatest Show on Earth, Never Too Young, and on five episodes of Mr. Novak in three different roles. Then, from 1965 to 1968, he served in the National Guard, interrupting his acting career. On his return to acting, he was a guest star in the television series Adam-12, Love American Style, Knight Rider, Square Pegs, The Mod Squad, The Hardy Boys, and Emergency!.
During the 1970s, Dow continued acting while working in the construction industry and studying journalism and filmmaking.
In 1987, he was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award for his role as Wally Cleaver.
Dow's most recent screen appearance was in the 2003 film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
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In 1986, he wrote an episode of The New Leave It to Beaver. In 1989, he made his debut as a director with an episode of The New Lassie, followed by episodes of Get a Life, Harry and the Hendersons, Coach, Babylon 5, Crusade, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He served as the visual effects supervisor for Babylon 5. In 1996, he provided visual effects for the Fox television movie Doctor Who.
In the 1990s, Dow revealed that he has suffered from clinical depression. He has since starred in self-help videos chronicling this battle, including Beating the Blues (1998).
Dow has become a sculptor, creating abstract bronze sculptures. He said about his work, "The figures are abstract and not meant to represent reality but rather the truth of the interactions as I see and feel them. I find the wood in the hills of Topanga Canyon and each piece evolves from my subconscious. I produce limited editions of nine bronzes using the lost wax process from molds of the original burl sculpture." One of his bronze pieces was on display in the backyard garden of Barbara Billingsley, who played his mother on Leave It to Beaver. He was chosen as one of three sculptors to show at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts exhibition, in the Carrousel du Louvre, in Paris, France, in December 2008. He represented the United States delegation, which was composed of artists from the Karen Lynne Gallery. His abstract shown at the Louvre was titled "Unarmed Warrior", a bronze figure of a woman holding a shield.
Dow married Carol Marlow on June 14, 1969 and had a son, Christopher (born 1973). The couple later divorced in 1978. Dow then married Lauren Shulkind in June 1980. They have one child and two grandchildren.