Tony Dow. He was Wally in 'Leave It To Beaver'

June 6, 2008


BIRTH DATE: April 13, 1945, Hollywood, California

CLAIM TO FAME: No question in anyone's mind, Tony Dow is and will always best remembered for playing Wally Cleaver, the clean-cut and much wiser older brother of Beaver on the classic sitcom 'Leave It to Beaver'.

FAMILY LIFE: Shulkind, Lauren C. (1980 - present) 1 child Marlow, Carol M. (1969 - 1978) (divorced) 1 child

INFO: Tony won the role of Wally Cleaver in a casting cattle call with almost no previous acting experience

TRIVIA: Tony Dow's mother, Muriel Montrose, was a stuntwoman in early Westerns, Clara Bow's double and a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty. She also appeared in Our Gang.

In 1965 Tony joined the National Guard.

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.

In the 1990s, Dow revealed that he has struggled, and was eventually diagnosed with, Bipolar disorder. He has since starred in self help videos chronicling his battle with the disorder.

In 2001 Tony sued Viacom for an ad campaign on its TV Land channel that featured him in a doctored photo wearing tattoos. "Time Changes. Great TV Doesn't," the ad said. Dow's suit alleges that the ad portrayed him in an "unwholesome and negative light" and that it in effect transformed him into "an involuntary spokesman without pay, and of course, without consent or even his knowledge" for the TV channel. (The case brings to mind a courtroom sketch in which Dow himself spoofed the Wally Cleaver character in the 1977 comedy The Kentucky Fried Movie.)

WHERE IS HE NOW: Since the show's demise, Tony has appeared sporadically in a couple feature films and in a few television movies. He reprised the role of Wally in the 1980s in the made-for-TV reunion film Still the Beaver (1983) and in the series it spawned.

Tony disappeared for a few years and then re-emerged as a director of television episodes for such series as 'Babylon 5' and as a producer of films like 'It Came From Outer Space II.'

Recently (2007) he, Jerry Mathers and 91-year-old Barbara Billingsley celebrated the 50th anniversary of "Leave It to Beaver" by reuniting and inaugurating the 24-hour TV-Land marathon.

I was suprised to find out that Tony had a role General Hospital in the 70's.

His last onscreen appearance was in the 2003 film 'Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.'

In 2007 he was building luxury condominiums, but the real estate bust has kind of slowed this down.

Has turned down numerous offers to appear in celebrity reality shows.

Tony is a modern art sculptor, and is represented exclusively by Karen Lynne Gallery in Beverly Hills. One of his bronze pieces is on display in the backyard garden of his one-time TV mom Barbara Billingsley.

Now a grandfather, Tony and his wife Lauren live close to Billingsley.

WRITE TO Tony Dow:

Tony Dow
Diamond Artists
215 N Barrington Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Secondary Address:
Tony Dow
13317 Ventura Blvd. #1
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Official Website:

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