It’s interesting sometimes to see what’s become of favored childhood stars once they’ve grown up and gone on with their career. Tony Dow is likely someone that a lot of people from the 80’s on up wouldn’t even know, but those that grew up with Leave it to Beaver would probably recognize him once they heard his name. He was after all Wally Cleaver, one of the best-liked actors on TV during his time. Obviously that time has flown by for a lot of people since Dow is in his early 70s. That hasn’t stopped him from continuing along with a career however, as to the present day he’s still in the mix despite working off camera rather than in front of it. He’s had several roles since his time on Leave it to Beaver, and he’s even taken a break now and again to go off and have a life other than what the camera could give him. But there’s nothing to say that he hasn’t had a long, full career that’s been rather good to him.
He spent three years in the National Guard.
This disrupted his career of course but it was his choice to go and serve his country in any way he could. While one might wonder why he didn’t sign up for the Army, Navy, or Air Force it’s enough to know that he actually served his country in some way. Regardless of disrupting his career he managed to come back and gain guest roles on a few different shows and more important roles on others. The star power that Tony had at that point was still very strong and the industry, despite getting flooded more and more each year with new faces, still had plenty of room for someone that had put in his time on one of America’s most loved shows of all time.
His time behind the camera has been interesting.
He was part of the attempt to bring back old classics like Leave it to Beaver and Lassie, but he’s also done other projects that have allowed him to see just what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera. This seems like a natural progression for a lot of individuals in the acting world as staying on one side for their entire career kind of seems like it would be limiting them to what they can do when the time comes for them to decide on whether to retire or step aside for the new stars coming out. Dow has had a lot of time in front of the camera but as of now it seems as though he’s having a better time behind it as he’s come to know the ins and outs of the business.
His personal life has been kind of interesting.
In the 90s Dow let it be known that he’ d been suffering from clinical depression, which prompted him to star in a series of self-help videos. He also took up sculpting bronze statues at one point and found it to be very cathartic. He’s even gained a great deal of notoriety for his sculptures as he was selected as one of only a few artists to be showcased in Paris, France back in 2008. You could easily say that he’s had a rather relaxing time of things in the last decade or so since he’s been able to lay back and do what he wants more often than not, but he also hasn’t been seen in film since his role on Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. It seems like he might have decided to finally step out of the spotlight at that point and make a career behind the camera rather than in front of it. Given his age and all he’s done to this point there’s not a lot of point arguing with it since he’s proven himself more than once throughout his career and it’s probably time to just sit back and enjoy life.
Old actors are sometimes seen to be a little worrisome as well as desperate when it comes to trying to hold onto faded glory, but Tony Dow has aged with a great deal of grace and has managed to become one of those interesting older folks that many people would love to sit and talk to about the old times. There are sure to be many stories he could tell about his life and the times he’s seen both on camera and off. A man doesn’t go this long in the industry without having a few stories to tell at least, and given what he’s done it seems like he could regale a crowd with enough stories to keep them occupied for quite a while. While he wasn’t one of the biggest stars in the world he was certainly one of the most well-known in his time.